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You have to adapt

By 2353NM

Next time your mobile phone takes a photo of the now ubiquitous QR check in image, think of this. In 1888, the Kodak camera was first sold in the USA with the motto “You press the button, we do the rest.” People did ‘press the button’ and return the cheap camera box to Kodak for processing – at additional cost. Kodak later sold their ‘Box Brownie’ camera for $1 by supplying film at a cost that included processing as well as some of the manufacturing costs of the camera, creating a profitable ecosystem. Kodachrome’ colour film was first sold in 1935, the ‘Instamatic’ camera was first sold in 1963 and the first photo of the earth from the moon in 1966 was taken on Kodak film.

A Kodak engineer created the first digital camera in 1975. Admittedly, the image sensor was 0.1 megapixels and it took 23 seconds to capture a single black and while image on a cassette tape, but it was a start. Kodak invented the colour image sensor not long after and in 1991 developed the first digital SLR camera.

Kodak, over the entirety of its operations, made most of its money from film rolls and felt that it needed to continue and preserve the sales of its film rolls. So even when digital cameras – that Kodak helped invent – gained popularity, Kodak was still focussing on promoting its analogue products such as film rolls.

While Kodak had a great run so far, things started going downhill during the 2000s. In 2004, Kodak saw its profits dip even though its sales were at an all-time high. By the time Kodak started focusing on digital products – which it did by releasing a slew of digital cameras and printers print the images taken from the digital cameras – it was already too late to capture users who had moved on to other brands.

In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and while the company survived, it is no longer the ‘go to’ company for general photographic equipment or products.

Recently a study from University College London determined that 95% of the currently known reserves of coal in Australia must stay in the ground to ensure there is a ghost of a chance of the planet’s warming being limited to 1.5 degrees. On top of that, we need to keep a significant quantity of gas and oil reserves where they are. Of course, the usual suspects rallied around the ‘climate change is crap’ flag, vowing and declaring that the Australian economy is reliant on coal and gas exports so we can maintain our current lifestyle, and it will always be so.

From the nation’s reliance on coal fired power to Prime Minster Morrison claiming that any transition to less climate intensive energy production will reduce jobs, effectively the strategy seems to be to dig up as much as possible and either use it or flog it off overseas while the world will still buy it.

Sounds like Kodak’s business plan, doesn’t it? The Coalition Government’s assumption seems to be if Australia is the only stable and developed country in the world with coal for sale in the future, we’ll make a killing. Instead of riding on the sheep’s back, we’ll be theoretically driving those enormous dump trucks that take the coal from the mine to the processing area, paying minimal tax and living high on the (state sponsored) hog.

However,

Earlier this year a report revealed Australia is the only OECD country to propose new coal mines on a scale so large that it will effectively double our emissions output.

Global Energy Monitor’s report found if the coal mines are built, it will be more than four times the compliant pathway needed to reach the Paris climate agreement.

The coal exporting monopoly will probably never happen. Any basic marketing or economics course will tell you that if the supply of a commodity is reduced, the price of that commodity will increase. As the cost of a product increases, alternatives are found. Morrison’s claim of a technology-based solution to Australia’s emission problems may come true – but it could also be a technological solution that means Australian coal exports are nowhere near as attractive to others as they are at the moment. Australia wouldn’t be the first to assume that the world will beat a path to its door to purchase a commodity that no one else can supply and find the reality is somewhat different.

Kodak demonstrates that not adapting to your market has consequences. Australia does have options other than digging up as much coal and gas as possible and selling it as fast as we can. Not exploring and developing alternative options is in essence a failure to future-proof our economy and dereliction of our political leaders’ duty. We don’t have a good history on innovation, as this ABC report on Australia’s participation in the solar panel manufacturing industry discusses.

As recently discussed in The Conversation, Australia can choose to capitalise on our natural advantages of plenty of land and sunshine which could generate and export renewable power and hydrogen as well as develop industries such as ‘green steel’. We even have the iron ore!

Flogging off what we have flogged off for decades and pretending there is no alternative isn’t a clever or sustainable long-term business practice. Adaption means that we take risks, but it is better than bankruptcy. Just ask Kodak.

What do you think?

 

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So what’s this “Cashless Debit Card” thing all about then?

By Amanda Smith

The Cashless Debit Card is the latest iteration of a policy called “compulsory income management” (CIM) in Australia. Compulsory income management – meaning government and corporate control over all or portions of people’s social security entitlement payments, is an idea that had its roots as far back as 1982 in government, though it began in earnest in 2007, targeting over 70 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory with the roll out of the “Basics Cards” during the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) also known as “The Intervention”.

Much the same as Basics Cards, the Cashless Debit Card began its life based on the racist, classist assumptions and stereotypes of a multi billionaire, and through a raft of political lies and the manipulation of media and the public. The history of NTER is explained well here. The history of the Cashless Debit Card, is still being lived and written.

The Cashless Debit Card (aka the “CDC”) is the end result of The Creating Parity Report, written by Andrew Forrest. The CDC program currently operates across six sites – East Kimberley, Ceduna, Goldfields, Hinkler electorate, Cape York Region and the Northern Territory. Despite being introduced by government as a limited 12-month trial in one location, the policy is now in its sixth year of blanket operation and expanding rapidly.

The Cashless Debit Card takes 80% of a person’s social security entitlement and quarantine it into a third-party account.

To be specific, the LNP hands legal ownership of that 80% portion to a private (alleged) LNP-backed financial services corporation – Indue Ltd.

This leaves the payment recipient with access to just 20% of the payment paid into their personal account ‘as cash’.

This 20% is the only “lawful income” that the banks ‘see’ which has had the effect of ending access to the credit system and loans for most participants. For some payment recipients that 20% cash sum is less than $7 a day.

Despite the LNP’s media spin, Indue income management cards are not “just welfare paid out in another form.” If placed onto a card, a person’s income is strictly and actively managed by Indue Ltd and the Department, who exert control over all spending, not just over purchases of prohibited items. At any time, the Department or Indue Ltd acting independently can reject any purchase while also controlling your access to venues, from hotels/motels, and air travel, to the local school photographer and bookstores.

 

 

Despite government rhetoric, not one report on Indue income management cards or any compulsory third party income management iteration in over 14 years has shown any success from the act of quarantining peoples income.

To the contrary, extensive longitudinal studies showed increases in individual and community health problems and devastating social harms including increases in infant mortality and low birth weights, rises in domestic violence, increases in Centrelink and government dependency, culminating in the entrenchment of poverty in every roll out region.

Rising crime rates, crimes of opportunity and increases in suicides and attempted suicides of forced trial participants and people on other forms of forced income management are just some of the ‘side effects’ and have all been reported to the Senate since 2017.

The impact of increased bank and transaction fees and other financial losses forced program participants have had to endure, have also been documented multiple times in multiple senate inquiries.

Why you should care about the Indue Card:

Legal and Civil Rights: Government is using the social status and economic dis-empowerment experienced by the unemployed as a means to segregate forced Indue Income Management trial participants from their communities and society as a whole. They are circumventing civil and economic rights, ‘justify’ Human Rights infringements nefariously, and even bypassing Social Security law itself.

Social and economic segregation based on income source: The existence of several exemptions to existing Consumer laws and Data rules given to Indue Ltd by the Morrison government and written into the cashless welfare arrangements section of the Social Security Act, has meant that people on Indue Income Management cards have been prohibited from taking legal actions against the department on discrimination grounds, and are prevented from acting against Indue Ltd for economic losses or personal injuries. Government has provided this company with a ‘no action’ letter and other exemptions often mean complaints, while important to make, simply go nowhere. Importantly, and rather than changing laws directly, the Morrison government is simply not enforcing them for anyone captured under this policy.

 

 

All of these payments: Which represent the majority of Centrelink payments, excepting DVA, are captured by this program.

Human Rights Abuses: The Indue Income Management card as we cal the CDC, infringes on five articles of non-discrimination law and other articles of human rights legislation. The AHRC writing in multiple senate submissions, has stated repeatedly that this policy does not meet Australian human rights standards or obligations and that despite Government claims, these infringements on our basic human rights, are not justified.

Workers: Full-time, gig, part-time and casual, and including union members are on cards right now.

Targeting women, children and people with disabilities and carers: People aged 16-100 yrs and people with disabilities are on cards right now.

Public money being wasted: Massive sums of public money is being preferentially given to a private corporation in payments and in contract, milestone payments and management fees. Public money is going offshore and returning via Bank of America, at significant cost to the Australian public and forced trial participants in interest losses and international banking and transaction fees.

Needless duplication of service: The Indue cards were never about drugs/alcohol or welfare spending. These were just a pretext for roll out of the policy. Government already had income management in place for people the department considered ‘at risk’, it is called the weekly payments income management program. People on this program were until Dec 2020, exempt from current “trials”.

Reducing community cashflow: Indue Income Management cards reduce local spending in small businesses and second hand markets, they impact and restrict the cash flow to all businesses within communities they have been rolled out in. Government is removing money from the community at a time the community needs it desperately.

Housing/Homelessness Crisis: The impact of Indue unreliability in rent payments and direct debit transfers has made people homeless and reduced peoples living incomes. Hinkler electorate is now #1 for homelessness in QLD.

 

 

Usurping institutional practices: In April 2019, an amendment to the legislation was made, that enabled people to “exit” the cashless debit card program. However by Jan 1st 2020 just 14 forced participants of over 12,000 had been exited and the excuses given now to thousands more for rejecting exit and well-being applications border on the inhumane and ridiculous. Exit decisions – a determination of “individual capacity to manage ones own financial and other affairs” are made in secret by DSS and usurp the role of the State Trustee and bypass all normally applicable fiduciary and guardianship rights and processes.

(See also: Cashless welfare card recipients denied exit from trial claim unfair treatment, ABC News).

Plans for more “inclusive” trials: Not content to expand the program to the entire NT and Cape York regions in December of 2020, the department has now included age pension in the Act, and age pensioners in Cape York are now compulsorily on the card. Both Liberal and National Party have publicly confirmed, a national roll out of this program will comments, and proceed incrementally – starting with all under 35s.

(See: Nationals MPs push party to support Australia-wide rollout of cashless card, welfare inquiry, SMH); Age pension ministers #QON reply and confirmation of inclusion; Government have already budgeted for expansions #estimates response; and Legislation including Age Pension in the Act).

Civil and Legal Rights: Among a serious if legal rights and protections suspended or removed from forced program participants under the cashless debit card program, participant privacy rights are, in practice, wholly suspended. While government continues to distract the public by stating they and Indue Ltd are bound to the Privacy Act, clauses within the 89 page Indue Ltd terms and conditions brochure state clearly that data is on sold to several nations. If people refuse to allow this data gathering process, access to the Indue Ltd account and 80% of their income, is suspended.

(See also: List of suspended, removed and infringements of legal rights and protections).

Political lies and misrepresentation of facts: Government has gone to great lengths to misrepresent information and data concerning the trials even to the point of withholding the entire Adelaide University Report and Evaluation from the Australian Senate until after the December 2020 vote to expand the program further had taken place. The Adelaide University evaluation was a damning indictment against expansion, and documented substantial increases in Domestic Violence social harms, children at risk, increased financial stress and resulted in an 85.4% NO positive impact for the six years of program roll out overall. It also failed to provide answers to the questions demanded in legislation as to the programs suitability for expansion entirely. If those answers exist, they have never been released to the public.

Not one senator or MP who voted to expand and extend the program had read the evaluation prior to voting. The evaluation cost the Australian public $2.5M.

 

 

Plans to let the banks run social security payment systems: The LNP have declared they want the Big 4 banks to take over day to day running of Indue Income Management cards. If this plan goes ahead, your mortgage holder will have the power and authority to control your every day spending.

It doesn’t work to solve problems: Every report, both government and independent on the card trials to date, has shown the Indue Income Management Card has not achieved the results which are being claimed by the Federal Government.

Targeting the vulnerable: The Indue Income Management cards are crippling people already bearing burdens most people wouldn’t or couldn’t bear themselves and they are bringing the spectre of active socioeconomic apartheid to everyone’s front door.

 

 

You are already being impacted: Even if you are not on the card yourself, we are all still being impacted directly through:

The rising cost of Social Security, insurance, social and economic impacts of entrenched systemic poverty; mental health declines, rising crime and homelessness, the impact of overwhelmed services.

We are all impacted by the erosion of citizenship rights and liberties, the undermining of equality in the application of the rule of law; workers rights and power is being undermined. And unaccountable( to Senate) corporations are taking control of government portfolios.

Needless to say, the impact of wholesale privatisation, the wider acceptance and silence on the inhumanity and neglect of vulnerable people as well as the division this policy has created and maintained in our communities, is harming us all.

There is no sector of Australian society and no sector in the fight for social justice that is not directly or indirectly impacted by the advent and expansion of Compulsory Income Management policy.

Thanks to people who follow and support No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia and the Say No Seven group, a fight back against this draconian policy and the ideology driving it has been ongoing. Grassroots effort has contributed to the end of bipartisan support for the policy in 2017 and has included sabotaging plans for the national rollout in 2018, raising noise levels so loud that the Hinkler rollout, largest group on cards in the country, became a limited shadow of the intended policy itself, to supporting the defense of the NT expansion – also a shadow of government intentions, and the continued process of raising public awareness. Today’s grassroots involvement in the Protecting Pensioners Task Force being run by the ALP has allowed cardholders and grassroots a means through which to address major issues with senators and members of the public alike. For the last six years these groups have been fighting tooth and nail to combat the government narrative and share the facts about this policy and its impacts.

The three causes that guide the SN7 and NCWDCA are:

  • To amplify the voices of people being impacted negatively by the Cashless Debit Card policy.
  • To investigate and promote the policy’s role in the segregation of people on centrelink from the rule of law and to highlight ongoing centrelink privatisation issues.
  • To overcome propaganda and explain to the public the differences between simple cashless-ness and forced third party income management cards.

(See SN7 Resources and No Cashless Debit Card Australia).

Members of these grassroots groups have spoken in the press, in the Senate, in the streets, out font of Centrelink offices and at market stalls across the country.

Via active fact checking of government misinformation and obfuscation, they have impacted the social narrative and myth busted their way to an ever widening informed support base. While they have had success in delaying the roll outs and impacting the roll out agenda thus far, they urgently need your support and help now more than ever.

The most important thing you can do to support them, is to take the time to get informed and learn about the local and national impacts of “life on the card”. Please share this information to all your networks and families, and let them know this card is coming to their doorsteps, too. We have very little time left to lift the roof of public awareness and urge you to gather your resources to support and participate in supporting this vital grassroots effort.

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Looking after your mates

By 2353NM

At the same time as the state governments around Australia are trying to re-establish the ‘greater good’ by promoting COVID-19 testing when feeling even slightly unwell and vaccination (because the inconvenience of a test or injection is far outweighed by the lessening of risk of others catching the virus), the Morrison Government has redoubled its efforts to look after its mates.

John Hewson, former Liberal Party Leader and now a professor at ANU, recently discussed the concept of ‘the greater good’ in The Saturday Paper.

The concept usually relates to asking for difficult shifts in behaviour that might normally be resisted by each individual, the impact of which is argued to be overwhelmingly beneficial to at least the majority of individuals. It presupposes acceptance of standards of individual behaviour and acceptance of responsibility.

Over several decades the concept has been lost as our politics has become increasingly self-absorbed, focused on the interests of individual politicians, parties and their donors and mates. Our politicians have developed a reputation for having their “snouts in the trough” — cheating on their expenses and otherwise exploiting their claimed “entitlements”, stacking branches, even paying for party memberships to ensure sustained political support. Our governments have willingly spent obscene amounts of money in their own perceived political interest, trying to buy or shore up votes in particular seats to win or sustain government. Accountability is a fundamental requirement for the effectiveness of our democracy. It is not a choice, as Scott Morrison would have us believe, but an essential ingredient of good government.

Regarding the spending of obscene amounts of money, The New Daily recently observed that

The Morrison government gave $13 billion in JobKeeper to businesses that increased their turnover during 2020, new data has shown.

That would have been enough for us to buy 441 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine or 688 primary schools.

As Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues to keep secret details of overpayments and other JobKeeper discrepancies, budget office data revealed on Monday that $8.4 billion in wage support went to firms that reported rising sales between July and September last year.

It followed earlier analysis that found $4.6 billion was paid to about 157,000 businesses that increased their sales between April and June.

All up, that’s $13.03 billion paid to about 200,000 companies that saw sales rise within six months of signing up to JobKeeper, according to Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) analysis of confidential tax data.

To be eligible for JobKeeper, companies had to show or predict a fall in sales when the pandemic hit, but many companies continued receiving government payments despite sales recovering strongly within months.

It’s not hard to make the argument that the concept behind ‘the greater good’ is more than fronting up at a COVID-19 testing centre when feeling slightly unwell or rolling your sleeve up to ‘get vaxxed’, it is the consideration of the needs and aspirations of the entire country and ensuring the decisions made are beneficial to the majority of the population. It’s also pretty easy to argue that 441 million Pfizer doses or 688 new primary schools have greater benefit to all of us than companies increasing their bottom line using government largesse.

The greater good is also accepting refugees into our community rather than banishing them to concentration camps on South Pacific Islands (while paying a political mate’s company billions to ‘keep them locked up’). The greater good is also protecting funding introduced by a far more progressive Coalition government to provide sufficient resources to Australia’s independent news and entertainment network (the ABC). It is also retaining and ensuring access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme as well as actively working towards net zero carbon emission across the country long before 2050 despite the luddites and conspiracy theorists in the rump of the Coalition.

Rather than budget surpluses and ‘privatisation’ of government assets and services, any government should be determining actions in terms of the common good. What is the best possible outcome for the majority of Australians?

If concessions are made to develop ‘green energy’ industries using our natural advantages of plenty of open space and sunshine/wind rather than subsidising the coal industry, the entire planet will be better off. If the government has to spend a little extra initially to resettle refugees rather than keeping them in prison, or supporting the homeless, the unemployed or those with a disability get a helping hand when they need it, we should be proud that we are doing something that is beneficial to the majority of our community. Most of those that get support when they need it end up repaying the contribution in spades. As Hewson says,

Nobody expects Morrison to hold a hose or draw up a syringe, just to lead on important issues, the resolution of which would clearly be to the greater good of our nation.

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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Living under a dishonest leader

By Ad astra

There are few words here for you to read. They are not necessary to tell the lamentable tale of Morrison’s dishonesty; the embedded YouTube video does the talking. Malcolm Turnbull belled the cat in spectacular style during his remote National Press Club address on 29 September. In his inimitable style, he called out the sheer dishonesty of our Prime Minister.

If you missed it, here is the link to Turnbull’s speech (although the YouTube video of his speech can be viewed at the bottom of this post). Here is a report on his speech that you may wish to read if you haven’t the time to watch it in its entirety.

Although Turnbull’s erudition always make listening to him well worthwhile, if you want to know just what Turnbull really thinks of PM Morrison, fast forward to around the 48.40 minute mark where Kim Bergman asks a question.

If that does not convince you that we have a dangerously dishonest PM, I wonder what will?

We ought to be alarmed that the leader of our nation is so disingenuous, so untruthful, so dishonest, so deceitful, so duplicitous, so underhand.

Are you?

 

 

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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Who the hell is Nelly Yoa? He’s our Jay Gatsby

By Mathew Mackie

Today, “serial pest” Nelly Yoa fronted court in a Rolls Royce, flanked by actors posing as bodyguards. So who is he? He’s no-one. He’s everyone.

The sight of a smile emerging from a Rolls Royce, wrapped in salmon, flanked by eight identical cronies covered in the same black suit brings to mind the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Who is he anyhow, an actor?”

“No.”

“A dentist?”

“… No, he’s a storeman from Ballarat.”

Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly:

“He’s the man who told everyone that he had a deal for the Melbourne Victory before negotiations broke down. He said Usain Bolt was present at the birth of his child while he played for Collingwood.”

 

 

On the surface, it seems that Nelly Yoa is full of the same matter that oft-spools from his mouth. According to an investigation by the Huffington Post, Yoa has been “a brand ambassador for American Express, a Nike-sponsored athlete, a leading mentoring figure for Sudanese youth in Melbourne and a former hopeful for English soccer giants Chelsea, despite days of denials from the organisations he claims strong links to.”

In 2018, he wrote a front-page op-ed for Fairfax, claiming that police ought to crack down on the African gang problem, because, in part, as he had trained some for the Apex gang movement and/or he was attacked with a machete, leaving him in a coma.

He was due in court today to fight dishonesty charges, swirling around his purported false statements to the police.

Clearly, the limits of Yoa’s talents is subject to the expanse of his imagination, as he “slid into the DMs” of journalist Josh Butler and railed against the media via a statement, decrying his treatment after the publication of the aforesaid op-ed (one that many believe was plagiarised from another’s blog post), hoping that the AFP would conduct more raids in order “to teach the media to report facts”, before noting that his court appearance was “spectacular” befitting a person “rightly admired by all Australians.”

 

 

If Jay Gatsby has a library full of books he hasn’t read, Nelly Yoa probably has a thousand clickbait pieces neatly tiled on his desktop. In Fitzgerald’s novel, Gatsby is a figure of constant renewal, one that is forever editing his own narrative. This man of self-presentation is eventually revealed to the reader as an innocent, hopeful young man who stakes everything on his dreams, unaware that his dreams are unworthy of him.

 

 

After all, what kind of individual (who seems to be on the same tax bracket as the rest of us) decides to truly make a day of his day in court? Yoa is springing from the same platonic conception of Fitzgerald’s creation. Yoa, like Gatsby, “invented just the sort of (Jay Gatsby) that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception, he was faithful to the end.” After all, the quality that made Gatsby great was his ability to believe his own lies, to turn his crazy dreams into reality.

Clearly, we have a problem with the concept of truth, especially those that shirk our responsibility to telling it. To us, he’s a “serial fibber”, an “attention seeker” or a “compulsive liar”. Today, it seems, we got him good. His day in court was put back a week, meaning that Yoa’s Rolls Royce bill and/or casting session was for nothing.

 

 

No. The opportunity to do the same thing again, to rewrite his past, is what motivates him.

Nelly’s dream is ours, as it was the Americans and Jay Gatsby. While we never lose our optimism, we expend all of our energy in pursuit of a goal that moves ever farther away.

This metaphor takes the form of absolution for Yoa, or an Order of Australia, or an ornate high-five routine with Usain Bolt. He wants us to disprove his narrative, but also to discover the truth within his lie.

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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School is in, but Perrottet didn’t do his homework

By TBS Newsbot

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has decided to open the schools and stop mandatory mask-wearing. This approach has spelt trouble elsewhere.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has vastly changed the state’s lockdown plans, increasing the number of visitors residents can have, opening public pools, and bringing forward the date that would see children return to school.

In a press conference, Perrottet said: “We are bringing forward all schools to return by the 25th of October. So stage one will be the 18th of October and we’ll be moving the period from November into the 25th of October. So all school children will return to school by 25 October. That’s great for kids. It’s a major relief for parents and their sanity and I think this is an important decision today and I want to thank all the teachers who are there getting vaccinated to ensure that we can open our schools as safely as possible.”

 

 

What’s more, when the state reaches the 80% vaccinated mark, masks will no longer be mandatory. As Perrottet put it, “(at the 80% mark), we will be removing the requirement to wear masks in the office. In addition to that…we have a cap of major outdoor events of 5,000. That will remain in place but we want to make the point that exemptions for venues will be granted. With Covid-safe plans, venues can apply through NSW Health, the health minister will look through those issues and exemptions will always be made in that space. NSW will be open again and that ensures we get back to work and get businesses open and get the economy and society back to where it was before this pandemic began.”

However, academics already had an issue with the original plan, when restrictions were due to end December 1 under Gladys Berejiklian. Originally, unvaccinated people will remain restricted but will have the same freedoms by December 1, when 90% of adults are expected to be vaccinated. As they noted in The Big Smoke, “the problem is, other countries such as Israel already tried relying mostly on vaccines to relax restrictions – and failed, albeit at lower vaccination levels than NSW is aiming for. Vaccines alone may not enough to protect against the highly contagious Delta variant.”

Per Quartz, “On Aug. 31, Israel registered 11,000 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began. The worrying thing was: That day’s case count beat a record set in mid-January when only a small proportion of Israel’s population had been vaccinated.

“By the end of August, at least 68% of Israelis had received at least one vaccine dose, but even the vaccinated were falling sick enough to need hospitalization. Alarmed, the Israeli government set about administering booster shots, trying to contain a surge in cases driven largely by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“In its speed and thoroughness, Israel’s vaccination drive was a shining model. But to other governments, Israel’s late-summer spike now presents the frightening prospect that vaccine immunity may wane quicker than expected.

“In Israel, as in the US or western Europe, children form a large part of the as-yet-unvaccinated population. In August, the Israeli government predicted that children would make up half of all new Covid cases by the time the school year began on Sep. 1, and it instituted strict testing regimens for schools.

“The delta variant is much more highly transmissible than was alpha. So, given that, you will see more children likely to get infected,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in mid-August. “A certain percentage of them will require hospitalisation.”

Yesterday, the daily tally of local cases in NSW dropped below 600 for the first time in weeks. Today, we registered 587. One can only expect those numbers to rise once more.

 

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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Looking for a loophole

By 2353NM

It’s a pity Barnaby Joyce’s stirring defence of Christian Porter on his demotion to the back bench wasn’t an out of season April Fool’s joke. Recently The Guardian reported

On Monday, Joyce told reporters in Canberra Porter was “incredibly intelligent” and had been an “incredibly capable” minister, suggesting he could return after seeking re-election in his Western Australian seat of Pearce.

There is no denying that Porter earned the academic achievements he can claim, and he is probably quite a good lawyer. With some caveats, you could also agree with Joyce’s comment that Porter was ‘incredibly capable’. He did convince an unnamed trustee to co-ordinate the donation of a million dollars to the cause of assisting to pay his legal expenses in the defamation case he brought against the ABC – which was settled out of court when he withdrew the claim. Furthermore, Porter had the capacity to discuss with the media how this unnamed trustee and the people that contributed to this cause did it for purely altruistic reasons. Apparently they don’t expect anything in return for their generous donation because even if they did, Porter claims he doesn’t know who they are so he can’t assist them in the future.

But ‘incredibly intelligent’? Give us a break. Let’s assume for a moment that the motives here are perfectly ethical and the group of, let’s call them benefactors, really don’t want their money back at some point. Is he seriously suggesting there is no potential for influence over Porter’s potential future ministerial (or higher) decisions or any other benefit from their largesse? If that is the assertion, it’s pretty obvious those of us that don’t have unnamed benefactors that are prepared to give us a million dollars apparently don’t understand the world where the former Federal Attorney-General and Innovation Minister seems to believe this is common practice.

Prime Minister Morrison’s justifications for accepting Porter’s ‘resignation from the ministry’ were reported in The New Daily

He said the ministerial code of conduct compelled ministers to “conclusively rule out a perceived conflict”, which Mr Porter was unable to do.

“It is a blind trust. He cannot disclose to me who those donors are,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our discussions today were about upholding the standards. We believe they are incredibly important, and it is not just about actual conflicts, it’s about the standards for ministers to have an obligation to avoid any perception of conflicts of interest that is ultimately what has led the minister to make that decision this afternoon.”

Porter might have been deeply upset and humiliated by the ABC reporting, causing him to resort to legal redress. The distress may have blinded his claimed ‘capable’ judgement. Morrison’s public comments regarding the upholding of ministerial standards are appropriate assuming Porter is not elevated back into the ministry when the storm blows over. But sadly, Joyce is probably closer to predicting what will happen. He knows from personal experience that the issue will not be front and centre forever and there is plenty of opportunity for the resurrection of the career of Christian Porter at some point in the foreseeable future.

Joyce was the subject of public shaming while a Minister for having an affair with one of his staff (and not knowing about his ancestry) and eventually bounced back. Joyce is unfortunately probably correct in suggesting that sooner rather than later Porter will resume his ‘rising star’ career.

The New Daily reported

“Mr Morrison might think that because Christian Porter has resigned from the ministry, that’s the end of the matter but it is not the end of the matter,” Labor’s shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.

“It is no more acceptable for a member of parliament to keep a donation secret than it is for a minister to keep a donation secret … What the register of interests requires is that you disclose the amount of the gift and who it’s from.”

He said Labor would “raise this in every possible way” through the parliament, including a referral to the House of Representatives’ standing committee on privileges, or potentially a censure motion.

The New Daily also reported the thoughts of The Greens’ leadership

Greens leader Adam Bandt has said his party will consider moving a no-confidence motion in Mr Porter when parliament resumes in mid-October.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young tweeted “it doesn’t matter whether it’s the front, back or [cross] bench, MPs all have a responsibility to uphold the intent of parliament’s transparency and accountability measures.”

“Mr Porter took the money, he must report, repay or resign.”

Which is all well and good, but it appears the only ‘punishment’ that can be handed out is a light slap over the wrist by the Parliamentary Ethics Committee. The voters in Porter’s electorate could choose another candidate – which would probably only happen if the Western Australia Liberal Party doesn’t endorse Porter as their representative.

The lack of accountability is endemic – the South Australian Liberal Government passed laws to emasculate the state’s ICAC in the same week as Joyce was telling the world that Porter would do his time in the ‘sin bin’ and return to the front bench. The laws were passed with indecent haste

The bill passed the Lower House on Thursday evening, within 24 hours of the first debate in the Upper House, with no MP from any party voting against the changes.

It then went back to the Upper House, where it was unanimously supported again.
[our emphasis]

The real issue here is the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. While Joyce is probably correct that there is no illegal activity here, the morals and ethics stink to high heaven. If others in the Parliaments around the country see the standards that are acceptable according to the leadership, those will be the standards they aim for.

Parliamentarians should be looking for accountability rather than loopholes. There is a higher standard required than ‘did it break the law’ to retain the accountability of public office – regardless of whether the office is Attorney-General in the Australian Parliament or the Treasurer of the local Rotary Club. Those in a position of trust have to be able to demonstrate that any decisions affecting others were made independently, without consideration for those who may peddle influence to gain an outcome beneficial to their interests.

What do you think?

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What could possibly go wrong?

By Kathryn

Why on earth would a climate-change-denying PM who shows 100% support for the filthy, polluting coal-mining and environmentally destructive gas fracking industries attend the COP26 (climate change conference) in Glasgow? Wasn’t this the same fool who dragged a piece of coal into Parliament House and declared – in front of a gleeful Barnyard Joyce – that “there is nothing to be afraid of – it’s just coal! Nothing to see here!” It came as no surprise that the yellow-bellied coward, Sloth Morrison, slunk away and returned back to Australia right before the conference even started! Why? Because he knew that his climate-change-denying ideology will be held up for ridicule on the world stage at any international summit on the emergency to address important issues on a subject the LNP do not believe in! That is exactly the type of disgraceful, cowardly behaviour we have come to expect from a useless, non-achieving PM who expends more energy trying to get out of work and totally avoiding any of his responsibilities as one of the highest paid “leaders” in the free world!

When we recall how Morrison hid behind a deck chair in Hawaii when his own state of NSW nearly burnt to the ground last year; when Australians recognise that this lazy, bone-idle political parasite delegated 99.99% of his job to the hapless State Premiers; When he tried to steal the “limelight” from the Ruby Princess aka Gladys Berejiklian when he thought she was the “Golden Girl” only to betray and abandon her the second he (and we) realised that she was not – it provides anyone with an IQ >10 a thorough insight into the self-serving, smirking entitlement of a stone-cold, ineffective, callous and contemptuous Sloth Morrison!

Now we have the LNP at State and Federal level making ridiculous claims to have some type of non-existent plan set up to halve emissions by 2030 – WTF??? Anyone with any semblance of foresight combined with a sense of reality knows that it is highly unlikely that the LNP will even be in power at that time! Truly, Morrison is right up there with John Howard (who has been likened to a war criminal), and that useless, swaggering, smirking misogynist, Phoney Abbott, as the three worst, most inept, stratospherically arrogant and totally corrupt politicians in Australian history! What makes them even worse is that, despite their appalling cowardice, despite their increasing level of corruption, their never-ending lies and broken promises, the way the LNP literally thrive on hate, fear, division, misogyny, chaos, dysfunction and war – especially when they are backed into a corner or right before an election; despite the LNP wasting countless billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars (that Australians can ill-afford) on useless weapons of war that will soon become obsolete – they remorselessly try to hide all this appalling depravity behind a thin, transparent cloak of sanctimonious bible-thumping hypocrisy!

The fact that Morrison is a signed-up member of a notorious, alleged paedophile-protecting cult of Hillsong and, indeed, stacking his cabinet and staff with other Hillsong members, should be a red flag warning that this dangerously undemocratic autocrat is determined to increase his sick, twisted and dangerous mix of politics with the rabid, misogynistic flat-earth ideology of Hillsong!

Ever since Morrison rose to power on the back of his treacherous, backstabbing betrayal of Michael Towke and Malcolm Turnbull, the level of political subterfuge, self-serving corruption, rorting and waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars has risen to an alarming level together with Morrison’s smirking arrogance, secrecy and autocracy which is now bordering on fascism. The sooner this monstrous and totally depraved regime are kicked to the kerb, the better for everyone.

The tragic fact is that the LNP – at State and Federal levels – are wrecking balls destroying, annihilating, vandalising and defunding everything Australians value including our taxpayer-funded ABC (into which they are parachuting obsequious right-wing sycophants like Lisa Millar and David Speers), Medicare, Aged Care and just about every socially-responsible program devised to protect our environment and the most vulnerable people in our society!

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Rainforest Alliance says coffee rituals are changing for the better

Rainforest Alliance Media Release

This International Coffee Day, 1 October 2021, the Rainforest Alliance announces that Australians’ purchasing behaviours around coffee are changing for the better.

As the reality of climate change hits, consumers are continuing to educate themselves on the importance of buying sustainably sourced coffee and lowering their impact on the planet. Coffee lovers, in particular, are becoming more interested in where their coffee is sourced and how changes to their daily coffee rituals, such as buying more sustainable coffee, or investing in a reusable cup can make a significant positive impact, particularly when done collectively. To help people make a change, this week the Rainforest Alliance will be sharing useful tips on how to take action as part of its Follow the Frog campaign.

Melanie Mokken, Markets Transformation Manager Australia/New Zealand for the Rainforest Alliance said:

“The Australian coffee market is amongst the largest in the world, with coffee culture forming a large part of Australia’s cultural identity. In fact, over the last decade Australia’s coffee imports have more than doubled, likely fuelled by the booming café industry and an ever-increasing appetite for coffee.[1] In fact, a morning coffee is so well engrained into most people’s routine that on average, Australians consumed around two kilograms of coffee, per person, in 2021.[2] Similarly, demand is increasing beyond Australia, and unless something changes, the current system of coffee production will not be able to meet the increasing global coffee demand in the coming decades. The minimum gap that we expect to see will be 60 million bags. This is a deficit higher than the current annual production of the world’s largest coffee producer, Brazil.[3]

“Without major efforts to adapt coffee production to climate change, global production could even be lower in 2050 than it is today. Due to rising temperatures, more irregular rainfall, and a higher number of severe droughts, growing coffee is becoming harder, the impacts of which can be seen closer to home. For example, rising temperatures in Brazil mean that farmers are facing more droughts, and because Australia imports around 15% of its coffee from Brazil, this could have significant consequences on the price of coffee on our shores,” said Melanie Mokken.

A recent survey by the Rainforest Alliance revealed that 83% of Aussies are concerned about the global effects that the destruction of the world’s rainforests is having on the planet.[4] In addition, 63% say that they look for product labels to ensure they are making purchasing decisions that are more socially and environmentally sustainable.[5] To add to this, a recent study by the University of Bath which looked into the thoughts and feelings about climate change and government response in 16-25-year olds revealed that respondents were worried about climate change (59% very or extremely worried, 84% at least moderately worried). Over 50% felt sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty.[6]

“With climate change at the forefront of many people’s minds, we expect that consumers will start asking more and more where their coffee originated, whether it was sustainably sourced, and if any price increases benefit the farmers and workers behind the beans,” said Melanie Mokken.

Coffee rituals in 2022

The Rainforest Alliance encourages coffee-lovers to make it a habit to ask their favourite coffee shop, roaster or brand the following questions and make small actions:

Ask where the coffee beans originate and how their sourcing practices contribute to sustainability – are coffee producers receiving a decent payment? Are ecosystems being protected?

Check sustainability labels that have been verified by an independent party – such as the Rainforest Alliance’s green frog seal – when purchasing coffee and tea in cafes, restaurants, supermarkets or grocery stores.

Take a reusable cup to the local coffee shop to avoid waste.

“Eighty seven percent of consumers expect companies to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues and 62% say that they make sustainably conscious purchasing choices even when it is more expensive to do so.[7] Australians are not afraid to support businesses with their wallets when they are doing the right thing for the planet, and this comes right down to their local coffee shop.

Photo from mobjackbaycoffee.com

“At the Rainforest Alliance, we are working to better position coffee farmers by connecting them with responsible businesses, and by providing trainings in climate-smart and regenerative growing practices that help boost productivity and make them more resilient [to the effects of climate change]. A study with Colombian coffee farmers showed that certified farmers were more resilient to adverse climatic conditions. In a year of adverse weather and abundant fungal infestations, these farmers only lost 1% of their yield while a control group lost 52%,” said Melanie Mokken.

Less than 25% of global coffee production is procured as standard-compliant by the coffee industry, while as much as 55% of global production volume is certified. This means a substantial number of farmers are often unable to recognise the economic benefits of improved market access and price. The Rainforest Alliance continues to appeal to the industry to favour independently verified certified coffee over conventionally produced coffee in order to support producers and help create a more sustainable sector.

“The well-being of farmers and workers is vital to the sustainability of any agricultural business, and the Rainforest Alliance certification program also promotes the human rights of those working in the coffee sector. When customers see our seal, the little green frog, on products, it means that the certified ingredient in the product was grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

“It is important to remember that making small individual changes, such as seeking out sustainably sourced coffee, can add up to vast positive impacts. It’s not far-fetched to suggest that when Aussies’ change their coffee rituals, they really can change the world!” said Melanie Mokken.

 

[4] An independently commissioned survey conducted in June 2021 involving 1,001 respondents aged 18-65+ across all states in Australia.

[5], An independently commissioned survey conducted in December 2020 involving 1,003 respondents in Australia

[7] An independently commissioned survey conducted in December 2020 involving 1,003 respondents in Australia

 

About Rainforest Alliance:

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organisation working in more than 70 countries at the intersection of business, agriculture and forests. The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. By bringing farmers, forest communities, companies and consumers together it addresses some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today. The organisation changes the way the world produces, sources and consumes, with a focus on cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, forest products and palm oil through its certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy. In 2020, more than 6.8 million hectares of land and more than 2.3 million​ farmers were certified according to the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ standards, which are designed to improve economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

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The trailblazer

By Mark Baker

Journalist Jan Mayman pioneered reporting of Indigenous deaths in custody

Jan would hate this. She never liked the limelight, constantly doubted her talent and was always self-effacing, unsure of her place on the margins between Black and white Australia where she had such a profound impact for good.

Her humility as much as her humanity was perhaps the secret of her success, why those for whom she fought so passionately and tenaciously throughout her life trusted her and shared their stories – and why she was able to pierce the defences of the powerful to reveal often shocking truths.

Jan Mayman, who has died at the age of eighty, was the most important journalist of her generation in exposing the systemic cruelty, neglect and injustice suffered by Indigenous Australians – long before most of the mainstream media were awakened to that grim and abiding reality.

For Jan, the turning point came in a hotel in the town of Roebourne on the northwest coast of Western Australia in 1983. A teacher friend had told her the alarming story of a sixteen-year-old Aboriginal boy who had died in police custody in Roebourne after a brawl with police officers. She flew north from Perth to investigate.

After the Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer refused to talk to her, a tall Aboriginal man approached: “I’d never met him before, he just beckoned me and I sort of followed him… He led me to a hotel room and he had eight Aboriginal people, all men, and they were lined up sitting on two beds and he said, ‘Tell her.’ And they all told me this shocking story.”

John Pat had joined a drunken confrontation with four off-duty policemen outside the Victoria Hotel on the evening of 28 September 1983. According to the witnesses, he was struck in the face by one policeman and fell backwards, striking his head hard on the roadway. Another officer kicked Pat in the head before he was dragged to a waiting police van, kicked in the face, and thrown in.

Other witnesses, who had been across the street from the police station, said Pat and several other Aboriginal prisoners were beaten as they were taken from the van and, one after another, dropped on the cement path. Each was then picked up, punched to the ground, and kicked. According to one observer, none of the prisoners fought back or resisted. An hour later, when police checked on Pat in his cell, he was dead.

The dramatic story was accepted by Age editor Creighton Burns, who ran it on the front page. The subsequent inquest, which led to the four policemen being charged with manslaughter, triggered the public outcry that precipitated the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. Jan Mayman’s reporting earned her a Gold Walkley, the highest accolade in Australian journalism.

It would be the first of many powerful stories detailing injustice over the next four decades. These included more cases of abuses and deaths in custody, the plight of stolen generations survivors and the battle to protect sacred Aboriginal lands against the encroachment of mining – notably the epic struggle by the Yindjibarndi of the Pilbara against Twiggy Forrest’s Fortescue Metals.

Jan became a champion of Indigenous rights with an unlikely colonial pedigree. Her grandfather, George Mayman, was a pioneering gold hunter and mine owner in the Kalgoorlie goldfields.

She was never comfortable in the tough, ego-driven world of journalism, where she was always an outlier, a freelancer who worked for some of the biggest newspapers in Australia and overseas but was never really embraced by the mainstream. Her independence was an asset, but she always struggled to earn enough money and was fearful of ruinous litigation without the guaranteed backing of a monied publisher.

She was both a powerful reporter and an elegant, evocative writer – a rare combination in journalism. While her investigative journalism was compelling, her writing captured the beauty of Aboriginal lands and powerful mystery of Indigenous traditions.

A generation before the killing of George Floyd in the United States ignited the Black Lives Matter movement around the world, Jan Mayman had exposed the ugly truth of endemic racism and abuse in Australia to a largely indifferent or ignorant mainstream audience.

The royal commission triggered by her journalism promised a sea change. Its 339 recommendations lit the path to reducing deaths in custody, imprisonment rates, inequality and disadvantage. “Few Australian royal commissions have attracted stronger, more passionate media attention than the 1991 final report,” journalist Wendy Bacon would write. The failure of that promise of change broke Jan’s heart.

The issues on which she fought so hard remain as far from resolution as ever. In the thirty years since the royal commission, almost 500 more Aboriginal people have died in custody. To John Pat’s name have been added others whose deaths are etched in shame – Mulrunji Doomadgee, Mr Ward, Ms Dhu. But most are forgotten numbers on a roll without end.

 

This article was originally published on Inside Story and has been reproduced with permission.

 

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Fomenting fear and loathing

By Ad astra

What appalling scenes we’ve witnessed recently in Melbourne: its streets engulfed by protestors marching to who knows where, or why. Do they?

The Westgate Freeway, the major arterial to the Western suburbs, was blocked and traffic disrupted by marchers plodding to the other side. Then where? Who knows what their purpose was?

What precipitated all this? Lockdowns, bans on the unvaccinated working in some situations, no option to decline vaccination, no possibility of refusing the wearing of masks even when mandated, punitive moves against the construction industry, and who knows what else. Whatever the reason though, it was hijacked by extremists hellbent on causing mayhem. And in the process, sites sacred to so many people, notably the Shrine of Remembrance, were desecrated by the protestors, even to the extent of urinating on it.

The protesters are said to be angry because of a three-week prophylactic lockdown of the construction industry to limit the spread of COVID, but anti-vaccination advocates, right-wing extremists, fascists, and neo-Nazis hijacked the event. Union officials insisted that these people had nothing to do with the union movement, and that they were ‘blow-ins’ using the occasion to advance their right-wing agenda. Attacks on the CFMEU headquarters affirm this.

This is what Premier Dan Andrews actually said:

Due to continued concern about case numbers, transmission risk and reduced compliance, construction will shut down in metropolitan Melbourne and other Local Government Areas currently in lockdown for two weeks from 11.59pm, Monday 20 September.

Recently, we have seen multiple outbreaks linked to construction. Construction workers are a mobile workforce who may work across multiple sites and travel longer distances to work than other permitted workers. Concerns have also been raised, and remain, about the sector’s compliance with public health measures and directions.

Also concerning is the transmission risk and geographic spread of construction cases, which led to a number of important public health measures including preventing workers crossing the regional/metropolitan border – but more action is required to stop the spread.

The immediate shut down action is being taken to reduce movement, minimise transmission and allow for the entire industry to appropriately adapt to the Chief Health Officer Directions, including increasing vaccination rates.

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

But reasonableness was not on the disrupters’ agenda. Fomenting fear and loathing was. Need I say any more?

 

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What Strategic Game is AUKUS playing in Asia?

By Darrell Egan

In the 2004 movie Alexander which depicts Alexander The Great’s push into Asia, his long-time colleague says to him:

“The generals question your obsession with Darius. They say it was never meant for you to be King of Asia.”

The newly established Australia, United Kingdom and United States AUKUS alliance has a similar obsession in Asia and that obsession is China. This obsession for conquest in clearing Asia from any China input ignores China has been trading with Southeast Asia, even as far back as the time of Alexander with the later part of the Zhou Dynasty having Maritime Silk Road trade routes into South East Asia.

This was the early times of trade and diplomacy for China with South-East Asia which existed right up to the 13th Century with sandalwood trade with East Timor, then the Australian Trepang trade through Malaysian seafarer traders, before Australia was colonised and invaded by Britain.

Throughout this interaction in South East Asia, in a strategic chess game of compromise diplomacy, China never had a desire to invade or take over countries in these trade areas and was mostly concerned with protecting their border regions which include the South China Sea.

China as a civilisation state dealing with many regional neighbours in its long history of diplomacy realise this, with offers to both Vietnam and the Philippines for a joint venture in the South China sea.

The United States seems to be undermining, with militarising the area with their Navy even though China is not interfering with the freedom of movement of international shipping in the South China Sea as admitted by retired US Admiral Cedric Leighton.

 

 

In the 16th century we saw invasions from western powers with the Portuguese, Dutch and British saw invasions of conquest right up to the US in the Vietnam war.

In these invasions was the western powers invasions of China and division on their country in the late 19th century, with a zero-sum, your with us or you are against us foreign policy with Asia. Many horse gamblers bet odds on the historical track record of a horse US lead AUKUS group who does not seem to have a strategy of Chess game but more like a game of Hungry Hungry Hungry Hippo zero-sum win game in Asia.

With this US pivot to Asia and dragging Australia into direct conflict with China in the AUKUS group, this hawkish strategic game of Hungry Hungry Hungry Hippo has even more dire consequences for the region and the world, than Western powers incursions in Asia starting in the 16th Century.

Asian countries must be vigilant with these developments.

 

This article was originally published on Dazza Egan Australia & China Watch Journo.

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Examining Matt Canavan’s clean energy China cop-out

By Darrell Egan

Australian Minerals and Resources Minister Matt Canavan has been conjuring up a boogey man China comparison cop-out in not wanting to commit to clean energy targets, without any details of what he is comparing Australia to in regards to China.

If Matt is attempting to hold China up as an example of not making inroads to clean energy we really need to look at in detail what China has done in regards to moving towards clean energy.

From 2013 the Tsinghua University and Asian Development Bank has been producing Clean Energy reports for the Chinese Government.

This years report showed that China has one of the largest Green Financial markets with Green Loans exceeding $10.6 trillion and the issuing of Green Bonds exceeding $1.1 trillion.

In efforts in being part of an international Green Energy future China Co-Chairs the G20 Green Finance Study Group, co-founded the Network for Greening the Financial System and launched the Green International Principles with International partners as part of the Green Belt and Road Initiative to name a few of their environmental initiatives.

In cooperation with Mongolia the first Green Finance Tax scheme in Mongolia, with Technical assistance from the Tsinghua Green Finance Centre and the China Green Finance Committee. (See also Mongolia Green Taxonomy).

Further to this is on the ground grassroots efforts to tackle climate change in establishing the roots for the Billion Tree Project in which schools, community groups and private companies covered 23 per cent of China with forests in 2020.

These are initiatives Matt Canavan could learn from and get off the starting blocks.

In relation to China’s Electric Vehicle production their sales domestically increased by 8% and 43 % in export sales from 2019 to 2020. This increased sustained itself through the COVID pandemic.

With a population of 1.4 Billion people China plans to have 40 per cent of all vehicles in China sold to Electric Vehicles.

In relation to electric buses a 2018 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report found in 2016 that China was on average registering 340 buses a day in every single city in China.

In this same report it was found that in 2017 the circulation of China’s buses, 17% are Electric Vehicle buses. 90,000 of China’s registered buses are electric powered and 16 thousand are hybrid plug in powered.

This is far from the cop-out excuse boogey man that Matt Caravan is conjuring.

If Matt wants to come on board with the boogey man he is conjuring, the only thing that he has to decide on is what he is going to do with the stocking of coal import reduction present China gave back to Australia last Christmas.

 

This article was originally published on Dazza Egan Australia & China Watch Journo.

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Scott Morrison’s coercive control of women (part 3)

By Tess Lawrence

Women live with Mandemic virus

Scott Morrison’s coercive control of women

In this third and final excerpt of her treatise, Tess Lawrence takes no prisoners but leaves no woman behind. In the face of the Mandemic, she calls for women – and the world – and politicians to all woman up. (Please also see Part 1 and Part 2).

Women have long lived with what I call the Mandemic virus.

Like Coronavirus, it has various global variants and mutations and as burgeoning statistics attest, can cause physical and psychological injury – and prove fatal.

Unlike Coronavirus, there is no Mandemic vaccine.

Ironically and catastrophically, Coronavirus has formed an antigenic shift with the Mandemic virus, igniting sporadic breakouts of increased ‘domestic’ violence, mostly by men, towards women, children and their families in general.

Women have become the punching bags of the world. As well as the perennial sexcuse ‘she made me do it’ chuck in another one. Blame Covid-19.

I killed her. I blame her and Covid. They made me do it

Blame Coronavirus and everything and anything for beating her up, for knifing her, for running over her with the car, for glassing her, for kicking her in the stomach while she’s carrying a baby, for breaking her arm, for strangling her, for pouring petrol on her, for throwing acid on her face, for gaslighting her, for beheading her, for drowning her, for stoning her, for starving her, for breaking her spirit, for drugging her, for killing her children, for setting her and the children alight in a car, for throwing her/your child off a bridge, for raping her, for gang raping her, for killing her by grief, for not allowing her to vote, to dance, to sing, to love, to lust, for harassing her, for demeaning her, for sodomising her with implements, for torturing her, for keeping her uneducated, unfed, unhealthy, poor, for selling her into sexual slavery, for not letting her vote or stand for public office, for killing her with an axe, for killing her with a gun, for killing her with a Kalashnikov, a rapid fire assault rifle, for killing her with barrel bombs, cluster munitions, landmines, chlorine and lewisite, for mutilating her, for slicing off her clitoris, for killing her by humiliation, for ridiculing her, by rumours, for degrading her in public, for killing her by stealth, for killing her dreams, for killing her hope, for killing her aspirations, for stealing her dreams, for slut-shaming her, for killing her with unkindness, for sobbing like a girl, for weaponising sex abuse, by killing her with political psycho violence, for killing her with coercive control.

To all the above I have been privy. As a journalist, as an advocate, as a sister to all the women and girls and girl babies above. Some of the above I have experienced.

She. We. I. Have nowhere to hide.

Govt in-house inquiries into rape and sex abuse, dead loss

The industrial strength parliamentary allegations of rape and sexual harassment have resulted in a plethora of various inquiries, reports and navel upskirting, making international headlines and deadlines.

The community has to endure the nonsensical and irritating propensity of time-wasting of so-called ‘independent’ in-house investigations, often led by party flunkies, former or current staffers. They are a dead loss.

They are meaningless and invariably have happy endings for the accused. Nothing to see here, nothing to hear here, nothing to say. The government is simply regurgitating its own vomit.

Morrison’s cos, John Kunkel, an émigré from Rio Tinto that used sacred Juukan Caves for target practice

They are an insult to our intelligence and to justice. Most of all they are an insult to those who are courageous enough to speak their truth.

Take the facile Kunkel Report. It should be read with more than a grain of Epsom salts.

Dr John Kunkel is Morrison’s chief of staff and general advisory factotum. A proud émigré from Rio Tinto, the blow up doll of the mining industry who used the indigenous sacred caves of Juukan for target practice.

See what I mean? Goodness me, he might as well have been seconded to the Prime Minister by Rio Tinto.

It was Dr Kunkel who was charged with the onerous task of investigating the black ops sleazebags who were spreading false rumours about David Sharaz, partner of Brittany Higgins – his own colleagues in his own office, mind you. As if.

The Battle of Great Brittany in Manberra

Inspired by Grace Tame’s courage and example, on February 14, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who worked for then Minister for Defence Industry, the hapless and some say hopeless, Linda Reynolds, revealed she had allegedly been raped by a colleague on a sofa in the Minister’s office in March, 2019.

The allegation stunned an already disgusted public, especially in learning how reaching out to her political peers left Higgins feeling threatened and isolated.

Headlines ricocheted around the world about this latest in a string of allegations and loud rumour that still swirl about Canberra, better named Manberra.

The usual platitudes of faux concern slid out of Morrison’s mouth, along with the pro forma denial of all knowledge of any such thing.

Il Duce Dutton Minister for Home Affairs and Au Pairs reduce Higgins’ claim to “He said, she said.” Really?

Add to this nothingness the repugnant, snide remarks by the ever plotting prime minister-in-waiting Peter Dutton, still smarting from Morrison shrewdly out manoeuvering him for the top job in the Turnbull coup.

The then Minister for Home Affairs and Au Pairs blithely dismissed the Higgins allegations as a mere “he said, she said” affair. Really?

Well no. Not really. It turns out that Il Duce Dutton was being less than honest with the Australian people he professes to serve. Further, he has been more than duplicitous and misrepresented the facts about his knowledge of the Higgins allegations and his contact with his nemesis, Prime Minister Morrison – his office and minions.

An appalling Home Affairs Minister, Il Duce is now busy making an even greater mess of his current Defence portfolio than his predecessor, Marise Payne, whom Morrison has pathetically crowned the Prime Minister for Women in yet another forensic red flag of his disassociation to women and dismissal of the physical and psycho political sexual assault crisis in our Parliament that now warrants a Royal Commission.

Moreover, this crisis continues to compromise our national security and confirms that Dutton has lost control of this aspect of both portfolios. The stereotyping of cherchez la femme has obscured the brutal reality of cherchez l’homme.

Security Alert! If Putin has video of Trump peeing on prostitutes, what does he have on Aussie politicians?

If Vladimir Putin really has footage of Donald Trump peeing on prostitutes (hope they got paid extra, not for the peeing but because it was the Donald) then imagine what filth he has on Australian ministers and parliamentarians in general.

Despite serious allegations made by a number of women employed by the government, most politicians, including females, failed to make any definitive statements.

They displayed the political cowardice for which Australia has become synonymous, whether the discussion is about submarines, asylum seekers, voting at the United Nations, the judicial system, the workplace, the home, wage parity, aged are, superannuation, employment opportunity, welfare, housing, gender equality, Indigenous and other human rights, religious persecution, abortion, climate change or change of life. By any measure women get a bum deal.

But Australia has been blessed with a singular tribe of mostly young, fearless warrior women who have emerged from the shadows of autocratic abusive male dominance to stand defiantly in front of their accusers and their fellow Australians to call out and denounce their abusers and the systemic culture of toxic masculinity that protects and incubate them, including within corrupt political and institutional spheres.

Grace refuses to tame the shrew

Grace Tame, 2021 Australian of the Year, left the nation in awe with her profoundly eloquent, inspiring and moving acceptance speech. It shamed those of us who could have done more and didn’t. Including female politicians.

No more shaming or taming of the shrew within!

The end of her courageous speech when she talks of her serial rapist teacher’s command to be quiet, still echoes in my head and turns my gut:

“I remember him saying, ‘Don’t make a sound…
Well, hear me now!
Using my voice, amongst a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced.
Let’s make some noise, Australia!”

 

Grace Tame’s Australian of the Year speech… shamed those of us who could have done more and didn’t. Including female politicians (Image from abc.net.au)

 

Tame’s speech prompts ScoMo’s ‘Felt good to get that out’ remark as if he was speaking about a fart

The first publicly known survivor of child sexual abuse to win the award, as well as the first Tasmanian recipient (she earlier won Tasmanian of the Year) Tame was also responsible for changing Tasmania’s archaic gag laws to enable victims/survivors to identify themselves if they so wished.

And what did our Prime Minister say to Tame after her compelling speech?

‘Well, gee, I bet it felt good to get that out!’

 

Image from pedestrian.tv

 

This is our Prime Minister speaking for gawd’s sake. As if he were talking about a fart. His repugnant and crass response again reflects a patronising pathology. Either he just doesn’t get it, or he just doesn’t care. Or both.

Women force fed manburger with the lot

It is apparent that our political system is geared to protect the guilty from all sides of the political spectra. The Westminster system was constructed by men, for men and remains mostly comprised of men to this day.

This inequity is reflected in all tiers of our society and the body politic, women are force fed the manburger with the lot.

Lacklustre leaders and governments without vision like Scott Morrison and the LNP compound the problem. The Labor Party and the Greens are not without sin. The world has a glut of such men.

Of course, Australia is not on its Pat Malone with any of this but given our track record we are implicit and complicit in the decrepit legacy world order that subjugates women through coercive control, menace and mendacity. We need a new model of government and governance.

Women getting the short end of the dick

If it is correct that 80 per cent of the world is ruled by men, then at 20 per cent women are surely getting the short end of the dick.

Don’t be misled by inane Coalition propaganda that it is genuinely concerned about the plight of women and girls in this country or any other.

We openly trade, consort, cavort and play sport with regimes that treat girls and women as chattels ultimately owned and enslaved by the male dominated state.

We do so because we share strands of the same intellectual and societal DNA as these foul regimes.

Execution of adulterous Saudi Arabian women related to execution of Hannah Clarke and her three children

The stoning to death of an adulterous woman in Saudi Arabia is unquestionably related to the horrific murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah 6, Laianah 4, and Trey 3, burned alive by Hannah’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter, who poured petrol on his family and set them alight while they were in their car in Brisbane, February last year.

Ultimately, they were both executions engineered by the state. By defaullt. By intent.

In her 2019 book ‘Coercive Control – See What You Made Me Do’ and so-named SBS TV series, Australian journalist Jess Hill provides us with a litany of ugly home truths about this insidious societal disease that Australia has failed to incorporate into our Commonwealth criminal code, unlike Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

Why do you think that might be?

 

Image from womensagenda.com.au

Says Hill:

“For a lot of people [coercive control] sounds like second-grade abuse, a lower form of abuse that wouldn’t be so hard to recover from. What the model of coercive control shows, is that where that is present, you are actually looking at a situation of entrapment, not just abuse.”

The psychological trap and the threat of violence for non-compliance is often enough to keep victims in a state of fear. In the case of Hannah Clarke, Baxter would change his routine randomly to keep her guessing his movements.”

Morrison’s – and the Coalition’s continual sometimes subliminal attempts to coercively control women – ultimately relegates us to instruments and possessions of the state, do they not? They are the same and similar tactics deployed by the likes of the Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram, cults, established religions and various pop up terrorist groups.

American Evan Stark’s book ‘Coercive Control – How men entrap women in personal life’ first published 14 years ago, nails the similarities between terrorism, hostage taking and coercive control.

I add the sexual grooming tactics of predators and the more blunt force tactics like cyber terrorism, spiking drinks and raping women whilst they are drunk or unconscious. Or dead.

I’m also adding government, fiscal, political and institutional coercive control of women. Dammit, chuck in manburger with the lot!

Australia slave to Granny England and Uncle Sam and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels’

In Australian politics we continue to follow whilst others lead. Latterly, there are no saints and few heroes. We boldly go only where others have already trod and that includes banal intellectual wastelands and fallow paddocks.

We don’t stand on the shoulders of our own giants, Instead we genuflect to the United States, party donors, benefactors, sponsors and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels.’ We buy, sell and trade policies and principles on the toss of a dollar.

Since white settlement, we have never stopped tugging at the mullet that grows like a razorback hog’s down what remains of our political backbone, to ingratiate ourselves with Granny England, Uncle Sam or the carpet baggery of home grown and imported marauding mining companies.

Today Morrison is at the helm of this fetid heap of poisonous tailings.

His benign demeanour is dangerous. Consider the company he keeps. I’m not talking only about his QAnon mate, Tim Stewart or indeed Brian Houston but rather those who comprise and compromise his government.

Red-faced wombat Barnaby, eats beetroot and leaves

For a start there’s the red-faced wombat, deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, so called because he eats beetroot and leaves.

Barnaby’s philandering Joyce stick had already once caused him to be stripped of the position and cost him a marriage as well as inspiring then PM Turnbull’s ministerial
‘bonk ban’ on having sex with staff.

Even though Morrison is said to loathe Joyce and claims he cannot interfere in National Party internal politics, he could have and should have in this instance, given the squalid, hypocrisy of Joyce’s past and the (strenuously denied) allegations of sexual harassment by Catherine Marriott.

Regional as well as National Party women have deplored Joyce’s return, including former federal and state president, Christine Ferguson. The Nationals are no different to others when it comes to the disregard and disrespect for the safety and well being of women and girls.

Not only did an in house investigation into the allegations against Joyce predictably prove inconclusive but now there are circumstances concerning the man who headed up that investigation that warrants a truly independent investigation into Marriott’s allegations that will be seen to be fair to both parties.

It was discovered that Ross Cadell, the Nationals’ NSW State Director who oversaw the Joyce inquiry had been the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order by police in 2014 on behalf of Cadell’s former wife, that had later been withdrawn.

Women have had enough of sexcuses

Morrison’s pimping of obnoxious behaviour has been debated on social and anti-social multimedia platforms, mainstream and upstream media alike, in the court of public opinion and in national protest marches led by angry women who have had enough of sexcuses; me included.

Enough is more than enough. We have reached a stage when the coalition’s response to serial allegations of rape and other forms of sexual abuse and intimidation, harassment, covert and overt violence both within and close to parliament’s portals, are met by SloMo and his bovver boys and girls with indifference and diffidence.

The Liberal and National parties are mired in sewage of their own making; muck expunged from a body politic riddled with parasites feeding on their egos.

Too harsh? I’m not finished.

The reflux of the allegations by a now dead woman of rape against former Attorney-General Christian Porter and the allegation by Brittany Higgins that she was raped by a former parliamentary staff member have forever severed the larynx of the LNP circa Scott Morrison.

The facile and arrogant notion held by Morrison and Porter that he could remain Attorney General after his inane press conference when he outed himself, is again another red flag on the coercive control map.

So too is Porter’s arrogant presumption that anonymous monies poured into a Blind Trust is yesterday’s news, now that he has stood down as Industry Minister. Porter has long forfeited his right to represent Australia and the good folk of Pearce.

Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio he has proven his deceit

Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio, time and again he has shown his propensity for deceit. This ghastly man, who presumed he would one day be Prime Minister has been the architect of his own demise.

When Morrison goes down, and go down he will, the Porter scandal will indisputably be writ large on his political epitaph.

In my Independent Australia article, The night Porter and allegation of rape, I’ve documented a number of reasons for this claim.

We live in an era of big dick politics and big dick politicians. Hard men with hard-ons all the time, seemingly. Pun intended, there is more to come this side of the federal election.

Australia is a cause without a rebel

Time and again, claims of sexual harassment and cover-ups, the general fobbing off of women and the largely uncensured snide remarks and insult directed towards women for decades by members of both houses of parliament have brought the coalition into particular disrepute on this day. And for sure, some of the insult has been by women in the House.

Who can forget histrionic UteGirl, Michaelia Cash, the political scraps pecker who somehow reminds me of a gallus gallus domesticus (although that is probably unfair to your average chook) threatening to name “every young woman” in Bill Shorten’s office during a tit for tat Senates Estimates hearing?

This noxious bile spat from the mouth of a former Minister for Women! Now this political mercenary is the first law officer in the land. Just what is it about the likes of George Brandis, Christian Porter and Michaelia Cash that vaguely warrants their appointment to Attorney General?

Australia has become a cause without a rebel.

Women are political roadkill

Instead of railing against bigotry and bigots, the Prime Minister has led the Charge of the White Brigade. I’ve touched on only a few of the many worthy examples of proof

For too long in Australian politics, women have been perceived as roadkill. Politically, a bit on the side.

Throwing a few million overdue dollars at us recently is designed to shut us up, tantamount to economic coercive control.

It is as if we should be grateful for extra housekeeping money – if we’re good girls and don’t march or make a noise!

Women around the world live under a mandemic yoke. We need to woman up

We don’t need to wait for the results of a Morrison Rorschach test. He has a list of priors that are sourced well before he was elected PM. He has a modus operandi when dealing with problems – largely ignores them.

The global reality for women is that the design of all governments and regimes, fractured, rogue or otherwise practice coercive control of women, as do institutions and society in general, where it is so often culturally enshrined.

Our world remains a patriarchal collective, like it or no. Even the spoils of war, the looting and the mooting of a new world order really refers to male power, military and political supremacy. Let’s not kid ourselves that the notion embraces gender equality on any level. Millions of women are enslaven to men and their governments and governance.

None of this is so called feminist rhetoric, or the spoutings of any womanifesto. This is the reality for women and girls. The societal dominant and dominating gender is male. It is men who hold the greater power.

Australia and the rest of the world needs to forensically analyse what is left of our degraded democracies and all other forms of regimes infected with the Mandemic virus.

Some of us must step up and take responsibility for not making enough noise, as Grace Tame urges us to do.

We have to fight against an elitism and the corporatisation of what must be a new kind of emancipation. We need to see more so-called ordinary women and indigenous women attend summits and contribute to reports; women who are not always renowned corporate game changers, but women who are mostly voiceless. We need to seek them out, we need to hear their voices. We need to learn from them.

I want to hear from potential Hannah Clarkes and not just hold a wake around their funeral pyre.

Women – and the wonderful men who love us and support us – need to lock this in. To lock our arms around one another. Leave no woman behind. Politicians throughout the world need to acknowledge the wars on women.

Women, myself included, need to woman up.

Please Note: If you need any support, please reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You are not alone.

© Tess Lawrence

Tess Lawrence is Contributing editor-at-large for Independent Australia and her most recent article is The night Porter and allegation of rape.

 

 

 

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Scott Morrison’s coercive control of women (part 2)

By Tess Lawrence

Porter reveals he has document signed by Kate!

In her second excerpt on Scott Morrison’s Coercive Control of Women, Tess Lawrence doubles down on her treatise calling out Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s dangerous weak and duplicitous leadership. She asserts the continuous political assault and insult of women spills into his incompetency in foreign affairs and gross mismanagement of domestic policies and argues that the body politic itself is corrupted by toxic masculinity when it comes to the treatment of women.

Please read excerpt one here.

Content warning: This article discusses rape, suicide and institutional political psychosexual violence.

By any abacus, Christian Porter’s Blind Trust adds up to dirty money.

More than that, it smacks of something more ominous and ugly; something sinister; perhaps a cover up.

One consolation for those of us who still mourn the death of the woman known as ’Kate’ who alleged she was raped by Porter when they were both teenagers, is that this outrageous contribution to Porter’s legal fees has resulted in Porter’s overdue resignation as a cabinet minister.

But that’s not enough. As a double act, Porter and Morrison clearly think we are fools. So must Porter’s donors. We need to know who donated those monies. We will find out.

Morrison’s obfuscation at Sunday’s press conference and his continued reticence to call out Porter’s latterly conduct is repugnant. SloMo has priors.

If Porter and Morrison continue to promulgate the myth that it is of no consequence who donated these monies to Porter, to help pay the legal fees for a spurious defamation action he initiated after outing himself as the alleged perpetrator, then I suggest they are deluded. Big time.

Porter saga proves Morrison government unfit for purpose.

 

 

This latest tawdry episode in the Porter saga, again confirms that he and Morrison are undeserving of the trust of the electorate.

The Morrison government is unfit for purpose and well beyond its use-by date.

What if, like former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, Porter’s sly money was sourced.

Dastyari said it was; “support for settlement of outstanding legal matter.”

Sound familiar?

What if Porter’s donors are far-right supremacists?

What if the monies were donated by a company/individual awarded hefty government contracts rubber stamped by Porter when he was Attorney General or Industry Minister?

What if the donor is a far-right supremacist group, or an international armaments group or a mining company, or a country – Saudi Arabia? Or other conflicts of disinterest? Quid quo pro?

  • Importantly, what if the donors had a vested interest in suppressing any more information relating to ‘Kate’s’ allegations of rape against Porter?
  • What if the donors were part of a Liberal faction slush fund?
  • What if the donors had any influence in Porter’s decision to discontinue the defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan ?
  • What if the donors had any influence in ‘Kate’s’ decision to withdraw her complaint against Porter?
  • What if the donors had criminal affiliations?

Not only are we voters entitled to speculate on the nature and identity of Porter’s benefactor(s) but he actually invites us to do so by virtue of his Blind Trust.

The subtext to all the above is the utter contempt and disrespect shown towards women – and the flagrant disregard for political ethics and standards.

Let us not forget, we are still awaiting Morrison’s legal advice on Porter’s Blind Trust. Pathetic.

Porter and the hours of power

While researching this article, I see that last year, Porter enjoyed the hospitality of former Fortescue chief honcho, now Perth Airport CEO, Neville Power on several charter flights, the first being in May, mere weeks after Scott Morrison appointed Power as Chairman of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).

How fortuitous it is then that one of Power’s (great surname for someone on the board of energy company Strike) boardroom colleagues on Strike just happens to be Andrew Seaton, the Managing Director of Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd.

A curious entity, ANI is owned by the Australian Government represented by two Shareholder Ministers, the Minister for Finance, Senator Simon Birmingham and Il Duce Peter Dutton, Minister for Defence and Prime Minister-in-Waiting.

ANI seems to be an empty vessel at the moment, its assets apparently including six Collins Class submarines.

Ships ahoy! When Porter leaves politics, of his own free will or otherwise, the old boy’s network will surely kick in for him. For your perusal and in the interest of transparency, we include below the text of Porter’s entry to the Register of Members’ Interests, dated September 13, 2021.

This is how the big boys pay their debts. Corporate jobseeker for mates, if you will:

“I wish to alter my statement of registrable interests as follows:

In March 2021, I commenced defamation proceedings in a purely personal capacity against the ABC and Ms Louise Milligan [NSD 206 of 2021]. On 31 August 2021 this matter was finalised by the Court.

Although these matters have been conducted in a personal capacity and all legal services were engaged in a purely personal capacity, out of an abundance of caution and consistent with approaches adopted by other parliamentarians in relation to the provision of reduced fee or pro bono legal services, I advise that, in addition to my own personal funds, the following contributions have recently or may shortly be made:

• As has been publicly reported, as part of the settlement an amount was paid by the ABC to Company Giles. Now that the matter has been resolved the relevant cheque will be deposited in Company Giles trust account and applied to my account.

• Part contribution to the payment of my fees by a blind trust known as the Legal Services Trust. As a potential beneficiary I have no access to information about the conduct and funding of the trust.

• My engagement of Ms Chrysanthou was on a commercial fee arrangement. However, consistent with her practice for individual clients, she did not charge me for all of the time she spent on the matter and in the recent settling of her fees I am aware there has been a reduction in fees which has resulted in me having received some services from Ms Chrysanthou on a reduced fee basis.

Although all of the above contributions were made to me, or were for my benefit, in a purely personal capacity, in the interest of transparency and out of an abundance of caution I make this disclosure pursuant to item 14 of the Register of Members Interest.”

Porter bombshell! He has copy of Kate’s signed document

Porter must have known that this perfunctory entry would unleash another media firestorm, but the statement he posted on his website on Sunday contained a bombshell that seems to have escaped closer scrutiny and yet it reveals so much about the man – the political milieu of Morrison’s collective narcissistic government and the LNP in general.

I’m not alone in noting that in talking about his dead accuser Porter rarely expresses any emotion, even when referring to her suicide.

I prefer the phrase ‘alleged suicide’ in this case not because I think Kate was murdered, but because I am well aware that we human beings can be driven to suicide. And we can be driven to it by individuals, by social media, by the ‘system’ and other factors and triggers.

Note: Here I must state categorically that in no way am I – or The Australian Independent Media Network – asserting or implying that Christian Porter had anything whatsoever to do with Kate’s suicide.

Read Porter’s analysis of Kate’s 88-page signed document!

Reading Porter’s resignation statement, I was struck by these words:

“…I have recently been provided from a source outside the ABC with a copy of the only signed document that the person who made and subsequently withdrew the complaint ever made.

Many parts of that 88-page document are such that any reasonable person would conclude that they show an allegation that lacks credibility; was based on repressed memory (which has been completely rejected by courts as unreliable and dangerous); which relied on diaries said to be drafted in 1990/91 but which were actually words composed in 2019; and, was written by someone who was, sadly, very unwell…”

Porter needs to be questioned about the above paragraphs in particular:

  • How can he be so adamant that the copy of the 88 page document in his possession is the only signed document by Kate that exists?
  • Has Porter given a copy of this signed document to the police?
  • Does Kate’s friend and one of her ardent champions, Jo Dyer have this document?
  • Did Porter show Prime Minister Scott Morrison the copy of this signed document?
  • Has the signature and the document been verified as Kate’s?
  • Was the document sworn and witnessed?
  • Where was it sworn and who was the witness?
  • Was the document stamped?
  • Was the document addressed to anyone?
  • Is the document source connected to Porter’s donor(s)?
  • How long has Porter been in possession of the 88 page document ?
  • Does the 88 page document contain Kate’s unsigned statement that was
    released by the Federal Court in the public interest?
  • Has Porter sent a copy of the 88 page document to the Federal Court?
  • Do Porter lawyers Sue Chrysanthou and Rebekah Giles have a copy of the 88 page document ? Are they obliged to forward that document to interested parties?
  • Has Kate’s family got a copy of the document?
  • Was that document produced in Court and/or presented as evidence?

So many more questions. So many more answers to be declined by Porter and the Government.

Federal Court releases unsigned statement by Kate

In March, my article The Night Porter and Allegation of Rape, published in Independent Australia prompted heartening interest and response from informants and sources, not just about the Porter saga but also about other allegations of rape and other forms of sexual violence within and outside of Federal and State Parliaments and invariably coercive control was discussed as a major factor, whether it be in institutions, companies, workplaces, including media outlets, or within households and relationships.

Out of respect for Kate’s own story, her truth as she believed it, of no less value because she is now dead – and because the Federal Court, in a breathtaking decision, thought we the people should hear Kate’s voice – I’m including this comment I posted under The Night Porter article – as is. It has all the links to access Kate’s unsigned statement.

PUBLIC INTEREST BOMBSHELL ! FEDERAL COURT RELEASES ‘ KATE’S ‘ STATEMENT!

* WARNING: KATE’S STATEMENT INCLUDES HER GRAPHIC AND DISTRESSING RAPE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AUSTRALIA’S FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL, CHRISTIAN PORTER, WHO REMAINS A CABINET MINISTER IN THE MORRISON GOVERNMENT.

* Dear Readers, we invite you to read ‘ Kate’s ‘ profoundly moving statement along with the preamble sent by her friends

The Federal Court yesterday released the redacted statement in the public interest and I’ve placed links to the actual ‘Exhibit 1’ that is the redacted document, as well as a link to the court case Dyer v Chrysanthou that precipitated its release.

‘KATE’ ALLEGES BRUTAL ANAL AND ORAL RAPE BY PORTER THAT LEFT HER BLEEDING AND ALSO ALLEGES HE SHAVED HER LEGS AND UNDERARMS.

The Federal Court is to be thanked for posting the statement online, so that the wider community has access to what many lawyers, politicians and journalists have been privy to, for some time.

24 June 2021 25 May 2021Exhibit 1 – Dossier + Letter (PDF, 1.8 MB)Second respondent

https://www.fedcourt.gov.au…

‘Kate’ was found hanged in the garden of her home in Adelaide last year. Her statement is a voice from that cold and lonely grave. We cannot exhume Justice for her. But we can at least, listen to her voice and allegations and yes, we can decide whom is more trustworthy – whom is to be believed – Kate or Porter?

 

 

Julian Burnside has spoken up for so many of us on so many occasions, invariably on behalf of the least of us, including indigenous Australians and Asylum Seekers.

In the above Tweet he says he is speaking for himself. But thousands of us will share his views on Christian Porter.

It is sickening to think Porter was once our Attorney General, holding the highest law office in the land. He was appalling then and more so now.

We have listened to him lie and distort the truth. If his reputation is trashed it was he who trashed it. He continues to hold himself unaccountable to no-one save his ego.

He has dashed his hope of becoming Prime Minister.

The Porter affair thus far can be viewed through the prism of institutional coercive control.

Porter’s lust for power is mirrored in Morrison’s ineptitude and mishandling of Porter’s clear political misconduct. Morrison thinks that if he ignores the stockpile of problems exacerbated by his leadership and a Coalition that clearly strives for mediocrity that we will go away – not the problems.

Australia is languishing through lack of leadership. Christian Porter, Scott Morrison and the LNP have forgotten that they are servants to the people. Instead, they are trying to enslave us to a decrepit legacy system that is reliant on coercive control, and social infrastructure drip fed by political bullies.

CONTACTS FOR SUPPORT. Please reach out. You are not alone.

Lifeline
Phone: 13 11 14
Website: www.lifeline.org.au

Blue Knot Foundation
Counselling and support for survivors
Phone: 1300 657 380

Bravehearts Inc
Counselling and support for survivors, child protection advocacy
Phone: 1800 272 831

Continued tomorrow …

© Tess Lawrence

Tess Lawrence is Contributing editor-at-large for Independent Australia and her most recent article is The night Porter and allegation of rape.

 

 

 

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