If you have anything you would like to raise, which is likely to be of interest to our site's visitors, which is not addressed by other articles, please add your comments #comment-form">here.
Comments made on previous "Miscellaneous comments" page from 1 Jun 2012 can be found here.
Comments on this page have been closed. Please add further comments here.- Ed, 19 July
Tue, 2012-06-26 01:58
Approval of Baillieu tyranny plummets
The popularity of the Victorain State Liberal Government of Premier Ted Baillieu has plummeted to close to that of the previous 'Labor' mis-rulers of Victoria.
Today's Age Newspaper reports: "The Coalition has only a narrow lead over Labor in the opinion polls and Ted Baillieu's personal approval rating has collapsed."
Then it asks: "What has gone wrong?"
What went wrong is:
Having endured years of misrule at the hands of the Brumby and Bracks Labor Governments, Victorians threw Labor out at the 2010 state elections and put in power the current tyranny of Premier Ted Baillieu.
The pattern is common in Australian politics. Past misreporting by newspapers like the Age implies that mis-rule by Labor somehow gives the succeeding Liberal/National Governments license to be as tyrannical as they please.
The same happened at the Federal level in 1996 after John Howard succeeded the reviled Paul Keating as Prime Minister. It occurred in 1988 in New South Wales when Liberal Nick Greiner succeeded Labor's Barrie Unsworth as Premier and is now also occurring in New South Wales and Queensland where equally reviled state Labor Governments have been replaced by Shock Doctrine Liberal/National coalition governments.
Logically we should be looking for an alternative to both the Labor and Liberal/National Parties, but that is the last conclusion that Age reporters Josh Gordon and Reid Sexton would want Victorians to draw.
Wed, 2012-06-27 12:11
Skilled migration misses the target
AustraliaForAus... (not verified)
Thu, 2012-06-28 08:33
The Protectionist Party -
Mary (not verified)
Sat, 2012-06-30 18:35
Netherlands are abandoning multiculturalism
The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism: The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.
Holland kills the multiculturalism that is killing it of 27 June 12 by Andrew Bolt (with 112 comments, so far - Ed)
A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads:
The letter continues: "A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands ..."
The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law. The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, "it is not the government's job to integrate immigrants."
It's time for a vote for the Australian public on multiculturalism. People should "fit in" and become Australian first of all, and then secondary perpetuating their religion and culture of choice. Globalization has diluted our cultural heritage, and assumes that we don't have a distinct culture of our own. We have our own traditional and modern music, art, dance, architecture, history, pioneers, poetry and literature. It's been overwhelmed for too long by imported values.
Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and realised - maybe too late - that creating a nation of tribes will kill the nation itself. The future of Australia , the UK and Canada may well be read here.
Stories in past months about the plans to place prayer rooms for Muslims inside Australia’s football venues provide yet another sign of the changes that are happening in our country. It has been reported that prayer rooms are to be compulsory at all AFL grounds. There's more "diversity" of crimes too. There are now separate facilities in some educational institutions for Muslims, there are swimming pools that have closed at certain times for Muslim women, there are foods with the Muslim “Halal tax” appearing in our supermarkets.
There is also pressure to introduce Sharia law. While most muslims who come here are moderate and accepting, their religion is underlyingly contrary to Australia's open values and Christian-based culture.
Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2012-07-01 10:46
end of multiculturalism?
Sun, 2012-07-01 14:36
Petition: Lower speed limits to save wildlife
Speed Kills Wildlife. Please sign this Petition to Lower Speed limits on our Roads.
You can view this petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/705/978/355/lower-speed-limits-to-save-wildlife/
Tue, 2012-07-03 12:01
Canned: why local tomatoes cop a pasting
From the Sydney Morning Herald of 27 May, 2012 by Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar:
Thirty years ago, 400 [tomato] growers supplied seven canneries. Only nine are growing this season and there's just one processor. Five farmers quit last year, four this year. "We're just hoping to hang on," says Weeks, 65.
For years, Italian imports have laid siege to the Australian canned tomato industry. Now, as we witness a sharp rise in imported food, it appears the Europeans have won: only two of every 10 cans sold are locally made, the rest mostly Italian. SPC Ardmona's 400-gram can of whole peeled tomatoes, some of which may be grown by Bruce Weeks, retails at $1.67. Coles and Woolworths often sell their Italian-sourced own brands for half that, at 80¢. The most expensive branded Italian cans are priced at $1.39. Australians may say they like to buy local, but their wallets speak louder.
It's little wonder when the price of Italian tomatoes seemingly defies logic. The Italian can must complete a 17,888-kilometre, six-week voyage skirting several continents to arrive on an Australian supermarket shelf. Sitting next to it, the Ardmona can, tinned in Shepparton, has reached a Melbourne supermarket distribution centre after two hours in a truck. Yet it can be double the price of its Mediterranean cousin. Why?
The answer is as much a story about the competitive edge and romance of growing tomatoes in Italy as it is of the relentless forces of globalisation eroding Australia's food exports and now its ability to maintain a viable domestic food processing sector. What happened to the Australian canned tomato industry has happened, or is happening, to Australian canned fruit, frozen potatoes, seafood and processed vegetable industries.
Economies of scale trim costs, but Italy's tomato industry has two key competitive advantages: cheap, sometimes illegal, migrant labour and European Union subsidies. For 20 years, Italy has relied on field workers from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and India. The Rome office of Doctors Without Borders has documented the plight of the migrants in several reports, the last in 2008. They describe a workforce vulnerable to violence and intimidation, living in extreme poverty in disused buildings with no toilets or access to healthcare. ...
(The Australian industry is not entirely innocent: migrants, mostly Asian or Indian, are used at harvest, and while the farmers pay a contractor about $22 an hour for each worker, they admit they have no idea how much each worker is paid.)
Even Italy is not immune to cheap Chinese competition. In 2004, it implemented labelling regulations to identify Italian tomato products. Already, China's largest market for its tomato paste is Italy.
Back in Rochester, Bruce Weeks is hoping Australian consumers will help. "If Australians want people employed in Australia, they've got to buy Australian made," he says. "Every day here people are being put off. Every day there's jobs being lost. It just can't keep happening … Eventually there will be nothing produced in Australia."
Wed, 2012-07-04 12:09
China's predatory scouring of Australia for food security
A CHINESE company wants control of 100,000 hectares of Australian land for aquaculture. Federal Parliament sources say a Chinese company intends to use an Australian resources company to develop the land, near Broome in Western Australia.
Senator Heffernan says that huge areas of environmental destruction in the Chinese landscape and contamination of a lot of their fisheries means that they are scouring the planet looking to secure their food supplies. Heffernan says "they've lost 10 per cent of their agricultural land in the last 10 years. They've destroyed their own capacity, they're using ours." Overpopulation is catastrophic, but nations with buying power can be global predators, preying on any weaknesses in national power - like Australia's globalization efforts and weak sovereignty.
China seeks land for aquaculture - The Weekly Times
The 2008 global food crisis was a time when surging food prices swept the world, giving rise to riots, trade bans, and panicked hoarding. It would be naive to imagine that food security will increase in the coming years. A remote landlord is contrary to our interests. In China, only residents are allowed to buy agricultural land - quite sensibly. It's not an easy task, feeding 22 per cent of the world's population with just 7 per cent of the world's arable land. China's revolution in agriculture has the backing of $1 trillion for agricultural investment over the next five years.
The basic economic task of feeding the world's hungry has once again become daunting with rapidly rising populations. A severe decline in stocks has nearly paralyzed the fishing industry in east China. Millions of sharks are killed each year to supply a growing demand for shark fin soup – one of the most expensive foods available. In China, the rapid rise of a middle-class population with disposable income means more people can afford the expensive soup. Allowing China access to our land for aquaculture would be treason.
Where are the voices of reason in our government except a few like Senator Bill Heffernan and Dick Smith? Our politicians have their snouts in the trough, and have given themselves a pay rise. They are
not under scrutiny to show performance results.
Australia is not China, and it's time the public become "xenophobic" against these predatory buy-ups of Australian assets.
Anonymous (not verified)
Wed, 2012-07-04 17:01
Harvey Norman giant logging Koala Habitats
Wed, 2012-07-04 20:37
Baillieu gov scheming to toll existing roads
Fri, 2012-07-06 01:37
Possum hysteria in the media
This morning on ABC local radio in Melbourne the presenter, Jon Faine devoted about 15 minutes to the subject of a "possum plague" in Melbourne. Fortunately some people pointed out that in fact it was human plague and that humans were taking over the possums' territory. The subject of the program was precipitated by a decision of one of the Melbourne Councils to spend $65,000 on contraceptive measures because there are allegedly 60 possums living in Curtin Square in an inner Melbourne suburb. Mr. Faine asked a guest on the program from Wildlife Victoria why brush tail possums were protected since they are not endangered. The wildlife Victoria officer gently explained that a native Australian animal did not have to be endangered to be protected by law under the Wildlife Act and managed to convey that the hardy possums who have adapted and managed to survive in an urban environment are an important animal species within the Australian environment.
The story about the Curtin Square possums reappeared tonight when it was featured on 7 TV news where one could see about 2 possums inoffensively licking something that had been offered to them and then wandering away. Animal activist, Rheya Linden was interviewed but only a few seconds of what she said went to air. She was responding to threats that it would be made illegal to feed possums. She said she would never abandon the possums. The rest of what she sad was muted although her face was shown for few more seconds.
Fri, 2012-07-06 19:05
7 tv news should have reported Rheya Linden better
Sun, 2012-07-08 21:50
Russia should demand regime change in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, ...
The following is a response to an article Kofi Annan attacks Russia and west's 'destructive competition' over Syria of 6 July in the ostensibly left/liberal UK Guardian news magazine:
A good rebuttal of the deceit contained in the Guardian article is to be found in Kofi Annan: International Community Has Failed Syria of 7 July 2012 in landdestroyer.blogspot.com.
See also: Saudi Arabia's Princess Sara claims asylum in the UK of 8 July in The Telegraph, Saudi Princess seeking political asylum in Britain of 8 July.
NIMBY (not verified)
Mon, 2012-07-09 14:07
Sydney ranked as the fifth most liveable city in the world
Mon, 2012-07-09 17:05
Laughable propaganda from SMH and Economist 'Intelligence' Unit
Look, this so-called 'livability index' report comes from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is oxymoronic in itself and part of a group associated with the anglo-centric Economist magazine. People in Hong Kong rent cages stacked one on top of the other in rooms in concrete high rises. There are protests about the abrogation of public land and the ever increasing intensity of development. The EIU put overcrowded concrete Vancouver and Melbourne equal at the head of its list in 2002. Clearly this list is a list about concrete spaces and developers' anti-human values and the Economists silly promotion of economic growth and globalisation. The award is just a manufactured consensus thing promoted by big business for big business and against relocalisation, human scale and natural surroundings.
That the Sydney Morning Herald publishes this nonsense is just another indication of the corruption of real reporting by corporate agendas. In other words this is all just corporate propaganda which little girls and little boys should be taught to dissect in primary school and once were. Wonder what has happened there?
About the Economist group:
"From its beginnings in 1843, when The Economist newspaper was founded by a Scottish hat manufacturer to further the cause of free trade" ... http://www.economistgroup.com/what_we_do/our_history.html
"Many of the issues facing the world have an international if not global dimension. The Economist brand family is ideally positioned to be the commentator, interpreter and forecaster of the phenomenon of globalisation as it gathers in pace and impact." [In other words, a propaganda outfit that actually has some deluded ordinary subscribers.]http://www.economistgroup.com/what_we_do/our_brands/the_economist_brand_family/index.html
Tue, 2012-07-10 23:48
The looming health crisis wireless technology
From Global Research of 8 July 2012
Looming Health Crisis: Wireless Technology and the Toxification of America
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology. ...
nimby (not verified)
Wed, 2012-07-11 19:53
Chinese buying citizenship with farmland
Exclusive to The Weekly Times: CHINESE nationals are buying Australian farms and agribusinesses to get Australian visas. And the Federal Government seems unconcerned. Not only is our agricultural land up for grabs to the highest overseas bidder, investors are looking to move to Australia. So big buyers can not only buy a slice of Australia's sovereignty, they can also "buy" citizenship.
See Chinese seek land for visas of 11 July 2012 by Leslie White at http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/07/11/507571_latest-news.html
There are eight types of "Business Migration Visas" and includes sections in Chinese and its Cantonese dialect. The Commercial Property Profiles website also offers "Assistance available for discreet international funds transfer". The Weekly Times understands the payments for Australian land or businesses could be held until the buyer's visa applications were decided. They can then own the land and Australian citizenship.
Residency is being used as a lure for buying land and assets. According to Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, this is quite acceptable. What about community expectations?
Commercial Property Profiles is a promotional group working with the vendor and licensed authorities to put forward rural business and property sales to the International Market. It's another property development organisation. According to the website: "Any person or persons wishing to migrate to Australia under a Business or Skilled Independent Migration Visa under the Migration Act of 1958 must clearly state their business intentions in Australia together with a business plan and or a “Contract Of Sale to purchase a viable business”.
See Commercial Property Profiles at http://www.cppro.com.au
The fact that no foreigner can buy agricultural land in China doesn't seem to be an issue here. Also, it is very hard for foreigners to get a foothold in China or some kind of stable life with everything secured. In China it seems that even you have worked there for 7 years, own property, have invested in a company and have a family with a local citizen it is still very hard almost impossible to get permanent residence let alone citizenship. Why should we give them citizenship and permanent residence status to Australia if we are mostly not given it there? There are no reciprocal arrangements but but one way - to Australia! China refuses to give permanent residence to the vast majority of expats, no matter how long they have lived and worked in the country.
Thu, 2012-07-12 00:21
Earlier report: China seeks land for aquaculture
Linked to from the report Nimby has linked to above is an earlier report, also in Weekly Times Now, China seeks land for aquaculture of 4 July 2012:
For now, at least, this particular 30,0000 hactares of land is not going to be sold outright:
Nevertheless, serious concerns remain:
Of concern is Dick Smith's apparent support for Chinese citizens buying Australian citizenship through buying Australian farmland as described above by nimby:
In contrast, the Country Women's Association took a strong stand on "protecting our land and water":
Thu, 2012-07-12 09:15
Sell-out by Planet Ark!
Thu, 2012-07-12 15:12
Didn't stop Wilderness Society boss buying a timber mill
Morals didn't stop Wilderness Society boss, Alec Marr, buying a timber mill in Triabunna this time last year.
It's treehugger turned woodchipper, just like the Greens have turned their back on forests in favour of policy focus on asylum seekers, more overseas aid and gay marriage!
17th July 2012:
"TASMANIA'S forest industry, still reeling from the sale of a strategic woodchip mill to two environmentalists, has been shocked to learn who will run it - the green hard man Alec Marr.
The Wotif founder, Graeme Wood, and the Kathmandu creator, Jan Cameron, have hired Mr Marr, a former Wilderness Society boss, to manage the Triabunna mill that chipped millions of old-growth trees he tried to save.
As their general manager, Mr Marr will negotiate on behalf of the pair who, with their surprise $10 million buy, dealt themselves into historic peace talks on native forest logging.
Once chief defendant in a civil prosecution launched by the seller of Triabunna, Gunns, and forced out of the Wilderness Society, Mr Marr's selection amazed industry observers.
''Alec Marr is going to be a woodchipper?'' the Timber Communities Australia state manager, Barry Chipman, said. ''It is probably a fitting way to end a bizarre week.''
The Liberal senator Eric Abetz said it was ''Green cronyism and triumphalism at its ugliest''.
Mr Marr declined to comment but Mr Wood said Mr Marr's personal views of the timber industry would not matter.
''His job is to implement the forest statement of principles and to work with all industry players to re-open the mill.''
Green and industry groups have been in talks for more than a year to craft the statement of principles and end 25 years of conflict. Their latest deal agreed to protect up to 430,000 hectares of Tasmania's public native forest but still operate some sawlog and veneer mills. Woodchips are claimed as crucial secondary income for the surviving timber operations, and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania wants Triabunna to keep chipping until at least 2027.
The association's chief executive, Terry Edwards, warned that if the mill was not kept open, the industry would not be able to back the deal.
With Japanese export markets increasingly rejecting native forest chips, Gunns shut Triabunna in April. When it re-opens under new ownership, contentious timber is increasingly unlikely to enter its gates. Mr Wood said his original view was that the chip mill should operate for three to five years before the site was turned into a tourist development.
''Having spoken to government people, that may have to go out,'' he said. Now Mr Marr, a blunt and at times abrasive negotiator, will be leading further talks.
Mr Wood tried to reassure residents about a future beyond woodchipping. ''We believe Triabunna will be good for tourism and wine,'' he said.'
Source: 'Tree saviour named as Tasmanian mill boss', 16 July 2011, Fairfax
Snowy River Region
Anonymous (not verified)
Fri, 2012-07-13 09:21
The article on Planet Ark has been removed - for now
Editorial comment: Can you tell us what the article was? I recall reading several articles on that site about the sell-off of Australian rural land and water resources to foreign interests,. - Ed
Fri, 2012-07-13 22:40
Rupert's desperation has resorted to burning the News books
Anonymous (not verified)
Fri, 2012-07-13 08:55
Economic growth is a big Ponzi Scheme
NIMBY (not verified)
Wed, 2012-07-18 09:08
Planet Ark under fire
Environment groups have labelled Planet Ark "Judas" over "throwing a lifeline to the most appalling logging practices" in Australia.
If so, they would not be the only "green" Pharisees! Usually they celebrate trees and recommend recycling Christmas cards to save them, but now they have agreed to sit on the review committee for the Australian Forestry Standard, which certifies the controversial operations of Forestry Tasmania and VicForests. They've made a pact with the Devil!
Environment East Gippsland coordinator Jill Redwood said PA "seemed to have turned Judas".
"Planet Ark has thrown a lifeline to the most appalling logging practices like we see in Indonesia and Malaysia," Ms Redwood said.
When you can't beat them, join them, and instead of being part of the solution, you can get financial rewards by being part of the problem. Planet Ark have sold out on environmentalism and lost their vision.
Planet Ark has agreed to sit on the review committee for the Australian Forestry Standard, which certifies the controversial operations of Forestry Tasmania and VicForests. The standard requires an environment group to sit on the committee but other environment groups refused.
See Weekly Times:
Wed, 2012-07-18 15:08
Brown down on gas hub in 'whale nursery'
Thu, 2012-07-19 10:41
Protect our Australian soil