Miscellaneous comments from 5 May 2012

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 -form">here.

Comments made on previous "Miscellaneous comments" page from 20 April 2012 can be found .

Comments on this page have been closed. Please add further comments . 1 June 2012


Nearly 900 dolphins and at least 5,000 birds, mostly pelicans, have died off Peru's northern coast, the government has confirmed. One non-government conservation organisation, known as ORCA, has blamed the dolphin deaths on oil exploration activities in the area, which it claims produces noises which are having an acoustic impact on the mammals. One non-government conservation organisation, known as ORCA, has blamed the dolphin deaths on oil exploration activities in the area, which it claims produces noises which are having an acoustic impact on the mammals. The Peruvian environmental group Orca has said that sound waves from the seismic work appeared to be the likely cause. Peru’s government is blaming an alien infiltration for the unexplained killing of thousands of dolphins. Dr. John Malley, the leader of the Panel, met with the IPCE (Instituto Peruano de Contacto Extraterrestre) and told them that the aliens are clearly from Planet Gootan. ”The Gootans have been ramping up their attacks on mammals on the planet, and it’s only a matter of time before they attack humans,” Malley said. Sue Rocca, an American marine biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the leading international environmental group dedicated to marine mammals, agreed with suspicions about seismic testing by US oil company BPZ. "There are all the tell-tale signs of seismic [testing]” she told GlobalPost, adding that US Navy divers had been known to have seizures after being exposed to seismic testing. “It is an extremely painful experience for dolphins. They are very acoustic animals and these are huge, frightening sounds. For years, we thought marine mammals couldn’t get the bends. Unfortunately, we now know that that is not true.”

The Minister for Planning has revealed that the government will legislation will be introduced this year. Code Assess means that some building permits will be issued within 10 days without neighbours being allowed to object. Rather than trying to eliminate "frustrating delays", the time allowed for permits is about neighbours and the local communities giving consideration, and democratic input, on how to preserve the integrity of their suburbs. This "code access" to planning permits is more than about putting up fences and small home extensions. For communities, Code Assess is frightening. People can come home from work to find their neighbour's house knocked down to be replaced by a high rise development. Local residents have no right to be given any notice, they cannot object to Council and they have no rights to appeal to VCAT. This new Code-Assess is a threat to the liveability of Melbourne. A fast track planning process for developers could add additional burdens to already struggling social and community infrastructure like roads, schools, public transport and health services. This means there may be limited opportunity to scrutinise and consult on the legislation prior to it being rammed through the Parliament. "It [Planning] needs to be common sense-based and the new code-assess system will mean that mums and dads, if they meet all the requirements, will be able to get a permit very quickly rather than waiting months and months for decisions to be made," Matthew Guy said. It's more than "mums and dads" getting permits for fences and small extensions, but hides dramatic loose changes! The system, called ''code assess'', will initially be used by local councils for processing low-level planning issues such as extensions and dual occupancy developments. But the system is also intended for key development areas across Melbourne - Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Footscray, Frankston, and Ringwood - to process development applications that could include apartment towers of more than 20 storeys. It is important to ensure that the community is fully aware of what is being proposed. Contact:Brian Tee MP Shadow Minister for Planning & Sustainable Growth Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region 128 Ayr St, Doncaster VIC 3108 Ph: (03) 9850 8600 Fax: (03) 9850 8611

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.
Benito Mussolini"

The reason for the draconian legislation being brought in to 'minimise delays' is that the pace and scale of change is undemocratic and would be successfully resisted if the government of the day were not willing to pass unfair laws to force the electorate to submit to the will of big business. This is classic fascism, no joke. And our judges, lawyers, planners, and VCAT go along with this. Shame on them.

"A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority." , 1965."

There are several VCAT hearings looming against Lend Lease inappropriate developments. In Richmond recently they backed down and the residents have got what they had agreed to put up with. So don't give up hope entirely.

Wasn't it Brain Tee's labor government that proposed changes to the Planning Act which included the proposal to introduce "code assess"? And now he is criticizing the Coalition for proposing the same changes. You just cannot trust any of them! Jack Roach President (BRAG)

Yes, it is important for the community to be fully aware of what is being proposed but before you start circulating a petition, you should be aware of what is being proposed you numpty. Scare mongering like you are doing is foolish. The announcement of exactly how it is going to work has not been made yet, but it certainly is not going to be a situation where someone comes home one night to find a high rise building going up next door without having been told about it. Saying such things is idiotic and shows a complete lack of understanding of the planning process. Find out the facts for yourself first before protesting and don't rely on newspaper articles to tell you that information. Everyone knows that jouralists love stirring up controversy. Be a leader not a sheep.

The government said the changes (to planning laws called "code assess") would apply to ''small-scale, low-impact applications such as home extensions and small works such as fences''.

But a detailed ministerial advisory report released last Friday indicates the new system would also be used for new buildings and subdivisions.

See: by Jason Dowling in the Melbourne Age of 17 May 2012

The community is being kept in the dark about the extent in the changes of the planning laws, and the reduction in the rights of appeal.

Mr Matthew Guy said the changes would be for "small" building applications, the Property Council of Victoria, those with vested interests in the growth of the property market, would like to use it for multiple-storey developments.

An economy based on the myth of perpetual growth not only means intergenerational stealing, as future generations won't have the benefits of growth that this generation has, but also a continual suppression of democracy.

Sustainable Population Australia is conducting a petition to be presented to the House of Representatives. The goal is to collect one hundred thousand signatures of people who agree with the need for parliament to take action on population. Population growth is on the rise again with a 30 per cent surge in net overseas migration over the seven months to the end of March. also criticised the increase in the skilled migration program, resulting in an unsustainably large total migration program of 190,000. “Australia could easily reduce the total migration program without damaging our economy which would put us on track to stabilise our population, protect our quality of life and ease the pressure on our natural environment.” You can add you name to the electronic version of the petition to the right.

"Race is not an issue in concerns about our population growth"

Date: May 15 2012

Marcus Mannheim's opinion piece (, Forum, May 12, p3 [1]) shows the extremes to which promoters of rapid population growth are led. He begins with a straw-man ploy against those who write to him complaining that his Public Sector Informant fails to question Australia's annual rates of population growth. (The demographer Graeme Hugo says these rates are more than three times the average of advanced countries.) Mannheim claims his critics are extremists who plan to slash Australia's population by ''genocide''!

Not so, there is no practical or humane way to reduce population quickly. That is precisely why responsible policy makers must ensure that each country steers away from over-population, as both the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society have pointed out. Was [former Treasury secretary] Ken Henry a ''green racist'' when he suggested that Australia had passed its sustainable population, and expressed concern at the government's course, which would lead to 35 million Australians by 2050?

As for Mannheim's other main claim, that rapid population growth is fine because we're all going to reduce our consumption of resources, he cites two flimsy authorities. First, the politician Andrew Leigh who, it seems, believes that technology will sustain an ever-increasing population - but who is no expert on demography or technology.

Secondly, Mannheim cites an ACT Legislative Assembly committee which, he claims, found that growth was not a problem because ''populations sometimes significantly reduce their rates of consumption and, in turn, their ecological footprints''.

I challenge Mannheim to cite one Australian city where a growing population has genuinely reduced its overall consumption.

Mark O'Connor, Lyneham

Comment: Thank you for posting this. I somehow doubt that Mannheim will rise to meet Mark O'Connor's challenge, but please let us know should he do so. - Ed

See also: -8305">Population stabilization "immature"? of 21  May below - Ed


[1] Also in the and .

Marcus Mannheim in his op. ed. in The Canberra Times last weekend claimed that "Signs emerged in Canberra this week that this [population] debate is maturing. The Legislative Assembly's environment committee finished its inquiry into the ''ecological carrying capacity of the ACT and region'', and resisted calls from many to recommend limiting our population. Instead, it pointed out that ''consumption patterns and environmentally sustainable behaviours of individuals are likely to change over time … Case studies, including Australian ones, have shown that populations sometimes significantly reduce their rates of consumption and, in turn, their ecological footprints.'' (Correctly quoted from the Report, p. 67) He was referring the ACT government's very recent Report on carrying capacity, titled Inquiry into the ecological carrying capacity of the ACT and Region, at In reply Mark O'Connor wrote: "I challenge Mannheim to cite one Australian city whose growing population has genuinely reduced its overall consumption of late." The Report itself, on p. 67, seems to be citing such a study. In a footnote to the sentence in bold print above, it cites the example of
the City of Port Phillip’s reported reductions in its ecological footprint on the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) website
This URL, however, when checked (which the Report's authors should have done) only says that 28 self-selected residents of that region who entered a program had, at the end of the program, reduced their footprints somewhat - by about 8%! (The international examples looked iffy, too. One of the two was from Findhorn in Scotland, hardly a typical suburb.)

THE leader of controversial environment group Sea Shepherd has been arrested on what is believed to be an attempted murder charge . Captain Paul Watson was arrested in Germany over the weekend and will be extradited to Costa Rica on an outstanding arrest warrant from an incident which occurred in 2002. Paul Watson was arrested on an Interpol warrant for a complaint from Costa Rican fishermen for a collision at sea. Watson claims the fishermen were illegally poaching shark, and he intervened. The incident in question was caught on video by the crew filming Sharkwater, a feature length documentary film originally released in Canada in 2007. The crew of the Varadero (a vessel in Guatemalan waters illegally hunting for shark fins) accused the Sea Shepherds of trying to kill them, while video evidence proves this to be a fallacy. No one was injured. The Australian people oppose whaling yet their government does nothing to stop the Japanese from reaping their slaughter within their economic zone. Why? Quite simply: money. The general public prosecutor finally submitted his motion for a preliminary extradition arrest warrant against Captain Paul Watson. The keys to Captain Paul Watson’s freedom are in the hands of the Honorable Minister of Justice and the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs. Sea Shepherd therefore ask all supporters of Captain Paul Watson to immediately contact the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask them to end the unjust and politically-motivated extradition of Captain Paul Watson before a panel of judges decides Captain Paul Watson’s fate on Friday. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger Federal Minister of Justice Deutscher Bundestag? Platz der Republik 11011 Berlin Telephone 030 - 227 751 62? Fax 030 - 227 764 02? E-Mail: Federal Ministry of Justice Mohrenstrasse 37?10117 Berlin Germany Telephone: +49 (030) 18 580-0 Telefax: +49 (030) 18 580-9525 Dr. Guido Westerwelle - Minister of Foreign Affairs FDP-Bundestagsfraktion Platz der Republik 1?11011 Berlin Tel.: 030 / 22771636 Fax: 030 / 22776562 E-Mail: The Taiwanese Shark Fin Mafia has had a $20,000 bounty on his head for years. We know the arm of the Taiwanese Shark Finning Mafia reaches not just to the illegal fishing industry in Costa Rica, but also to the prison system there. Sea Shepherd fears that not only would Captain Paul Watson not receive a fair trial in Costa Rica, but he would likely not survive jail long enough to see the inside of a court room. This is not only about saving the life of Captain Paul Watson, but also save the lives of whales, dolphins, seals, and fish that he has spent his life courageously defending.

Paul Watson's arrest is guaranteed a political plot - CIA doing deals again.
It is a matter of whom he has upset most and so who has most to gain and the means to internationally plot against him.

“In our efforts to defend the lives of whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, and fish we have made some powerful enemies, most notably the government of Japan. It is no coincidence that the extradition request by Costa Rica was issued the same month (October 2011) as the Japanese whaling (ICR) lawsuit against Sea Shepherd was initiated. The extradition request was in reference to a complaint from Costa Rican fishermen who I caught poaching in Guatemalan waters. The fishermen were not injured and their boat was not damaged. The incident was fully documented for the film Sharkwater. Interpol originally denied this extradition order and deemed it as politically motivated. Therefore the question must be asked why Germany is now taking into account accusations made by illegal poachers.”
- Captain Paul Watson

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region

In contrast to the increasingly 'Do as I say, not what I do' style of Anglophone governments, the new French government intends to lead by example: For example, Ministerial salaries have been reduced by 30 %, including the President's. This brings French salaries below German ones but above Spanish ones. Of the 34 members of the French government, 17 are women. Source: Journal Televise, France2, 17 May 2012.

"-8297">Marcus Mannheim in his op. ed. in The Canberra Times last weekend claimed that 'Signs emerged in Canberra this week that this [population] debate is maturing'....resisted calls from many to recommend limiting our population."

So the very idea that a region can only support a finite population is "immature"? That the pro-growth lobby dismiss the very idea of population stabilization so flippantly says a lot.

By William Bourke "Although some politicians and media commentators would have you believe otherwise, ‘big Australia’ population growth is not about boats or refugees. It really boils down to planes. Australia’s total annual intake of around 14,000 refugees makes up only four per cent of our recent annual population growth of around 350,000 people. More importantly, asylum seekers arriving by boat (around 5,000 per annum) make up less than two per cent. In any case, boat arrivals do not increase Australia's rate of population growth. This is because asylum seekers that are deemed to be genuine refugees are included within the total number of refugees we accept each year. The population issue is really about an excess of permanent immigrants over permanent emigrants, combined with a temporary excess of births over deaths. At present, including our open borders arrangement with New Zealand, our excess of permanent immigrants is nearly 200,000 per annum. Our excess of births is presently around 150,000 per annum. However, with the current fertility rate of around two children per woman, births and deaths will naturally find equilibrium over coming decades." The rest can be read and you can leave comments:

This was posted as a comment in response to the story "Québec's Student Strike Turning Into a Citizens' Revolt " of 25 May at :

This fight against the globalisation of eduction in Canada sets an example to the whole world and is to be warmly applauded. What the Quebecois students face is precisely what we faced in Australia in 1986 when the 'Labor' Government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating introduced the so-called "Higher Eduction Contribution Scheme" (HECS).

As the name implies, HECS was sold as merely requiring students to make a modest 'contribution' to the cost of their own tertiary eduction. In fact 1986 is the very year I commenced my own tertiary education as an adult. I participated in protest against HECS. The protests failed in part because the Australian students' associations had previously been undermined from within by forces funded from without.

After HECS was introduced, the 'Labor' government proceeded to ramp up the amounts that students were required to 'contribute'. The even more reactionary Liberal/National Government of John Howard, which succeeded then Prime Minster Keating's Government in 1996 continued that process. Now as a consequence, Australian tertiary education has been almost completely globalised with native Australian students comprising only a small minority of students at many campuses.

See also:

On Candobetter:

of 2 June 2012

On Global Research:

“We Didn’t Know It Was Impossible, So We Did It!”
- by Malav Kanuga - 2012-05-23

- by Keith Jones - 2012-05-24

- by Pierre Dubuc - 2012-05-25

From the mainstream newsmedia:

of 25 May in the Globe and Mail

('employees' changed to 'bureacrats' in heading just now) of 25 May in the Sun News

of 26 May in The Australian

of 25 May in The Australian

of 24 May in The Guardian

This is a response to - Ed

Maybe you should stop living in a propaganda cocoon and do some real research instead of rehashing wartime canards. To say the invasion of Poland was without provocation is an out and out lie. The German government tried negotiation with the Polish government for years before deciding on a military option. Two objective books on the subject - The Forced War by David L.Hoggan and The War That Had Many Fathers by Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof. They also appealed to the League of Nations to help arbitrate the peaceful return of land which they lost due to the treaty of Versailles. The Polish government which consisted of a military junta took a belligerent attitude and refused to negotiate because of the British guarantee of aid in case of war with Germany. The Polish military welcomed war with Germany because they thought they would win having defeated the Red Army of the USSR in the 1920's when they invaded Poland. Behind the scenes the administration of US president Franklin Roosevelt was also fanning the flames of war by secretly promising the Poles assistance.

There is also the fact that ethnic Germans in Poland were being massacred which was confirmed by observers from neutral countries and the Red Cross. The warmongers in Britain and France got their wish when those countries declared war on Germany. The fact that Britain and France didn't declare war on the Soviet Union when it invaded Poland is proof positive that the British and French governments did not care about Poland or it's people they simply used it as an excuse to go to war against Germany. This was made even more glaringly obvious in 1945 when Poland, the reason for going to war in the first place, was given to Stalin and turned into a communist dictatorship. So much for going to war for the independence of Poland! I might point out that Stalin was a lot worse than Hitler. He was busy killing millions of people before Hitler came to power, he was busy killing millions of people while Hitler was in power and he was busy killing millions of people after Hitler left power. For instance in 1933 when Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany Stalin was busy starving ten million Ukrainians to death in a man made famine called the And the slave labour camps of the gulag existed before there were nazi concentration camps. The fact that you support an alliance with such a blood drenched, mass murdering tyrant as Stalin shows that you are morally bankrupt. As for saying that Germany/Japan are responsible for all 60 million deaths of world war 2 this is rubbish. Where does personal responsibility start with you? Both sides are to blame for any deaths. Whoever pulled a trigger or dropped a bomb from whichever countries armed forces are to blame. How can you say Hitler is responsible for the soviet massacre of Polish officers at Katyn? That's just rubbish. How can you say the Japanese are responsible for the Anglo-American firebombing of Dresden? More rubbish. For your information Hitler made many peace feelers to Britain through neutral Sweden and Switzerland as he was an Anglophile and didn't want war with that country to begin with. Rudolf Hess risked his life flying to Scotland in an attempt at a peace mission. It was Roosevelt and Churchill who with their insistence on unconditional surrender that prolonged the war and caused many more millions of casualties on both sides. Instead of a negotiated peace through neutral channels they made it a fight to the death. World war 2 ended in 1945 - that's 67 years ago! It's about time people started looking at that conflict in a more even handed and objective manner instead of regurgitating anti nazi and anti japanese propaganda.

Editorial Comment: Whilst much that is contained in this post is true, I can't say if I can draw from that the same conclusions that Robert Brasillach does. At least the 'propaganda cocoon' Geoffrey Taylor is living in does not in include the lies of , , which have been used in the last two decades to start wars in which over 2 mlliion have died. I would be interested to hear from Robert that he also rejects those lies.

It was curious that nowhere in any of your posts did you raise the Nazi Holocaust against Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally ill. I would be interested to read your response to the treatment of David Hoggan, mentioned by you, in a in the Wikipedia article Holocaust denial:

In 1961, the American historian and a leading protégé of Barnes, David Hoggan published Der Erzwungene Krieg (The Forced War) in West Germany, which claimed that Germany had been the victim of an Anglo-Polish conspiracy in 1939. Though Der Erzwungene Krieg was primarily concerned with the origins of World War II, it also down-played or justified the effects of Nazi antisemitic measures in the pre-1939 period.[] For an example, Hoggan justified the huge one billion Reich-mark fine imposed on the entire Jewish community in Germany after the 1938 Kristallnacht as a reasonable measure to prevent what he called "Jewish profiteering" at the expense of German insurance companies and alleged that no Jews were killed in the Kristallnacht (in fact, 91 German Jews were killed in the Kristallnacht).[] Subsequently, Hoggan wrote one of the first books denying the Holocaust in 1969 entitled The Myth of the Six Million, which was published by the Noontide Press, a small Los Angeles publisher specializing in antisemitic literature.[] Hoggan became one of the early stars of the Holocaust denial movement, because he had a number of university professorships.

Gina Rinehart, has won an historic deal from the Gillard Government to import more than 1700 foreign workers for a $9.5 billion mining project in the Pilbara. As the Prime Minister faces renewed rumblings about her leadership, some senior Labor MPs turned their anger on Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and vowed to fight to water down the deal. The Labor leaders have betrayed their grassroots - the workers of Australia. Unions say Australian workers should be the priority. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Friday announced that the nation's first enterprise migration agreement (EMA) had been reached with Gina Rinehart's $9.5 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara region. There were not enough people in the local workforce to get the job done. Surely existing Australians looking for employment are more "local" than foreigners? It was revealed earlier that Ms Gillard, who had been in the United States, was not informed of the decision until she returned to Australia on Wednesday. It's obvious who is running our nation - the richest mining moguls and wealthy corporations. The announcement was made by the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, and the Minister for Resources, Martin Ferguson, and Ms Gillard was uneasy at the message the deal would send. Skills Minister Chris Evans says the deal is a necessary step to manage the workforce, saying the move is a "sensible economic solution". If Australia lacks skills it's because our tertiary education system is failing to provide them, and universities are too focused on the economic benefits of educating foreign students, they're too expensive and there's not enough jobs to train on and gain skills. Jobs are going off-shore. Ms Gillard went into damage-control mode, saying that a "jobs board'' would be created that would give Australian workers information about what jobs were available in the resources sector. What about supporting local manufacturing, limiting globalization, buying back some of our own infrastructure and utilities, and investing more in TAFE and tertiary education? Foreign workers are more amenable, cheaper, and their numbers are uncapped. Many of them end up being sponsored for permanent residency by their employers. This is only a short-term solution to skills shortages. Foreign workers could solve the immediate problem, leading to less investment in skill training. Also, once they have PR they are likely to sponsor their relatives under the family reunion scheme, bringing in more people who may not have skills. The "Asian Century" means that Australia is a sub-set of Asia's booming economy, and we must homogenize our work force and population accordingly. Phillip Ruthven, 1998, Chairman of IBIS Business Information said: "By 2025 Australia was likely to have ceded some sovereignty over population and some financial and legal matters to a grouping based on our closer neighbours in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) countries".

of 26 May on Global Research:

The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on Libya by NATO and its allies is becoming horribly clearer with each passing day. Estimates of those killed so far vary, but 50,000 seems like a low estimate; indeed the British Ministry of Defence was boasting that the onslaught had killed 35,000 as early as last May. But this number is constantly growing. The destruction of the state’s forces by British, French and American -8326">blitzkrieg has left the country in a state of total anarchy – in the worst possible sense of the word. Having had nothing to unite them other than a temporary willingness to act as NATO’s foot soldiers, the former ‘rebels’ are now turning on each other. 147 were killed in in-fighting in Southern Libya in a single week earlier this year, and in recent weeks government buildings – including the Prime Ministerial compound – have come under fire by ‘rebels’ demanding cash payment for their services. $1.4billion has been paid out already – demonstrating once again that it was the forces of NATO colonialism, not Gaddafi, who were reliant on ‘mercenaries’- but payments were suspended last month due to widespread nepotism. Corruption is becoming endemic – a further $2.5billion in oil revenues that was supposed to have been transferred to the national treasury remains unaccounted for. Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by the oil multinationals and a handful of chosen families from amongst the country’s new elites; a classic neo-colonial stitch-up. The use of these resources for giant infrastructure projects such as the Great Manmade River, and the massive raising of living standards over the past four decades (Libyan life expectancy rose from 51 to 77 since Gaddafi came to power in 1969) sadly looks to have already become a thing of the past.

Should it by any mystery as to why are so resolved to stop NATO's proxies doing to what they have already been done to Libya?
See also: of 12 April.

Whilst Russia Today is a vastly more truthful source than the corporate newsmedia and the . The beginning of the on the Houla massacre from Russia Today gives far too much credence to claims of atrocities made against the Syrian government. In fact, the claims mage have been shown to be lies in the Global Research story of 26 May. Whilst the broadcast finishes by interviewing the Syrian Foreign Minister, something the corporate media rarely does, this broadcast leaves the viewer grappling for too long with lies that he/she could have been made aware at the start were most likely untrue.

Over the years that I have been nursing I have heard nothing but criticism about nursing courses being taken from hospitals to Universities. Now that Universities are demanding nurses pay $10,000 to do a 3 month refresher course the anti-nurse lobby is happy. I am a University trained nurse and 3 years into my career I was forced out of the industry due to a work injury. After being out of nursing for 10 years I did a refresher course within a hospital setting and met all the requirements of AHPRA within 6 weeks, thus I was re-registered and able to resume normal nursing duties again. I then commenced work and rapidly moved into senior roles. The point I am making is that the fundamental skills in nursing never change, thus there is absolutely no reason why nurses should be forced to pay $10,000 to do a refresher course or (worse) retrain from scratch. If you ask me they could do a one month online refresher course followed by a two month supervised clinical placement to bring their skills up to date. This would save a lot of time and it would be very cost efficient. As it is PCAs do a 3 week government funded course and they are allowed to administer drugs in nursing homes even though they have had no formal training in pharmacology or drug calculations. If the government was really concerned about the welfare of Australians, they would fund the refresher course for nurses instead of replacing them with unskilled labourers. -6250">Source of above comment

What you write of is symptomatic of the far broader problem of creeping credentialism. Back in the 1980's and earlier it was possible for many people to obtain good jobs and decent career paths without being required to attend University for many years in their own time and at their own expense. Some, who even left school before year 12 could still hope to do well provided they had the aptitude. A most striking example of this is former Prime Minister who left school at the age of 15. Ironically, because of Keating's own 'reforms' to the Australian economy, no 15 year old high school drop-out in 2012 would stand a chance of matching even a small part of Keating's own career advancement. Apprenticeships were once offered to large numbers of young workers, including to young prospective nurses. To be sure pay for trainee nurses was modest, but they were provided cheap accommodation, so whilst undergoing training, they had security and shelter and obtained a qualification for life after only three years, without any need to retrain. In many other jobs, training that enabled career advancement was provided by most employers in their time. Where clerical careers were once offered by both government and private employers to high school leavers and even to those who had only reached year 10, Today at least a university degree and often post graduate qualifications as well are needed before many employers will even grant an interview to a prospective employee. Thanks to the 'reforms' to the tertiary education system. also made by Keating, as well as by Hawke and Howard, most will also start their careers with a huge debts incurred obtaining their University education.

This "credentialism" has a simple basic cause too many people, not enough jobs. Whenever the growth lobby starts whining about labour shortages, I laugh to myself.

Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. Scientists believe the caesium-134 found in tuna off California, therefore, had to come from Fukushima. The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Bluefin tuna absorbed radioactive cesium from swimming in contaminated waters and feeding on contaminated prey such as krill and squid, scientists say. Pacific bluefin tuna are prized in Japan where a thin slice of the tender red meat prepared as sushi can fetch NZ$32 per piece at top Tokyo restaurants. Japanese consume 80 percent of the world's Pacific and Atlantic bluefin tuna. Scientists do not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances. Now that scientists know that bluefin tuna can transport radiation, they also want to track the movements of other migratory species including sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes in a bulletin that radioactive iodine, which has a short half-life, would be gone by the time migratory fish arrive in U.S. waters, and that radioactive cesium hasn’t been detected in any tuna imported from Japan. Many fisheries have been even more dismissive about the chances of contamination. The mystery surrounding the deaths of at least 877 dolphins in Peru deepened on Wednesday as the government said "human activity was not to blame". But it did leave open the possibility that abnormally warm surface water temperatures and high levels of algae may have played a role, saying further analysis would be needed to determine if any red and brown plankton species in the sea were toxic. High levels of algae could easily be a symptom of over-fishing and ecological ill-health of the oceans as predatory fish are being eliminated by fishing, and toxic flows. This month, warmer surface waters sent anchovies lower down into cooler waters where pelicans could not dive deep enough to reach them. Some 5,000 birds starved to death as a result. Our dying oceans are the result of mining, over-fishing, pollution - "human activity was not to blame" does not hold any substance!!

Prime Minister is in the firing line, accused of fueling "racist innuendo" in the debate over enterprise migration agreements (EMA). Industry chiefs have likened the backlash against foreign mine workers to the White Australia policy. Pauline Hanson said mining jobs should be reserved for Australians. It's not about "race" or ethnic origins, and we don't know which "race" the foreign workers will even come from! Pauline Hanson is right - mining jobs should be reserved for Australians. We are still a sovereign nation? Who are "Australians" now? On the contrary, the enterprise migration agreements are more like "reverse racism" as we in Australia - a multicultural country - are being disadvantaged and singled out at a time of high youth unemployment, lack of opportunities to gain skills, and high educational and training costs. What other nation would allow corporations to give employment to foreigners over the local, national, people? It's an absurd accusation and assumes those protesting are the "white" Anglo elements on our community. Bring back Pauline Hanson - for all her mistakes and failures, she was brave enough to speak some home-truths. We are being socially engineered by "white guilt" so that we are ready to cave in and allow ourselves to be manipulated to our own detriment.

The corporations engineering displacement by foreign workers of people already here know that what they are doing is wrong and indefensible. So they go on the attack. Their attack is very weak. It is to accuse people of racism when they are obviously simply trying to defend their rights. That is all the greedy corporates and their friends in government and the opposition can think up. There are so many good arguments against importing workers when people already here cannot get jobs and housing are inflated by over-demand, that the corporate press has to bend over backwards to keep the good arguments out and only run with the pathetic one, the so-called 'racism' one. With regard to Pauline Hanson, I don't think that anyone would deny that she had guts and thereby stood out among most politicians of the era. However, on the question of immigration, when I read her biography by Pacholli, who wrote her speeches, including that famous maiden speech, he seemed to be saying that British immigrants were fine and bring them on. Well British immigrants also take Australian jobs, so fewer immigrants of any kind (zero net is a good number) would help a lot to restore democracy and slow the pace of the processes that are depleting energy and driving pollution.

We've heard over and over there's a shortage of skilled workers, but from my experience its a myth. Anecdotal I know, but it goes against what we've been hearing from the immigration and business lobbies. I know a fully qualified tradesman with decades of experience who was told that at 45 he was simply too old at every firm he applied to. You read about recent graduates in the supposedly lucrative fields of engineering and science unable to find any work at all in the fields they were trained in. I'm not sure what things are like in the mining areas, but if Gina Rinehart claimed she couldn't find enough Australian workers, I'm betting she wasn't looking very hard, if at all.

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