World Youth Day costing us a packet
With all the other news coming out of NSW it's easy to forget the 100 million dollar hole being put in our pockets by World Youth Day. Alan Jones has a reminder.
Neal's dining mate quits under pressure
AN electorate officer who was at the infamous Iguana club dinner has resigned from MP Belinda Neal's staff as pressure takes its toll.
Senior staff who dined with Belinda Neal ... Melissa Batten has resigned.
Twiggy gives some stick
Money, sense, a desire to help and a preparedness to defy the ideologues. I’m impressed:
AUSTRALIA’S richest man, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, has described the lives of many Aborigines as crap and criticised governments for giving welfare not opportunities.
No ghettos for them
Important news and reassuring:
ISIK College has certainly kept up appearances in the VCE having come first in Victoria in university enrolments for two years in a row.
With only its sixth cohort of graduates, ISIK has sped on at light speed with ninety six percent of its students enrolling into university.
Isik College is non-denominational, but with students almost entirely from Muslim families. State schools with large Muslim minorities have struggled badly. Isik’s success is important to us all.
Swan's tips not-so-special
THE Treasurer has told cash-strapped shoppers to look for bargains, and to buy bread in bulk, in advice branded "insulting".
new leaks from Brumby’s water plans
DRIP, drip, drip. That’s not the sound of the Brumby Government finding more water. The opposite, I’m afraid.
It’s the drip of news that shows the Government’s water plans have sprung a leak.
Premier John Brumby thought he had a cool hi-tech way of solving our water shortages that would let him dodge the obvious answer - to just defy the greens and build a new dam.
He’d instead build a $3.1 billion desalination plant on the lovely coast near Wonthaggi, and a $750 million pipe to send water “saved” from the Goulburn irrigation area to Melbourne.
The plan was dodgy enough already. But the latest news make it seem even worse.
When shame turns to fame
HERE’S what happens when we let shame die in our giddy greed for sensation, and make stars out of even a Roberta Williams.
It’s Saturday night and eight boys get into the number 16 tram at Glenferrie Rd and High St, Malvern.
Nice area, that. Private school heaven. And the boys, in their late teens, fit right in - at least from the police pictures I’m looking at.
They have the salon hair, the mobile phones and the natty shirts, some with hoods, as approved by the most fashionable of f-u gangsta rappers.
In fact, they seem to have every advantage of civilised life except civility itself, because as soon as they park themselves at the back of the tram they start boozing, smoking and shouting so that everyone else on the tram knows who sets the new rules.
A police report continues: “A short time later all but three of the males made their way into the middle of the car. At this time the main offender . . . pulled down his pants and defecated on to the seat.
“He then used some beer to help wash his hands while wiping them on the seats, causing a number of seats to be soiled.”
And, territory marked in the way of wolves, they hop off, at Glenferrie station.
Grants trump grunt
Professor James Allan says the grants culture is rotting our universities:
When academics are judged in this country, one of the key criteria used is that person’s track record in getting grants. So if some professor gets a million dollars to research in some area, then the very fact the professor got that grant money will count as an output, as a sign of excellence. And this will be true whatever comes from the use of that money.
Isn’t that bizarre?…
But in many parts of law, and indeed in much of the humanities, it makes no sense at all… So any money you got would go to what exactly? Buying your way out of teaching? Getting some student to do your work for you? Measuring people in these areas based on getting grants is plain dumb. And yet the emphasis on it here in Australia is ridiculously high…
Here’s a fact. Any Australian legal academic looking for a job overseas would be judged on his or her publications and teaching, full stop. It would be irrelevant that the Australian Research Council had given that person a few grants.
Neal staffer jumps
It’s falling apart for Belinda Neal:
A SENIOR staffer who was dining with Belinda Neal during the Iguanas affair resigned yesterday, putting further pressure on Ms Neal and her husband John Della Bosca.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Melissa Batten, whose sworn statement is believed to differ from four others written by Ms Neal’s staff and friends, has quit working for the MP…
Her resignation came the morning after she spent five hours being interviewed by Gosford police about the events of the night. Mr Conditsis also said there were another two statutory declarations the Government had failed to make public.
“We know that there were nine people (dining with Ms Neal and Mrs Della Bosca). Seven did statutory declarations,” Mr Conditsis said. However, the Government has only released four.
The Daily Telegraph can also reveal that a NSW public servant was asked to dig dirt on the six complainants who criticised Ms Neal and her husband.
Green power a job killer
That penny has just dropped, has it?
RENEWABLE energy could be the “silent assassin” that kills off Australian export industries, the state Development Minister, Ian Macdonald, told a powerful coalition of business groups at a carbon emissions summit in Sydney yesterday…
The NSW Government believes trade-exposed industries, such as farming, forestry, aluminium and steel will suffer under the scheme, and should be compensated by taxpayers for having to compete with countries yet to put a price on carbon.
Take out petrol from the Rudd Government’s planned carbon emissions trading as well, and there won’t be many emission sources left we can cut, will there?
Bartlett won’t name 10, either
Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett demands we pay compensation to the “stolen generations”. The trouble, is he can’t - or won’t - even name them and give proofs they were truly stolen for racist reasons. Here’s reader Keith asking Bartlett the big-handout question in a live-blogging session:
1. Can you please give some names of members of the stolen generation? I haven’t come aceross one person who was stolen because they awere Aboriginal.
2. Why is it such a crime to take children away who are being abused and neglected? Are we better off leaving them there to die? ...
Let them eat hack
Police shoot a polar bear to save some journalists. Herald Sun readers are very upset.
Italy at last gets over the greens’ Chernobyl scare
Italy finally figures the price of superstition is too high:
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, is to place nuclear power at the heart of a new energy plan this week as his country faces soaring fuel costs.
Italy, the only G8 country with no nuclear power stations, decommissioned its four plants after a public referendum in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Yet with fuel prices at record highs, Italy is spending twice as much as France on generating electricity each year, and has had to shut several power stations to save money. It is also the world’s biggest importer of electricity, buying 10 per cent of its power from nuclear plants in neighbouring countries.
The grim reality of paying the highest electricity bills in Europe has changed the public’s attitudes towards nuclear power. The latest poll shows a 60 per cent support among Italians - a dramatic change from the 70 per cent opposition recorded in 1991.
BP bumps petrol prices to record high
Sydney's petrol prices have hit a new record high, smashing through the 170 cents/litre mark. -Thanks kevin - ed.
Armed robbers hold-up bank, steal getaway vehicle at gunpoint
Three armed men threatened staff at a Sydney bank, before two of them carjacked a woman's vehicle at gunpoint to make their getaway.
Accused helicopter thief was a police officer
A man charged with stealing a helicopter from Bankstown Airport is a former police officer. Laura Tunstall has the exclusive.