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The NSW Upper House is holding an inquiry into the impact of the WestConnex Project.
The committee will examine a range of issues including the cost of the project, its governance structures, the compulsory acquisition of properties as part of the development, and the projects relationship with other road projects in Sydney.
Committee Chair Fred Nile said:
The NSW Government has invested significant funds in the WestConnex project. This inquiry will investigate the adequacy of the WestConnex business case and the projects costs, particularly whether this project represents a good investment for New South Wales taxpayers
Submissions to the inquiry are open until 31 August 2018. You can make a submission here.
You are encouraged to tell the inquiry how the WestConnex project has affected you. Submissions detailing your own personal experiences are informative, relevant and potentially very compelling evidence.
The full terms of reference are here.
So this morning Chris Mitchell finally woke up to the intolerance on the left.
While intimidation of Australias politicians falls far short of anti-Trump hysteria, there is among students, artists, journalists and political activists an increasing intolerance here, too.
I particularly enjoyed this bit:
Julia Baird, part-time host of The Drum, used her column in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 28 to call out social media intimidation she was receiving for supposedly privileging panellists from the Institute of Public Affairs. Baird said the show had included only three IPA appearances this year, two by the same person.*
Now the IPA, even though supported by big businesses and Australias richest woman, Gina Rinehart, is not the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in 1943 by Charles Denton Kemp, father of Howard government ministers Rod and David Kemp. Although associated with free-market economic policies in recent decades, it was very much a Keynesian institution until the early 70s.
Wrote Baird: The art of persuasion has been thoroughly trounced by polemic in public debate. Online, in comments sections, in staccato bursts of hate and attack, in the citing of feelings over facts, we see people shoving pillows over divergent views and trying to stop them being aired at all.
She complained about the Twitter campaign to silence the IPA on The Drum. Just exactly what are Twitters twits afraid of? On subjects from migration to power prices, climate change and taxation reform, many on the uneducated Twitter Left would benefit from hearing well-argued conservative views. They might even learn why voters around the world disagree with most social media pieties.
Mind you its not just the uneducated Twitter Left. His own The Australian colleague James Jeffery had this to say on twitter about Chris and my book on the ABC:
Has has the IPA put one of the Bananas in an oven pic.twitter.com/g7LLHZK2sO
James Jeffrey (@James_Jeffrey) June 12, 2018...
By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim New South Wales taxpayers will once again foot the bill after an officer unlawfully and brutally arrested a 17-year old outside a bakery at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains. A District Court judge has ordered the government to pay the now 21-year old man $124,000 in compensation, after finding
The post NSW Police Force Ordered to Pay $124,000 over Brutal Arrest appeared first on Sydney Criminal Lawyers.
by Mary W Maxwell, LLB
It is natural and acceptable to call upon any member of the community to help us in times of dire need. Right now we are in dire need, thanks to the stuff that was begun when Fiona Barnett told Youtube (in 2015) that she had witnessed the multiple murder BY UPSTANDING PERSONAGES at Bathurst. This included a federal minister, a police commissioner, a law professor, and others.
I would like Dame Marie Bashir, the former governor of New South Wales (2001-2014) to be approached by some respectful citizen to see what she can offer by way of advice in this crisis. At the same time Her Excellency can be asked to provide insider information.
Just as the Commonwealth has a Governor-General as the stand-in for the Monarch, so each state of Australia has a vice-regal Governor. That governor is routinely informed by Parliamentary leaders of things going on in his/her state....
The original vision of the sharing economy hasnt diedit just needs more support and protection.
Tim Jenkin is a real-life superhero. A white South African, he took up campaigning for the African National Congress (ANC) and against Apartheid and was jailed for terrorism. After two years he ghosted his way out of jail using keys he forged himself. In the 1980s he built an encrypted communication network which helped the ANC become an effective political force. Then in the late 1990s he began writing software to help people swap goods and services without money. When I met him last year, I discovered how his approach could resuscitate a vision I thought was dying.
That vision was of a sharing economy to help humanity. In a 2013 report I helped to write for the World Economic Forum we were quite gung-ho about the economic and environmental potential of the sharing sector. Alongside the large corporate platforms like Uber and Airbnb, we also mentioned locally-owned and locally-focused systems, believing all these approaches would reduce the environmental resources required to deliver a better quality of life by unlocking underused assets like power tools and empty bedrooms.
But five years on, it turns out we were wrong. These corporate platforms have received a barrage of criticism. The most recent research indicates that the environmental impacts of Uber are not positive. One study estimates that Uber and its competitor Lyft could be increasing total vehicle travel miles per year in the US by as much as 5.5 billion. It turns out that sharing isnt quite the right word for connecting independent taxi drivers with their clients. The idea that Airbnb would reduce the environmental impact of where people stay is....
Sydney locals were left mystified after witnessing a meteor dash through the sky last night. The meteor was seen across the city at around 6.30pm, with some lucky witnesses managing to capture incredible footage of the rare phenomenon. Footage circulating on social media showed the fireball slowly growing larger and more visible as it streaked through the night sky. The moment only lasted for a few seconds before the flash of light was gone.
Our next meeting will be
We will be discussing:
When multiple tipsters write in to tell us about a story, we can tell its an important one. This morning weve received word that the holding warehouse of the Australian Computer Museum Society in the Sydney suburb of Villawood is to be imminently demolished, and they urgently need to save the artifacts contained within it. They need Aussies with spare storage capacity of decent size to help them keep and store the collection, and they only have a few days during which to do so.
The ever-effusive Dave from EEVblog has posted a video in which he takes a tour, and like us hes continually exclaiming over the items he finds. An EAI analog computer, a full set of DEC PDP-11 technical documentation, a huge Intel development system, Tektronix printers, huge DEC racks, memory cards for VAXen, piles and piles of boxes of documentation, and much, much more.
So, if you are an Aussie within reach of Sydney who happens to have a currently-unused warehouse, barn, or industrial unit that could house some of this stuff, get in touch with them quickly. Some of it may well be junk, but within that treasure trove undoubtedly lies a lot of things that need to be saved. Wed be down there ourselves, but are sadly on the other side of the world.
Over 120 people from 20 union, church, aid and environment organisations rallied outside the Sydney public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties concerning the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11). Speakers focused on the impact the TPP-11 would have on workers, temporary migrant workers and women, the cost of medicines, and the extra rights it would give investing corporations to sue the Australian government. The JSCOT and a Senate Inquiry will report back to parliament in September on whether or not the parliament should vote in favour of the legislation to implement the TPP-11. The protest movement is urging MPs to vote against the implementing legislation. See photos here.
June 14, 2018:
This article on the TPP-11 by Dr Patricia Ranald was published in the Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. It notes that in 20092015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits, and recommends a review of existing regulation and trade agreements to develop measures to curb abusive business practices.
This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic laws in trade deals, (known as investor-state dispute settlement or ISDS) like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11). The TPP-11 emerged after the US withdrew from the TPP-12 and is being reviewed by both Joint and Senate parliamentary inquiries, before the parliament votes on the implementing legislation, with a Joint Committee hearing in Sydney on Friday.
The Turnbull government has agreed to ISDS in the TPP-11, despite the Howard government rejection of it in the US-Australia FTA. The previous ALP government also rejected it, as does current ALP policy, together with Greens and Centre Alliance policy. These parties, with other cross-benchers, form a majority in the Senate.
ISDS is hotly debated because it gives increased legal rights to global corporations, enabling them to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes in law or policy, even if they are in the public interest. This was seen first-hand in Australia when the Philip Morris tobacco company sued the federal government over plain packaging laws. Critics such as former High Court chief justice French have noted these tribunals...
University of Newcastle researchers have collaborated on a
world-first eHealth initiative aiming to target young peoples big
six behaviours to help reduce their chronic disease risk.
Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin and Professor David Lubans are part of the online Health4Life Initiative, launched today at UNSW Sydney.Led by UNSWs Professor Maree Teesson AC, the project aims to help to help thousands of young Australian high school children reduce their chance of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease and mental health disorders, by preventing and modifying lifestyle risk behaviours that commonly emerge in adolescence.
See more at: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/newsroom/featured-news/ehealth-program-targets-young-peoples-big-six-behaviours-to-reduce-chronic-disease-risk
In a series of Deirdre Chambers-like coincidences, at least three parliamentarians made claims for travel and travel allowances that coincided with election activities in Queensland and NSW towards the end of 2017.
Labor MP (and former Treasurer) Wayne Swan and Pauline Hanson One Nation Senator Brian Burston made claims for tax payer funded travel to or around Queensland on the weekend of that states election in November 2017.
The following week, Nationals Senator for NSW, John Williams, claimed travelling allowance for an overnight stay in Tamworth on the evening of the by-election in New England that saw Barnaby Joyce returned to Parliament after his disqualification in the High Court.
Travel rules for Commonwealth MPs, while quite generous, do provide some sharp cut offs around business that cant be characterised as parliamentary, executive or official business, but rather takes on a patina more consistent with that of party activity.
The Handbook in effect for the relevant period says of claims for travel:
Senators and Members are responsible for ensuring that any travel at Commonwealth expense is undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation, that is, in most circumstances only for Parliamentary, electorate or official business, but not party business
Former Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, spoke at a Melbourne ALP event on the evening of Friday 24 November to honour Jenny Macklins contribution to the election of the Rudd Government in 2007 10 years before.
According to The Australian, Anthony Albanese reportedly characterised this Macklin event as a party fundraiser similar to one he was holding a week later in Sydney.
However, with polling day in Queensland on Saturday, November 25, Swan returned to Queensland. This he did with an $1025 flight from Melbourne to Brisbane on election day.
THE banks will behave badly again. The only questions are how long it will take and what form will it take. In the 2011 film Margin Call an investment bank CEO played by Jeremy Irons rattles off the years of financial busts from the late 17th century to the 2008 crisis that he is dealing with in the film.
The bank had discovered (before anyone else) that its vast portfolio of triple-A-rated mortgage-based bonds were in effect worthless. So the bank knowingly dumped the lot on to an unsuspecting market which thought it was snapping up bargains by buying the worthless bonds at below market price.
Irons dismisses the ethical qualms of a more junior executive played by Kevin Spacey saying that the buyers paid the market price at the time. He dismisses Spaceys warning that the panic sale would trash the banks reputation and no-one would buy anything from it again by saying, Being the first out the door is not a panic.
In Australia in the early 1990s we saw similar behaviour with the Westpac foreign-loans scandal, documented in Senator Paul McLeans book Bankers and Bastards.
Westpac organised large foreign-currency loans for some of its customers at much lower interest rates than were prevailing in Australia. Alas, the value of those currencies rose and the value of Australian dollar fell, but the customers had to repay the loan in the foreign currency so they were much worse off than if they had taken a higher-interest-rate Australian-currency loan.
The bad advice was bad enough. The attempted cover up and the legal advice on how to do it was worse.
Westpac got an injunction in the NSW Supreme Court to stop The Sydney Morning Herald and others publishing what became to be known as the Westpac papers. So The Canberra Times published them in an ACT-only edition beyond the reach of the NSW courts.
That made the NSW injunctions rather silly and they were lifted.
All booms and busts attract malfeasance of one kind or another. In 2008 it was the packaging of sub-prime mortgages into bonds and giving them triple-A ratings they did not deserve. In Margin Call it was selling bonds the bank knew to be worthless. In booms the malfeasance has been insider trading, such as the Poseidon bubble of the late 1960s.
These scandals usually result in inquiries,...
THE Treasury-Home Affairs report on immigration seems to have based its evidence and reasoning upon its conclusion that high immigration is a good thing. On the reports own figures, present high immigration will produce an extra 1.1 per cent of total GDP. Given that 190,000 immigrants year is just a tad under 1 per cent, that does not make for very much increase in GDP per person. And that is on Treasurys optimistic and economics-only view.
The economic gain per person is so little that more people are questioning whether it is worth the risk.
The underlying economic equation, though, remains inescapable. If you increase population by 2 per cent a year, which is what is happening in Australia, you have to double (yes, double) your infrastructure effort not just increase it by 2 per cent.
This is because infrastructure (roads, football stadiums, hospitals, bridges etc) on average last about 50 years. Some longer (the Sydney Harbour Bridge). Some shorter (Olympic Stadium). If the stuff lasts 50 years you have to replace 2 per cent of it every year, just to mark time. If you add 2 per cent population growth you have to add another 2 per cent, in effect doubling the infrastructure requirement, just to mark time.
This is why people are screaming.
There are few economies of scale here. When a school is full you have to build a whole new one. Indeed, there are diseconomies of scale. If you use a road to capacity, it gets clogged and people waste time in traffic.
Treasury concentrates on income and tax and virtually ignores stresses on capital (infrastructure). It also ignores the environment. It ignores the replacement of agricultural land with housing and whether we have enough water. It ignores the social cost of forcing people into apartments. It ignores the morality of reducing Australias capacity to export food as more will be consumed here.
A lot of the increase in GDP from higher population comes from the higher price of goods and services that become scarcer, not from higher standards of living. A round of golf now charged at $1000 because land values have sky-rocketed adds $1000 to GDP. Yet it is the same round of gold which only added $100 to GDP when that was the going rate when we had lower population and lower land values.
GDP is a warped measurement. It does not measure well-being. If higher GDP (and not even much higher GDP per person) is the best argument for continuing the recently hugely increased immigration intake, it is a very poor one, even if you believed the economic...
Bestselling Australian author, Natasha Lester, weaves sweeping stories of strong women succeeding in a male dominated world at key historical moments. Her latest book, The Paris Seamstress, shows just how much a young Parisian seamstress, Estella Bissette, will sacrifice to make her mark in New Yorks fashion scene of the 1940s. Then, seventy- five years later, as her granddaughter, Fabienne Bissette, learns more about her grandmothers past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and secrets and the sacrifices made for love. Crossing generations, societys boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstressis the fascinating, transporting story of the special relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter as they attempt to heal the heartache of the past.
Author, Natasha Lester, is my guest today.
The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester, is published by Hachette Australia.
The Brandenburg Quartet brings together the four principals of the multi ARIA Award-winning Orchestras string section: violinists, Shaun Lee-Chen and Ben Dollman; violist Monique ODea; and cellist, Jamie Hey. Performing exclusively on gut strings, the group seeks to explore and shed light on little-known works and composers, in addition to well-loved quartets of the classical repertoire. The Brandenburg Quartet are bringing the unique sound world of the Brandenburg in their debut performance at the Independent Theatre with a program of exquisite classical quartets played on period instruments.
Violist, Monique ODea, is my guest today.
Brandenburg Quartet | Saturday 14 April 2018 at 7pm
The Independent Theatre, 269 Miller Street, North Sydney
DURANTE Concerto for Strings in G Minor | ROMBERG String Quartet in F Major, Op.1/3
HAYDN String Quartet in D Minor, Op.76/2.
More Info: www.brandenburg.com.au
I look forward to your company 10.30am 12.00pm
A witness to the Barcelona attack in August 2017 (Photo: PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
A new app being developed will turn a smartphone into an intelligence-gathering device during a terror attack or other emergency situation, The Weekend Australian reported.
The app will allow citizens to collect information through audio or video recordings and send it to a centralized cloud platform so that police, first responders and the like can get accurate information during an attack.
The idea for the app came after the attack at the Lindt Caf in downtown Sydney in 2014 where a terrorist held 18 people hostage. During the 16-hour siege that ensued, first responders did not have access to real-time information from the hostages themselves, greatly hampering their ability to act.
The citizen-centric app, which is being developed by The Citadel Group in Australia, can also be used to crowdsource information in the event of car-jackings, kidnappings and the like.
Now emergency services can see what people are seeing, hear what people are hearing and understand whether its a single incident or coordinated attack, said Citadel CEO Daren Stanley.
Instead of three separate incidents being called in separately and treated individually, the in-built analytics of this platform determines that there are three incidents reported within two kilometers of each other which are atypical and may be a coordinated attack. Traditionally that sort of insight may take hours to develop this app makes it seamless.
The fact that the information is stored on a cloud platform means that you can do it at a pace and at a cost that you could never do using traditional platforms, Stanley added.
Citadel also plans to use the app as a prototype to develop similar apps in the fields of wel...
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