November 3rd 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY What religious freedoms does the Government propose removing?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Regions are in no state to accommodate immigrants

CANBERRA OBSERVED Wentworth swing least of Morrison's worries

CLIMATE CHANGE Good science contradicts IPCC's two-degree panic

GENDER POLITICS Inquiry needed into why so many kids are identifying as transgender

LIFE ISSUES Truth the first casualty of Victorian bubble-zone law

LIFE ISSUES Culture of death lands killer blow on Queensland

FOREIGN AFFAIRS High stakes in U.S. midterm elections

FREE SPEECH Are university chiefs growing backbones?

HISTORY Chicago: City of the Big Shoulders

LITERATURE AND CULTURE

EUTHANASIA Making death easier makes life harder

RECENT RELEASE BOOK

MUSIC Recipe for groove: pulse is best sign of life

CINEMA First Man; Ladies in Black; Bad Times at the El Royale

BOOK REVIEW FDR's bad example from Depression era

BOOK REVIEW Cartoon hero puts it in black and white

HUMOUR

LETTERS

VICTORIAN ELECTION The left gets ready to scream 'haters'

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VICTORIAN ELECTION
The left gets ready to scream 'haters'


by Terri M. Kelleher and Chris McCormack

News Weekly, November 3, 2018

Ten organisations have penned an open letter to Victorian politicians “demanding that candidates and political parties do not divide Victorian communities with hate and fear this state election”.

The organisations are all to the left of the political spectrum. They include the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Environment Victoria, Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth and a number of refugee advocates. Is this an attempt to silence debate on critical issues facing Victorians, under the guise of preventing “hate and fear”?

Political parties represent competing worldviews and their policies reflect this. It is unrealistic to expect bipartisan support on issues as diverse as drug-injecting rooms, euthanasia and abortion, dealing with crime, power generation, the state’s agenda in the content of the school curriculum, LGBT “rights”, anti-discrimination laws, locking up public land from bush users and the timber industry, water allocations for agriculture, public transport versus road infrastructure and the like. Is it divisive for parties to air their policies and let voters to make up their own mind on election day as to which policies they support?

So, what are the views the left may not want discussed that would divide the community with hate and fear? Energy would be one. The three “environmental” group signatories take as gospel “anthropogenic climate change” and would see any prioritisation of low-cost, reliable power over reducing emissions as “divisive”.

The Victorian ALP wants 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025 on the way to “moving Victoria’s generation stock towards renewable and low-emissions energy, including household and community renewable generation”, and believes in “ensur[ing] that demand management is an essential component of any energy system and [in] expanding its use”.

Demand management involves industry, business and householders turning off their power, shutting down in times of peak demand. Rather than building enough power generation to meet the needs of Victorians, the ALP wants us to stop using power because ideology prevents them from building base-load power. The Greens want “at least 90 per cent renewable [energy] by 2030” on their way to “100 per cent clean energy”.

By contrast, the Coalition and Labour DLP believe in building new coal-fired power generation and scrapping renewable-energy subsidies.

Water would be another divisive issue, with environmental groups supporting prioritising environmental flows over equitable allocation of water for farmers for irrigation and food production.

The ALP 2018 Party Platform says: “The water sector makes a significant contribution to greenhouse gases through energy use and sewage treatment. An ambitious target to achieve net zero emissions before 2050 is in place and Labor will continue to make sure Victoria is on track to achieve that.

"Labor will: require water authorities to continue developing plans for reducing emissions that are appropriate to the nature of each system and that together meet the 2050 target.”

Also: “It is important that investment in waterway and catchment health is maintained. This will help improve water quality and catchment health and protect our environment and biodiversity.” And Labor wants to “explore opportunities to return more flows to the environment”.

The ALP talks about supporting a thriving agricultural sector and supporting farmers, rural communities and regional centres, and investing in irrigation infrastructure. Yet there seems to be no answer to how to ensure an adequate water supply when the inevitable Australian droughts occur.

The Greens water policy is metro-centric. The showcase article is to “mak(e) the Yarra/Birrarung swimmable again” and “(b)ring other (metropolitan) rivers – like the Maribyrnong, and tributaries like Moonee Ponds Creek and Merri Creek – into an act similar to the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act”. The Greens would also “Legislate for minimum environmental waterflows”.

Not much comfort for farmers, our food producers, there. Labour DLP supports building new dams to assist farmers and boost agricultural production as well as increase water storage capacity in preparation for drought periods.

Then there is the issue of small enterprise taking a back seat to green ideology and environmentalism. The Heyfield timber mill was threatened with closure when the ALP Government cut its timber allowance by more than half. Then that same government spent $61 million of taxpayers’ money to purchase it to save it from closure. In what would be a comedy of errors but for the tragic consequences, Heyfield then had its timber allocation increased, leading to one other mill closing and five other mills facing closure because their allocations were reduced to compensate.

The issue is whether saving the trees by reducing the timber available for milling should take priority over use of timber for human needs and over the value to the Victorian economy of the timber industry. Heyfield alone contributed $643 million a year to the Victorian economy, employing 250 people at Heyfield and counting 10,000 others employed in businesses that directly rely on the timber produced at Heyfield or sell the finished product. The forestry industry is worth $7.3 billion a year in Victoria.

The LGBT issue is already dividing the community. Everyone – parents, children and young people in schools – are being forced to prioritise what are claimed to be their needs and wants. Through the “Safe Schools” program, gender theory is being forced on all children whether parents consent or not. Parents are told they can’t opt out. School policy is that schools can determine that a student is a “mature minor” and support the student to transition gender without parental consent. "Safe Schools" is to be in all state high schools by the end of 2018.

The “Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships” curriculum also teaches that gender is how you feel and can differ from your biological sex. The Greens support “Safe Schools”. The Liberals will scrap “Safe Schools”. Labour DLP will scrap “Safe Schools” and all gender theory sex education from schools and review sex-education curriculum to remove inappropriately explicit content and any discussion of sexual activity or sexual pleasure.

The ALP Government, meanwhile, has allocated $29 million for a new (gay) Pride Centre.

Are these matters that should not be discussed?

If the ALP is returned to government in the coming election, Victoria will almost certainly face a continuation and expansion of school programs such as “Safe Schools”. We will also face legislative proposals to repeal or restrict the protections in the Equal Opportunity Act for faith-based schools, charities, hospitals and other social services; amendment of the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act to add an X category or “Unspecified” or “Indeterminate” to male and female as sex descriptors and to remove the requirement to have gender reassignment surgery as a prerequisite for a person to change their sex on their birth certificate; criminalising of gay conversion or reparative therapy.

Readers wanting to cast an informed vote can view each party’s policies on their website to find out where that party stands on issues of importance to them.

Victorians will have different views on these and many issues. To debate them in the election is not to divide the community with hate and fear. Rather, the 10 organisations are indulging in the same behaviour as the activists in the universities have been in shutting down speakers they don’t agree with and branding them “haters”. Views should not be censored just because special interest groups do not agree with them.




























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