Facts speak louder than statistics

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Save Christmas

I have read various reports that Santa Claus was banned from a school because the non Christian children would feel left out.

I don’t know how anyone can come to that conclusion.

Santa Claus is not a Christian icon, he is a symbol of what Christmas has evolved into. For many people Christmas is a day for being with your family and friends and also giving them presents.

Quite simply while some Christians still celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ many people don’t look at that side of it.

Christmas with Santa has been part of Australian tradition and culture for many years and there is no genuine reason for trying to suppress it.

Unless perhaps you’re trying to get your name in the news.

Demands are made for people to show tolerance to other cultures and traditions. For that to be taken seriously it has to work both ways.

Tolerance and respect must be shown for the culture and traditions that are already here and have been for a long time.

I don’t want a tradition I have enjoyed for many years to be suppressed because someone can’t tell the difference between a religious icon and a commercial one.


Thursday, 3 June 2010

Some Attitudes That Undermine Safety And Supervision.

There's unfortunately a long list of tragic accidents that have happened through a simple lack of care or the use of self serving logic.

One such recent tragedy was in NSW where an 8 year old girl drowned at a swimming carnival. The teachers there were supposed to be supervising and there were some lifeguards there as well whose duties also included manning the pools canteen at the time.

If they are manning the canteen they aren't lifeguards, they're only lifeguards when they are they are watching over the people in the pool and doing nothing else. And I do not believe teachers receive lifeguard training so they aren't lifeguards either and therefore not qualified to supervise large numbers of children in a pool.

There's no real excuse for many of the tragedies that happen because we have all of human experience to draw upon to tell us what we should and shouldn't do.

Unfortunately other tragedies have happened and keep happening because some people will ignore the absolute basics that will prevent mishaps because they end up ignoring certain established safety guidelines or using self serving logic to justify to themselves unsafe behaviour.

Here’s a few of those attitudes and the reality of what can happen if these attitudes are adopted.

“It’s only for a second”
as in a door that should be shut being open or children left unsupervised.

It’s not for a second, it’s always for a longer period. The only thing that takes a second is a child getting into some sort of trouble.

“It’s unlikely to happen” as in a particular type accident, bad situation or an abduction.

This “unlikely to happen” appears to be translated into “It can’t happen” because the “unlikely to happen” attitude is used to justify behaviour that undermines safe practices. Then what is unlikely to happen does actually happen.

“It hasn’t happened yet”, also as in a particular type accident, bad situation or an abduction.

The “It hasn’t happened” attitude is also used to justify behaviour that undermines safe practices. Then what hasn’t happened actually does happen it is too late to take the measures to stop it happening to begin with.

Be safe and be realistic, it really takes very little effort and can save a lot of grief.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Time and Time Again

Anna Bligh has brought the
daylight savings issue back into limelight. It’s something of a contentious issue in Queensland and not without good reason. Apparently the South East wants it and the rest of the state doesn’t so to keep the situation simple(?) the government wants to split the state into two time zones.

It's been a hot topic in Western Australia as well, it looks like they won't adopt daylight saving but in their case it doesn’t matter too much as it’s a single state in its time zone, Queensland is in the same time zone as New South Wales and Victoria and apparently the different times are causing problems for interstate business. That said wouldn’t that mean that business between the eastern states and the rest of Australia would have the same problem?

To have the eastern states in the same time zone could be a good argument for having daylight saving in Queensland, the argument against based on complaints that it will cause problems to farming routines could be easily dealt with as well.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Population growth must be cut

-->.17:24 AEST Tue Apr 13 2010

By Susanna Dunkerley

Population growth must be slashed to protect human health and wellbeing, a Harvard University health professor says.

Dr Aaron Bernstein, who also works as a pediatrician, says population growth and climate change are the two biggest threats to the future of life on earth.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday, he said the discovery of new medicines often depends on healthy ecosystems, which continue to be destroyed.

Dr Bernstein gave the example of a recently extinct species of gastric-breeding frogs, that were unique to Australia.

The chemicals used to gestate spawn internally could have led to a cure for peptic ulcer disease, affecting more than a million Australians and 25 million Americans.

"With loss of individual species we foreclose upon the discovery of new medicines," he said, noting that one third of the world's species were forecast to be extinct by 2050.

Dr Bernstein said three-quarters of emerging diseases, including respiratory ailments, were the result of damaged ecological systems.

"Ecological barriers that once kept these infections at bay have been broken, opening the door to their passage of the human population, he said.

Over the past 50 years one fifth of the earth's topsoil and agricultural land has eroded, along with 90 per cent of marine fisheries and a third of forests, he said.

Over the same period the population has tripled to 6.5 billion people.

Dr Bernstein said to protect ecosystems, as the global population soars towards nine billion, policy makers need to cut carbon and population growth.

"We must do everything possible to further limit the growth of the human population," he said.

Dr Bernstein didn't suggest how to achieve this, saying it is up to policy makers in each country.

But he said the local debate on population, forecast by Treasury to reach 36 million by 2050, needs "careful consideration" by government.

On the issue of climate change, he suggested a carbon price be set to "drastically alter people's consumption habit".

Dr Bernstein also weighed into the genetically modified (GM) food debate, saying it should be part of the global solution to climate change.

He says he has no health reservations about the food source, that billions of people in poorer countries will depend on in the coming years.

And he said it's crucial GM crops, including drought resistant varieties, are freely available.

"Genetic resources cannot be held as high profit enterprises when they are critical to the health and nutritional status of people in the developing world," he said. (Story Link Here)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Private land to be seized for housing

From the Sydney Morning Herald

March 12, 2010

THE state government is rushing to prepare laws to create a development authority with sweeping powers to compulsorily acquire and rezone privately owned land for resale to developers.

Sydney's population set to grow 40 per cent to 6 million in the next 25 years, the government has decided it needs a metropolitan development authority to buy privately owned land near rail and bus routes for medium- and high-density housing.

Legislation for the new authority, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, will be introduced before June in an attempt to increase housing construction rates, which are the lowest on record even though the city's population is growing at the fastest rate since the 1960s.

Stephen Albin, the chief executive of the Urban Development Institute, a developer group, said while landowners should receive some compensation for increased value from rezoning, they should not receive it all.

''Developers are taking the risk … these landowners are not taking risk. Government has decided for the good of the city, for the good of the community, development must occur.”

Someone can own something but he thinks they have to get less than is fair for it so someone else can make a profit from it.

Developers are taking the risk? Of course they are, that's how capitalism works, if they want the profit they take the risk. It's not down to private land owners to subsidise someone else’s enterprise.

These landowners are not taking risk? Well why would they? They didn't ask to be part of the venture.

The rationale behind the authority and the compulsory acquisition provision is community benefit?

Something that is for the benefit of the community is usually paid for by the community, not just a few of its members, in this case private land owners.

It's the same as acquiring land for a road or a railway?

No it's not, it appears it's mainly for the benefit of a developers profit.

People don’t buy homes so developers can benefit.

Taking someone’s land should only be for a genuine benefit to the common good such as when they built the Harbour Bridge or if the army urgently needs land during war time and the owners involved should be compensated fairly for the inconvenience such a venture places upon them. Such decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly and it should not be done just so someone else can profit.

Whether or not the housing developments can be considered for the greater good is debatable, one thing is certain and that is a developers profit is not for the common good and that profit is no one else’s responsibility but their own.