Paul McCarthy, 2/9/16
It’s been a flat-out few weeks at Mannkal; we’ve taken our students to many external events in Perth and interstate, as well as welcomed them at our twice-weekly student workshops at Mannkal on issues such as “The Next Financial Crisis” and “Higher Education – Design Your Own Degree”. Our students are an inspiring bunch and we love sharing our experience with them – particularly Ron’s stories from the Kalgoorlie goldmining days (I didn’t know that you could refine gold nuggets at home by making an acid bath in your toilet!)
This morning I attended the Pastoralists and Graziers Association’s annual convention and heard our friends Senator Dean Smith and Chris Berg of the IPA speak. Chris spoke about how red tape costs Australia $176 billion per year, sadly making it our biggest industry and costing each household over $19,000. It helps explain why Australians earn high wages yet many still find it hard to make ends meet.
Chris made the point that the purpose of red tape is to deliberately shut down Australia’s economy; it is created by activists in government and the bureaucracy who virulently oppose industry, agriculture, mining, trade and the general advancement, prosperity and cohesion of Western civilisation.
On that note, Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland had a win this week, with the defeat of a vexatious and spurious lawsuit from the Australian Conservation Foundation that sought to stop the mine dead. The ACF’s spurious argument claimed that approvals had not considered purported “climate change” effects of Adani’s coal being used in India. This “lawfare”, seeking to impede and ultimately shut down free enterprise, must be stopped. Such a spurious case should never have made it to court and despite losing, the pressure brought to bear on Adani and future investors is a win for the ACF and its extreme-Left supporters. Oh, and there are still 3 cases pending. Australia’s leaders must wake up and ban these actions, while judges should treat the cases as perversions of justice and impose all possible sanctions against the applicants.
Some more common sense came from the University of Chicago this week, with the Dean warning new students that university is supposed to be a place of free speech and academic enquiry with no room for those who want “trigger warnings”, “safe spaces” and the banning of speakers they don’t agree with. Silencing free speech in this way has become the latest tactic of the anti-intellectual far-Left and quickly spread across the world via social media as campaigners tried to outdo each other, displaying their “virtuosity by offence”. Even perennial gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was banned from a UK university for not being “pro-gay enough” and doyenne of the feminist left, Germaine Greer, was banned from a campus for “transphobia” – whatever that is. Sadly, Bjorn Lomborg, who believes in climate change, was banned from UWA because he believed the costs of climate change mitigation should be minimised. This apparently “triggered” the UWA Student Guild and some taxpayer-funded academics, sending them scurrying for a “safe space”. Such people have no place in a university. If only I were a university Vice-Chancellor, there would be a quick round of enrolment cancellations and redundancies and the message would soon get through!
The world is a wonderful place, notwithstanding the attempts of those above to desperately find something to protest about. To finish up, we were told this week that ECU’s cyber-security course has a positive dilemma – they find it hard to keep students past second year as they keep getting poached by industry on salaries over $100,000. Meanwhile, a big demand has developed for drone operators who are earning up to $200,000 per year in the resources industry. In addition, our friends at the Centre for Independent Studies are advertising for a Research Fellow. The jobs of the future are there for the taking and I encourage interested students and graduates to check them out!