Australian Politics 2022-07-03 00:42:00


People would be allowed to change their gender every 12 months, while the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ would be optional, under a proposed radical shake-up of birth certificates

Bureaucrats in Queensland outlined details of what their state’s new birth certificate could look like to two women’s groups earlier this month, in a meeting described as a “high level overview of current thinking”.

A Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General spokesman confirmed they were looking at making changes to “improve recognition for trans and gender diverse people”.

The women who attended the meeting said they understood the government was considering removing sex from the document.

Instead, people would be able to choose any descriptor for their gender as long as it was not obscene, contained offensive language, symbols, numbers, or was too long or “contrary to the public interest”.

While current legislation in Queensland requires people to have undergone surgery to change gender, the women said they were told that might be scrapped.

NSW is the only other state that requires gender-affirming surgery in order to change gender on a birth certificate.

The women said the Queensland proposals would also allow anyone over the age of 16 to self-identify as another gender if they had a supporting statement from someone who had known them for at least 12 months stating the application was being made in good faith.

There would also be opportunities for those aged 12 to 16 to change their gender identity, if they had support from one or both parents. Depending on the case they may need evidence from a child development practitioner and backing from the courts.

Under 12s would need the support of at least both parents to be able to start the process.

“It was really shocking to hear what they want to do,” International Women’s Day Brisbane Meanjin representative Kelly Carr said.

“As a mother, when I heard that using mother on the birth certificate was optional, I nearly fell off my chair.”

She said as far as they understood it, the proposed new certificate would list birthing parent and parent, or parent one and parent two, and the answer could be multiple choice with applicants writing mother, father or parent next to those boxes.

Fellow IWD member Helen Waite, a retired professor, said the fact that there was no lifetime limit to the number of times a person could change their identity made a mockery of the idea that people could be born into the wrong gender.

“We got a shock when we were told you’d be able to change your birth certificate once every 12 months because gender is fluid,” she said.

“This is a core identity document. “How can you be able to continually change it?”

The women said the June 15 meeting included officers from Strategic Policy, the Office for Women and Violence Prevention and the Attorney-General, as part of a consultation process for the Births, Deaths And Marriages Registration Act Legislative Review.

As well as the IWD members, two representatives from Fair Go For Women Queensland were invited.

Biological Reality Founder Stassja Frei said “trans lobbyists have perfected what they wanted” if the Birth, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act Legislative Review passes.

She said other states had already made changes to their birth certificates.

“Tasmania and Victoria are first attempts and (the trans lobbyists) got most of what they wanted,” Ms Frei said. “It seems in Queensland they’ve gone one step further.

“The public service all across Australia is completely captured by this ideology. “It’s a belief system that people can change sex. “It’s a really dangerous belief system for girls and women because it compromises safety.”

A Department of Justice and Attorney-General spokesman said while there was no proposal being considered which would see the removal of the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from the birth certificate, there would be “additional options”.

“Consideration is being given to additional options to allow same sex couples to register as mother/mother or father/father, if they choose to,” the spokesman said.

“If this change was adopted, it would align Queensland with other jurisdictions.”

He said the review aimed to “ensure registration services in Queensland remain relevant, responsive and contemporary”.


DNA lab’s flaws ignored 17 years ago

Problems with forensic services at Queensland’s DNA laboratory were raised as early as 2005, a full seven years before it failed to detect ­evidence from Shandee Blackburn’s brutal murder, but calls for an ­investigation appear to have been ignored by the state government.

Retired Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo discovered the significant government oversight in a major women’s ­safety report that was handed to government on Friday, which also delivered a scathing assessment of the way rape victims access forensic services.

The report detailed how in 2005, Peter Beattie’s government was warned about problems with Queensland’s forensic services in a ministerial review and appears to have failed to implement 65 ­recommendations, including an independent review into the laboratory system AusLab.

Annastacia Palaszczuk was forced to order a royal commission-style inquiry into the same lab last month, after The Australian’s investigative podcast series Shandee’s Story uncovered evidence of disturbing practices at the state-run DNA lab.

Ms McMurdo’s taskforce, which ran a 16-month review into the criminal justice system, was unable to find a government response to the 2005 report, and “its recommendations do not appear to have been delivered”.

She said the ministerial review “called for a further independent review due to serious concerns over the quality of forensic ­services”.

“This included questions regarding the suitability of AusLab – now Queensland Health Forensic and Science Services – to undertake forensic and public health ­science,” Ms McMurdo wrote.

“It concluded that there was a need for substantially enhanced governance arrangements for research and innovation, and a competency-based professional devel­opment program.”

Disgraced Labor politician Gordon Nuttall – who was found guilty of corruption in 2009 – was the Beattie government‘s health minister in March 2005, when the review was commissioned. However, by the time it ­reported in October, Stephen Robertson had replaced Mr Nuttall as minister.

Less than eight years after the Beattie government was ­advised to review forensic services, Shandee was savagely stabbed to death as she walked home from work in Mackay.

Shandee’s mother Vicki Blackburn said it was “extremely upsetting” to hear the findings from the 2005 review appear to have been ignored.

“I am absolutely shocked. They didn’t do anything, and no government since then has done anything about it,” she told The Weekend Australian on Friday.

“I think it is appalling they have put people through so much trauma and been so callous with how they run that laboratory with no regard for victims at all it seems.

“Everybody knows how vital DNA is in investigations. They have undermined the public’s faith in the justice system.”

Renowned forensic scientist Kirsty Wright discovered the lab failed to generate DNA profiles in Shandee’s case from crime-scene evidence where it would normally be expected, such as from blood and skin samples.

Other problems in the lab, including its unusually high testing thresholds, were also uncovered by Dr Wright in Shandee’s Story.

Rather than Shandee’s being an isolated case, Dr Wright has for months believed the lab concealed systemic issues with its testing methods and procedures, putting the public at risk from ­serious and violent offenders who were not being identified and brought to justice.

Dr Wright has made a complaint to Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission and gave evidence to Ms McMurdo’s review.

Queensland police began to audit results from the lab in late 2021, after problems were exposed by national correspondent Hedley Thomas in Shandee’s Story.

The police audit found DNA profiles could be generated in up to 66 per cent of samples the lab initially claimed had “insufficient DNA for further processing”.

Last month, Queensland police told The Australian it has reopened hundreds of rape cases dating back to 2018 as a result.

Days later, Ms Palaszczuk ­ordered a commission of inquiry into the lab.


Vanishing vaccine mandates

This week, with hardly a whisper from its chief public health officers, Australia largely abandoned its vaccine mandates. For the most part, they remain in force only for those working in health and aged care or with those with disabilities. There has been no explanation given as to why unvaccinated workers can now be ‘welcomed back’ into workplaces. There has been no apology to those who lost their jobs for refusing to be jabbed, or who lost their lives, or their good health, following vaccination. So far, 889 deaths have been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which may have been caused by vaccination and almost 133,000 people have reported a vaccine injury including more than 140 heart attacks, 360 myocardial infarctions, 500 strokes, 1,400 cases of deep vein thrombosis and 1,500 pulmonary embolisms.

So, why the sudden change in policy? Here’s one possibility. An Israeli study of 5.7 million people, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June, shows that unvaccinated people who gained immunity through infection, were far better protected from Covid than people who were double vaccinated. And while the study did not have enough cases of severe Covid to be definitive, it showed that unvaccinated people with natural immunity were also better protected from severe Covid.

Thus, after more than two years of advising premiers to abandon their pandemic plans and paralyse the entire country until everyone was immunised with experimental vaccines, it seems that our public health officers were wrong. Oops. Not only has Australia wasted billions of dollars on lockdowns, it has damaged the health of the vast majority of Australians by making them more vulnerable to infection with Covid.

Increased vulnerability to infection might explain why, in NSW, teachers who were forced to be double vaccinated to retain their jobs were off sick for a combined 430,351 days in the first six months of this year, an increase of 145,491 days compared to pre-pandemic levels.

It might also explain why excess mortality continues to run at a record high. Excess deaths in March were still almost 10 per cent above the historical baseline and deaths for the first three months of the year were 17.5 per cent higher than the historical average.

This spectacular public health failure was undoubtedly exacerbated by the failure to heed the lessons of early treatment of Covid-19. This time last year, on 26 June, NSW entered its long Delta lockdown. At that time, India was just emerging from its Delta spike. On 26 June 2021, Covid deaths in India were 284 per million, while in Australia they were only 35 per million. A year later on 26 June, deaths per million in Australia and India are identical – 376 per million. What happened?

A year ago, health officials in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, with 240 million inhabitants, advised that they were using a multi-drug cocktail of repurposed medications including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid with astonishing success. From a peak of 34,455 on 29 April, cases plunged to 178 on 26 June. A year later there is an average of one death per day.

The contrast with Australia could not be more stark. Australia’s public health officers weren’t content simply to disregard the evidence of Uttar Pradesh’s success with a multi-drug therapy that included ivermectin, the TGA went further than any other country in the world and on 10 September 2021 banned the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not ban ivermectin, but it is now being sued by three eminent physicians over ‘its unlawful attempts to interfere with the practice of medicine’, specifically its ‘crusade to halt the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19’. The case is being prosecuted by former Ambassador Boyden Gray, who was White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and who is representing Drs. Mary Talley Bowden, Paul E. Marik, and Robert L. Apter. They maintain that the FDA had no right to mount a campaign against a drug that had been approved and attempts to do so amounted to unlawful interference in the practice of medicine, a right reserved to the states in the US. As a result of the FDA’s actions, the doctors were referred to medical boards for disciplinary proceedings and were forced to resign from positions in hospitals.

Unfortunately, public health officials in Australia pursued the same policy of persecuting doctors who dared to criticise official public health policy. For example, Dr Paul Oosterhuis, a NSW anaesthetist with over thirty years experience in critical care and resuscitation, had his registration as a medical practitioner suspended on 3 September because of four anonymous complaints made to the Medical Council of NSW about his Facebook posts, which encouraged people to take vitamin D, zinc and seek early treatment with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine if they became infected with Covid. In May, Dr Oosterhuis turned the tables on the Medical Council by taking them to the Supreme Court of NSW for failing to refer the complaints about him to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Two days before the case was to be heard on 12 May, the NSW Medical Council revoked his suspension. Perhaps they were stung by a judgement in the Supreme Court of NSW in April which characterised their conduct in relation to another doctor as ‘irrational’ and lacking any ‘evidentiary foundation’.

Dr Oosterhuis was not the only doctor to be punished in this way. Dr Robert Brennan, a general practitioner in NSW had his medical registration suspended for signing a newsletter from the Covid Medical Network, now the Australian Medical Network, which advocated early treatment and challenged the evidence base for lockdowns, and for mask and vaccine mandates. After conferring with the Medical Council of NSW, the Health Care Commission revoked his suspension on 17 May but warned they might take action against him again if he promoted messages ‘not in accordance with public health orders’.

In Victoria, Dr Mark Hobart is still fighting to have his medical registration restored after it was suspended for the ‘crime’ of issuing temporary exemptions to people who were concerned about the safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccines. Considering public health officials have now quietly abandoned most of their mandates, and the vaccines have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the spread of Covid, one wonders on what grounds they can possibly justify his suspension. Presumably, like their counterparts in NSW, they will abandon the case days before it comes to court but, if the NSW Medical Council is any guide, an apology, and compensation, will take a lot longer.


Australian teachers expose how much they REALLY earn and the reasons why they're striking: 'Pay isn't even the problem'

Teachers in New South Wales have explained the reasons why they're striking after marching on NSW Parliament demanding better wages and working conditions.

Dressed in red shirts emblazoned with the text 'More than Thanks', fired up teachers called on the government to offer them more than a three per cent pay rise on Thursday.

The NSW Teachers Federation is asking for a pay rise of between five and seven per cent to keep up with the cost of living.

Aussie teachers on Reddit and social media have cited work load as their main concern.

'I earn $110K. My problem isn't really how much I'm paid,' one teacher wrote.

'It's the ridiculous amount of work that has nothing to directly do with teaching and learning. It's the changes in policies that require teachers to support a wider array of students in the same class.'

The same teacher added that schools have 'no idea how to measure workload' and teachers often have to 'parent students'.

Another posted: 'Pay isn't even the problem though - it's workload.'

'My contract says 30 hours a week, but I've easily cleared that by Wednesday because of admin. What I wouldn't give for a PA, just so I could do my job.'