Australian Politics 2023-02-17 07:36:00

Brisbane 2032: Heritage-listed East Brisbane State School to be closed to make way for Gabba revamp

It is always a challenge to get rationlity out of a government but these plans are borderline insane. Woolloongabba is already heavily congested with traffic and so should be the last place for new development. And demolishing a perfectly good large stadium makes no sense. It would be a much better use of funds to build a new stadium from scratch in a more outlying area. And the gain in number of seats is marginal. The existing stadium already has 42,000 seats

A brand new 50,000-seat Gabba stadium will include an active travel corridor linking to South Bank and the city, with the state government confirming the entire stadium will be demolished and rebuilt.

As part of the $2.7bn project, a walkable connection will be created to link the CBD with the new Brisbane City Council green bridge.

East Brisbane State School will close from December 2025, with the heritage buildings refurbished and integrated into the operations of the Gabba, with a new school to be built two kilometres away.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the infrastructure and housing we need to support a growing Queensland”.

“The Gabba has hosted sport for more than a century and is home to cricket and AFL most weeks of the year,” she said. “But it’s no secret that Queensland is losing out on major sporting events already – and the tourism, jobs and investment that come with them because The Gabba is not up to scratch.

“It must be upgraded to maintain our competitiveness for international sport and events. “When it’s done, this stadium will shine for Queensland, and so will the area surrounding it.

“Woolloongabba has the potential to be the next bustling precinct, but that can’t happen without a co-ordinated approach.

“It’s important we further capitalise on major transport projects already under way like Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro.”

Ms Palaszczuk said a new school would be built within 2km of the existing campus.

“Minister Grace Grace (Education Minister) is speaking with the East Brisbane State School principal at the moment. Years 4, 5 and 6 will complete their year levels and the school will relocate in 2026,” she said. “We are going to build them a brand new school.”


Madeleine King, a canary in the coal mine?

‘We won’t get to net-zero emissions in this country, or indeed the world, without the resources sector, without gas, and even without coal. You cannot build a wind turbine without coal.’ Angus Taylor, perhaps? Ted O’Brien? Tony Abbott? Nope.

The words were uttered this week by Labor’s Minister for Resources Madeleine King, clearly one of the sharper tools in Labor’s climate shed. Speaking on Sky News, she went on to elaborate that gas will be needed ‘in the short-term, medium-term and long-term’ to ensure ‘energy security’.Former Labor MP Jennie George concurred, warning that ‘winter will be a testing time’ as she lambasted the poor planning of successive energy ministers, the virtue-signalling of governments and asked, where are the ‘safeguards’ for our energy future?

Er… there aren’t any. Not that such revelations or insights are news to readers of this magazine. For the best part of the last fifteen years, The Spectator Australia has been virtually alone among the mainstream media in refusing to be captivated by the climate change cult. More importantly, thanks to the great work of so many of our writers, including Ian Plimer, Mark Lawson, Alan Moran and many, many others, we have consistently pointed out the folly of the climate mantra and the extraordinary danger of jeopardising our God-given supplies of cheap and reliable energy sources.

Indeed, in this week’s issue Mark Lawson warns of the ‘dark ages’ that lie ahead as we rush towards Labor’s (and the Coalition’s) ludicrous net-zero goals. As Mark writes, ‘The events of the past few weeks have brought Australia’s energy future into sharp focus – we won’t have one.’

Sadly, the one resource Australia does seem to have an over-abundance of is stupidity, fuelled by Marxist propaganda and abetted by a political class that is either deeply cynical or unbelievably gullible. Take your pick. This stupidity has manifested itself in perfectly good coal-fired power stations literally being blown to smithereens to the applause of fools and shysters. The last decade has seen our energy infrastructure dismantled at breath-taking speed accompanied by a blizzard of false promises about new technologies and to the tune of ever-soaring household bills.

For a time, the Coalition held out against the madness, with the two most pertinent, honest and accurate words ever uttered about climate change doomsday alarmism having been uttered by former prime minister Tony Abbott: ‘It’s crap.’

Indeed, although she won’t thank us for pointing this out, Ms King’s position is now arguably closer to Mr Abbott’s than to Mr Albanese’s. Go to the bottom line – something our political class seem rarely capable of doing – and you have to answer the following question: will Australia abandoning its fossil-fuel energy sources prevent the planet from a climate apocalypse by the end of this century? Yes or no? Clearly, the fanatical climate zealots believe this to be the case, and many on the Left, including the Greens, either also believe this nonsense or more likely cynically pander to it. Hence the urgency of the alarmist position – close all coal and gas now! Swap to electric vehicles now! Stop eating meat! Eat bugs! Shut down all industry and farming!

These ideas are the logical end point of the Bowen/Wong/Albanese/Bandt/Thunberg/Ardern/Biden/UK/EU position, hence the hysterical reductions targets being touted on everything from carbon to nitrogen to methane to meat to household gas heaters; the pointless and ludicrously expensive advocacy of electric vehicles; the hyperventilating around hydrogen; and so on. But a more rational mindset recognises that there are two parts to that bottom-line question: firstly, is there actually a doomsday armageddon on the horizon? (Answer, no). And secondly, could anything Australia does in reducing carbon emissions in isolation ever have any measurable impact on the world’s climate? (Answer again, no.) Remove the urgency demanded of the doomsday scenario and/or recognise the limited role Australia can ever play and you must arrive at what we shall (cheekily) call the Abbott/King position, which can be summarised as, ‘Transition if you must, but there is no need to panic – and whatever you do, don’t dispense of the energy resources we are blessed with’.

This was of course, broadly, the Coalition’s position (approved overwhelming by the electorate in 2019) until it was disgracefully jettisoned by former prime minister Scott Morrison and his accomplice Barnaby Joyce, backed, laughably, by what was once the mainstream conservative press in Australia. The great pity is that the majority of the Australian electorate is, whether recognising it or not, of this same opinion.

Alas, because Australians are by nature fairly trusting (although this was sorely tested during Covid), it is likely that we will undergo a period of energy poverty and a dramatic downturn in our prosperity and all that that entails – both here and abroad – before the public wakes up to the disaster that the political class are deliberately inflicting upon us.

Could Resource Minister Madeleine King, ironically, be Labor’s canary in the climate change coal mine?

Or will she swiftly be brought into line and forced to start whistling to Labor’s alarmist, socialist and fanatical climate change tune?


Outrage after six-year-olds told they must wear ‘pride shirts’ to play soccer

Parents of primary school age children have been told their kids are required to wear pride t-shirts if they want to play in an A-League half-time game.

The game is taking place during the A-League’s inaugural Pride Celebration round held between February 24-26, with a follow-up round on March 4 in New Zealand.

The marquee game of the round is between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on February 26 – when the children will take the field during the break.

‘Please note that Melbourne Victory will be celebrating Pride Cup at this fixture. As such, participants playing half time small sided games will be wearing a specially designed pride T-shirt during the game,’ the registration form given to one junior coach read.

‘By continuing with this registration form you agree to your child wearing the MVFC pride T-shirt,’ the form seen by The Herald Sun advises.

A furious parent told the newspaper it was not appropriate and kids should be ‘kept out of social and cultural matters’. ‘It’s deeply disturbing that the Melbourne Victory is forcing 6 year old children to be moving billboards,’ he said.

‘While I personally agree with the concept of pride and the safety of all LGBTQI+ persons to participate in sport, primary aged schoolchildren are not the correct avenue to express these sentiments.’

One fan wrote to Twitter that they didn’t believe ‘inclusion was forcing kids to wear pride shirts’.

A spokesperson for Melbourne Victory said the children were not being forced to wear the jerseys and could play another day if they didn’t want to.

‘The Club has not forced any of its players, staff, fans or junior participants to wear or participate in anything they are not comfortable with,’ a spokesman said.

‘This game is a celebration of LGBTI+ participation in sport and we have put processes in place to ensure those who are not comfortable to participate in the day as a whole, will have the option to participate in another match day they feel comfortable participating in.’


Bipartisan support pledged in New South Wales to ban gay conversion practices

Conversion treatments can be perfectly legitimate therapeutic options, with no element of coercion, so the blanket ban is oppressive

Both the New South Wales government and opposition have pledged to support legislation banning gay conversion practices in the state.

Independent MP Alex Greenwich has drafted a bill to ban conversion practices and welcomed the bipartisanship on the issue.

“Today is a good day for New South Wales,” Mr Greenwich said. “We have the leaders of both major parties saying if you are LGBT there is nothing wrong with you, you are supported and you are celebrated.”

Premier Dominic Perrottet today pledged “in principle” support for the legislation. “There is no room for any harmful practices in NSW, particularly if they affect our young and vulnerable,” Mr Perrottet said.

Kim Kemmis studied to become a Christian minister. Now the Sydney man struggles to step into a church. In the 1990s, he tried to turn straight by attending religious “support groups”.

But he said any bill that comes before the next parliament will have to be carefully assessed. “This is a complex matter and in working through it with parliamentary colleagues we will carefully consider the legal expression and effect of such laws.”

The premier’s pledge follows a commitment from Labor to ban gay conversion practices if it wins the state election on March 25.

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous and damaging practice and there’s no room for it in New South Wales” Opposition Leader Chris Minns said on Saturday. “We should not have a situation where children are being told something is wrong with them and that they need to be fixed.”

Mr Greenwich is among a group of Independent MPs whose support is likely to be crucial in the event of a minority government.

And he has made it clear that his support for either party will be contingent on them backing his Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill.

Gay conversion practices can range from ongoing or sustained pressure from a church or religious figure to suppress one’s sexuality, to religious rituals like exorcisms and psychiatric or psychological “treatments” and aversion tactics.

The bill will include “extraterritorial” powers to prosecute people if they send children or adults overseas for “treatment”.

And Mr Greenwich said it will still allow for freedom of religious expression. “We are not in any way trying to impede what is said in prayer or in a church,” he said.

“This legislation is about stamping out a really cruel form of torture that targets the LGBT community.”