Archive for the ‘Take Nanny down’ Category
What was the total of Commonwealth Government grants provided last year? Don’t know? Nor do I. You see, there is no consolidated listing of grants – one needs to go through each Commonwealth Government agency and department to sum the grants. A friend in Finance once did this for research grants (not arts grants) and came to $9 billion.
Here is one grant from the Australian National Preventative Health Agency
Tracy Comans, Griffith University $463,442
The cost-effectiveness and consumer acceptability of taxation strategies to reduce rates of overweight and obesity amongst children in Australia
Childhood obesity is a health issue with serious co-morbidities and is increasing in prevalence in Australia. Whilst this issue has been recognised for some time, it is still unclear what the best solution to tackle it is. This research seeks to find the acceptability and cost-effectiveness of taxation of junk foods in halting and reversing the problem of childhood obesity. This study is unique in that it will directly involve consumers in identifying what strategies are likely to be effective and what conditions will be acceptable to the public in the fight against childhood obesity. The challenge of how to effectively gain community perspectives is a crucial consideration in public policy at the moment, and is addressed by this study. To guide the feasibility and successful implementation of effective population based approaches in the prevention of obesity in Australia, it is essential to gather information about how consumers will respond to large scale, yet sensitive, reforms. The information gained from this study will be invaluable to governments in determining the most feasible and publically [sic] acceptable strategies for confronting this issue.
Now the Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has ruled out a ‘fat tax’ saying
We have decided to actively educate and encourage Australians to adopt and maintain a healthy diet rather than to legislate.
I can’t imagine a Coalition Government introducing such a tax, so one wonders about the efficacy for a $0.5 million grant. These types of studies – asking people what they think about a tax – depend on the questions asked and usually are quite leading questions. As Peter Dutton has said, the grant should be scrapped. Ms Comans must have better things to do than asking people whether they want to pay a fat tax.
More generally, though, I would like a Coalition government to greatly increase the transparency and accountability of government grants. In health, several agencies provide grants: the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, the Department of Health and Ageing, the Health Communities Initiative, Health Care and Social Assistance grants and others, not to mention also those grants from State governments.
Then we have grants for community, culture and the arts. Grants for the social sciences (including political science) and so forth. And of course those related to climate change.
Personally I think we could slash many of these grants. If anything, government grants have caused a significant decline in the quality of Australian art and literature. Governments grants can’t create a Beethoven or Da Vinci.
But at the very least, we should have a consolidated listing of grants across categories.
Attractive wine labels, going beyond information about the variety or the producer, are used to entice unsophisticated or new consumers. This is one of the primary methods by which the wine sector sells its products in a highly-competitive domestic and export market.
Research suggests many consumers believe wine label art is reflective of the quality of the wine inside the bottle and, as a consequence, marketing and merchandising play a role equal in importance to the manufacturing process.
This is a serious problem. Unlike the tobacco industry which is fairly concentrated, the wine industry is fragmented. Do-gooders have the capacity to seriously damage the industry well beyond annoying consumers.
On that note Cuba has filed suit against Australia in the WTO.
DAVID Cameron has scrapped plans to force all cigarettes to be sold in plain packs, The Sun can reveal.
Health ministers had been weighing up the move for a year.
Campaigners had insisted making packets bland would put smokers off — and stop kids from starting the habit.
The PM initially backed the plan, but has been persuaded it would damage the packaging industry.
Officials in Australia, the first to enforce uniform packs, have admitted there was still no evidence that they cut smoking.
Last week the Age had a story about James Hird being injected with some or other health supplement. Apparently this is a great scandal. I tweeted – Stop the presses: Private citizen takes legal drug. But I thought that being a Bombers fan maybe there is something that I’m missing, some piece of additional information that makes this an important story. But maybe not.
Here is Tracey Holmes asking the question:
At the heart of the matter is a somewhat leaky boat of a story about Hird being injected by sports scientist, Steven Dank, with a peptide listed on the World Anti Doping Authority’s banned list. As a retired player Hird is no longer bound by the WADA code and therefore doesn’t have a case to answer.
The real scandal here is that the State is enforcing private rules (private citizen takes legal drug is never a case for the authorities to investigate)* and that state agencies can pursue their inquiries in public without having to state the basis for their actions.
* Now I understand that sports people often contract away their rights to consume legal drugs but a contract violation shouldn’t involve the State beyond the provision of courts of law to enforce contracts.
Karen Willis from the NSW Rape Crisis Centre wrote in the Daily Telegraph last week
Women have every right to be in any place at any time doing whatever it is that they choose, just as men do. It is the offenders who are wrong. They are the ones who should not be there. It is their behaviour that needs to change.
Well yes, it would be good if there were no rapists, murderers, thieves etc. But there always have been, and always will be, dishonest and violent people in society and it is one of the jobs of the Police to prevent crime and find and punish criminals.
The slut walkers and their supporters want to deny any contributory factors in the incidence of rape. That is, a woman should be able to wear anything (or nothing) and walk anywhere without the risk of being raped.
This is yet another example where personal responsibility is thrown out the door – and if anyone dare say that women should be careful where, how and when they walk in different neighbourhoods they are attacked for siding with rapists.
What rubbish. Of course it is the rapist who should be held to account for his or her actions, but that is not to suggest that women (and men for that matter) shouldn’t act with some responsibility and prudence.
I don’t leave my home or car unlocked – that’s asking for trouble – and my insurance company would probably dishonour any claim of theft if I did so.
I wouldn’t walk in certain parts of Sydney alone, especially late at night. There are many places around the world I avoid, and I certainly do not cross the road without first looking. When driving, I don’t just assume my right of way and expect not to be run into by another car which would be at fault.
Risk and life are intertwined and risk cannot be eliminated, only managed. It is grossly irresponsible for activists to suggest that women should ignore any of these risk factors and act as if they can be blithely ignorant. Woman and men should try to avoid putting themselves in harm’s way.
AFTER a two-year battle, smokers will light up their cigarettes again when dining outdoors in Parramatta, after the council surrendered to restaurateurs concerned about lost profits.
”We are so relieved – this is great news,” said Omar Besiso, of the Parramatta Business Freedom Association, a group representing 50 businesses. ”It was never fair that customers could just leave and go to restaurants in Granville or Merrylands, where they could smoke.
”You can’t stop someone from smoking. We just didn’t want to be disadvantaged because our council won’t allow it.”
This is an example of competitive federalism – locals at a regulatory disadvantage advocate change.
I suspect that we’ll be seeing a lot of more of this – as people come to the realisation that the nanny state is over-reaching and trying to micro-manage every aspect of their lives.