Set for PHON and games

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

YES­TER­DAY’S re­lease of data from a na­tional sur­vey into sex­ual ha­rass­ment and sex­ual as­sault at Aus­tralian uni­ver­si­ties was a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment for the ter­tiary sec­tor.

The damn­ing fig­ures re­vealed 51 per cent of re­spon­dents were re­port­edly sex­u­ally ha­rassed in 2016. For JCU that fig­ure was 52 per cent.

Where one in five re­spon­dents na­tion­ally had been sex­u­ally as­saulted at uni­ver­sity, that fig­ure was one in four at JCU.

The fig­ures are val­i­da­tion that an ex­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing run by for­mer Sex Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mis­sioner El­iz­a­beth Brod­er­ick at JCU is well and truly needed.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched in the wake of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Cen­tre aca­demic ad­viser Dou­glas Steele be­ing jailed in Jan­uary for dig­i­tally rap­ing an indige­nous stu­dent in Septem­ber 2015.

The in­ci­dent sent shock­waves through the uni­ver­sity and it was vi­tal that the uni­ver­sity took de­ci­sive ac­tion.

From com­ments made by Vice- Chan­cel­lor San­dra Hard­ing it would ap­pear that staff mem­bers who failed to re­port the mat­ter have now been dis­ci­plined.

It’s grat­i­fy­ing to hear there have been con­se­quences, be­cause there’s no deny­ing that the sit­u­a­tion was mis­man­aged.

It was ap­palling that a staff mem­ber could re­main em­ployed af­ter plead­ing guilty to rap­ing a stu­dent and it’s only right that in­depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions have re­sulted.

While the Brod­er­ick re­view was prompted by an aw­ful in­ci­dent, it now ap­pears that JCU might be ahead of the curve, with the Aus­tralian Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion rec­om­mend­ing all uni­ver­si­ties should un­der­take their own re­views.

It is to be hoped that when the re­sults from Ms Brod­er­ick’s re­view are re­leased later this year, any rec­om­men­da­tions are acted on as soon as pos­si­ble.

Our stu­dents de­serve that much.

Bridge worth con­sid­er­a­tion

CALLS for con­sid­er­a­tion of a bridge con­nect­ing Townsville to Mag­netic Is­land should not be dis­missed out of hand.

While many lo­cals and es­pe­cially those liv­ing on the is­land may rail against such a pro­posal, it is worth ex­am­in­ing.

A road con­nec­tion would make the is­land far more ac­ces­si­ble to a wider pop­u­la­tion.

At present, the pro­por­tion of Townsville res­i­dents vis­it­ing our mag­nif­i­cent hide­away is low. More vis­i­tors would stim­u­late the is­land’s econ­omy, paving the way for bet­ter ameni­ties.

It’s food for thought. LAST week­end’s La­bor state con­fer­ence in Townsville col­lided with a shot across the bows by PHON’s state leader, for­mer LNP min­is­ter Steve Dick­son who has put a price tag for the North of $ 5 bil­lion for its sup­port in Par­lia­ment should a bal­ance of power emerge post next state elec­tion.

Un­der­scor­ing this pledge was a firm un­der­tak­ing by One Na­tion that there would be no pref­er­ence deals done as oc­curred in Western Aus­tralia’s re­cent state elec­tion – em­i­nently sen­si­ble.

The po­lit­i­cal op­tics are self ev­i­dent – to gal­vanise the seething dis­con­tent in cen­tral and north­ern re­gions of Queens­land, in­clud­ing Mackay and es­pe­cially Townsville who quite sim­ply are plum mad at the 30 years of fail­ure of pol­icy ne­glect dished out by mainly La­bor but also the LNP.

The em­brac­ing of Jeremy Cor­byn anti- ne­olib­eral eco­nom­ics style poli­cies is rush­ing through the veins of La­bor con­fer­ences ev­ery­where, herald­ing more gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion and higher tax­a­tion for big in­come earn­ers.

As cov­ered in the Townsville Bulletin, Mon­day, July 31, the failed Bris­bane cross- river tun­nel fund­ing is un­der an en­er­gised cam- paign to be di­rected to pri­ori­tised wa­ter stor­age struc­ture in the North.

Short- listed is the com­ple­tion of Stage 2 of the Bur­dekin Falls Dam wall – the rea­son Stage 1 was built in the first place.

The cre­ation of oo­dles of wa­ter, the build­ing of a state of the art wa­ter se­cu­rity sys­tem for Townsville that the dam wall would en­sure, and the agri­cul­tural alchemy ma­jor in­fra- it would cre­ate is sim­ply mind bog­gling as it is glar­ingly ob­vi­ous.

Add to this the 500MW of stored hy­dro power ( green en­ergy) how can you pre­tend on any hu­man met­rics to con­tin­u­ally ig­nore this? Add to this the Tully Mill­stream hy­dro dam, an­other 600MW of green en­ergy, and the Go North mantra is not a dream ... it is a sim­ple re­al­ity.

Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk is be­ing held hostage by the Left’s Jackie Trad – af­ter los­ing out on Adani, the de­mands by the Green ide­o­logues in the Left have de­manded a 50 per cent RET green hub wind/ so­lar in the North in five min­utes. This ac­cel­er­ated tran­si­tion to a Green Nir­vana is leav­ing en­ergy poverty ev­ery­where, es­pe­cially the doorsteps of the poor, aged, in­firm and any Joe and Mary cit­i­zen. The LNP sup­port a HELE 1000MW power sta­tion as does PHON which is des­per­ately needed in the North.

Ms Palaszczuk has said she would rather oc­cupy the Op­po­si­tion benches than pref­er­ence One Na­tion. Tim Ni­cholls, an af­fa­ble guy but not enough Jeff Fenech in his po­lit­i­cal an­ten­nae, is yes ... but ... no.

Sam Cox, the for­mer LNP mem­ber for Thuringowa ( we’ve had our pol­icy run- ins) but now stand­ing in his own dung hill of Bur­dekin has a flaw­less pedi­gree and will serve it up to the LNP’s Dale Last and the ALP’S high pro­file can­di­date, Mike Brunker.

Per­haps, Ms Palaszczuk, you may get what you ask for. Let the po­lit­i­cal games be­gin. PETER J. SMITH,


STAGE 2 SOUGHT: The Tully River at the Ka­reeya Hy­dro power sta­tion.

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