Set for PHON and games
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,