History shows that we all have our crosses to bear - CQ Today

I met my wife doing Edmund Rice Camps with the Christian Brothers. We spent university holidays with disadvantaged children on camps. We would try to instil a sense of belonging among kids whose everyday life was full of turmoil. I remember one camp where we embarked on long and arduous bushwalks. I led a group of boys who couldn't stop whingeing the whole time. They wanted their PlayStations, they wanted to go to McDonalds, it was probably easier to move a container ship stuck in the Suez Canal than to get them up and walk another mile.  Read more

It needs to be our choice - CQ Today

Last year I had to get some teeth out. The dentist sat me down and took me through the risks of getting the local anaesthetic, including that I could die. I had the choice and I went ahead. Sometime this year I will probably get the coronavirus vaccine. Like all medical treatments there will be some risk but, again, it should be my choice. There is enormous social pressure for everyone to get the coronavirus vaccine. That is understandable given the costs of lockdowns and restrictions over the past year. But in the rush to put COVID behind us we should protect the principle that each individual should have a choice over their own health. Read more

Don’t turn back on coal - CQ Today

On 9 September 2016, the smokestacks at the Playford coal fired power station were blown up. The then Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, was adamant that "There's no future in coal-fired power generation." By the end of the month, the lights in the whole of South Australia went out as lack of reliable electricity exposed the weakness of renewable electricity. The South Australian Government then spent over $500 million on a gas fired power plant to firm up supply. Read more

Great country of promise - CQ Today

Some days I wonder why I put my hand up for a job that typically sees me away from my wife and 5 kids for more than 200 nights a year. Then there are other days when I remember why it is all worthwhile. Last week I had the privilege of travelling to the Adani Carmichael mine. This was my third visit to the site and previously I was always struck by it being in the middle of nowhere. You can draw a circle, of 150 kilometres in radius, around Carmichael and you won't encompass a single substantial town. Read more

Our Christian Principles - CQ Today

The next census will be taken on August 10 this year and it will likely confirm that fewer than half of all Australians now consider themselves Christian. At the last census, in 2016, just 52 per cent of Australians described themselves as Christian. There has been a remarkable fall in the proportion of Australian Christians, from 88 per cent in 1966. There is nothing inherently wrong in Australia moving to a non-Christian society. Many will celebrate a more diverse and multicultural Australia. But there are also risks as well because Christian principles are the foundation from which modern Western societies became the most free and prosperous in history. Read more

We must look at nuclear - CQ Today

A recent European study found that if the Netherlands were to convert their electricity to wind and solar they would need to blanket an area nearly two times the size of their country. Using the same calculations for Australia we would see an area double the size of our irrigated farming land taken up with wind and solar farms. To generate the same amount of electricity, we would need to build nuclear power stations that would only cover 60 square kilometres. In other words, we could power the whole of Australia with nuclear plants that would take up just 10 per cent of Rockhampton's land area. This is because wind energy requires at least 250 times more land than nuclear and solar requires 150 times more land. Read more

Trust is better than censorship on Covid vaccines - CQ Today

At a wake last week, after we had spent time reflecting on the wonderful life of my father-in-law who had been taken too soon, conversation turned to other issues. Eventually discussion turned to coronavirus and the vaccine. Just like the overall population there were a variety of views about whether to get the vaccine or how much you trust experts. We have been well served by our health authorities over the past year. That does not mean that we should not allow people to criticise them though. The best way to prove that all human beings are fallible is to start proclaiming that some are infallible. Pride comes before a fall. Straight after the funeral I flew to Canberra and was struck by the difference between the respectful and open discussion over a cup of tea with family and friends, and the censorship culture that has overtaken our nation's capital. Read more

Nationals would betray farmers if it waved through net-zero - The Australian

Australian politics is obsessed with a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Like so many political decisions, it is being sold as a sea of righteousness with no rocks. Climate politics has many quasi-religious aspects to it which, like many religions, breeds a cynicism at times, especially when the religion is forced on you. Absolute beliefs that tolerate no dissent; absolute belief, devoid of a highly scientific understanding by most followers. Compliance and tithings to a dogmatic sermon. Every word accepted as sacred and underwritten with hellish climate damnation if not adhered to. This religion also requires people to speak to you from the other side as many of the politicians and commentators talking about a 2050 aspiration will be dead by then. They won’t have to deal with the economic consequences or pay for the policy. Further, just as COVID-19 has hit us from left field in the past year, lots of other issues will emerge between now and 10 federal elections away. Read more

Coal mines to power jobs - CQ Today

In the 1970s the Federal Government backed the building of a coal fired power station in Gladstone that would power a new aluminium smelter at Boyne Island. Even the Labor leader at the time, Gough Whitlam, backed the plan telling Parliament that "power was the determining factor in the development of natural resources in the area and the attraction of greater human resources to the area." That decision has created thousands of jobs in Central Queensland and expanded Australia's industrial strength. We are a significant producer of aluminium and the world's largest exporter of bauxite and alumina - the products that are converted into aluminium. The last decade, however, has seen a decline in our capacity to convert raw materials into finished goods. Since 2007, our production of bauxite has increased by more than 50 per cent, yet our aluminium production has fallen by 20 per cent. Read more

Beware the loud minority - CQ Today

I was on the Paul Murray show this week and Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon put forward the view that we should move the date of Australia Day because there are enough people upset about the current date. How many people are enough? A poll out this week shows that just 28 per cent of Australians think the date should be moved. So why should a minority of Australians get to dictate when our national day is? The reason given is that even though this group is in the minority they are upset enough that this should overturn the views of the larger group of Australians who want to continue the tradition. This would in effect give a greater weight to the views of some Australians over others. That is not the right way to make decisions in a democracy. All Australians should have their views given equal weight. Read more


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