Angus Taylor launches Pay Now Pay Later.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has announced a world-first national energy supply system called Pay Now Pay Later, under which Australians will pay more for their electricity in the present while paying for climate change in the future.

Pay Now Pay Later is a game-changer,” boasted Taylor, from outside a newly-opened coal mine.

“The world-first energy consumption system ensures that Australians will pay higher electricity bills in the present and will pay for the environmental costs of the energy grid well into the future. We will soon be the only country in the world which forces its citizens to pay with their wallets and their futures.”

Taylor was confident that Australians would embrace Pay Now Pay Later, just as they have embraced systems such as AfterPay, BPay, Before Pay, Buy Now Pay Later, Pay It Forward and even the old-fashioned Lay-By.

“Plus, it’s not like they have a choice,” he scoffed.

The system relies on one central component: the burning of fossil fuels. Taylor and his LNP party will ensure that the majority of Australian businesses and households are forced to secure their energy from fossil fuels such as coal and coal seam gas, rather than from renewable energy. Consumers will therefore pay more for their electricity now, and will contribute the destruction of the planet.

“We will continue with our plans to open new coal mines, to push the fallacy of clean coal, and to burn fossil fuels to supply energy to Australian businesses and households. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the majority of Australia’s energy grid is supplied by fossil fuels.”

For the system to succeed, renewable energy such as wind and solar must be suppressed for as long as possible.

“We will employ myriad tactics to suppress renewable energy. We will utilise our propaganda wing, which Australians know as NewsCorp, to spread fear and misinformation regarding renewable energy, and to perpetuate the falsehood that fossil fuels will keep energy prices down for the everyday Aussie. We also thank former rugby league player Darren Lockyer for his valuable service in this regard.”

“What’s more, Pay Now Pay Later will have the greatest impact on people who are not even paying for electricity now – children.”

Taylor also promised to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to funnel more taxpayers money into the fossil fuel industry, for the benefit of fossil fuel companies, under the guise of a gas led recovery.

“We will also continue to wind back schemes such as the solar rebate for Australian households, and will instead use this public money to prop up the fossil fuel industry, most of which is foreign owned.”

Australians will pay later as climate change causes more severe storms, droughts, floods and fires, which will cost the country millions of dollars. Australians will also pay later when the international economy deals primarily in renewable energy.

“While Australian energy consumers will Pay Now, the whole world will Pay Later.”

Adding his support to the scheme was current Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who helped lay the groundwork for the scheme as long as six years ago. Frydenberg used his power as federal Minister for the Environment to prevent energy company AGL from dumping coal and embracing renewable energy in 2016.

His underhand tactics were exposed in an article in The Saturday Paper by Mike Seccombe on July 10, 2021, and they centre on the appointment of chief executive Andy Vessey. The article outlines how Frydenberg called board members of AGL personally and pressured them to remove Vessey because the boss planned to transition the company to renewable energy, and to close the Liddell coal-fired power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley, which is described as:

“…one of Australia’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power stations.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was also present at the announcement and was asked for a comment. All he could do was smirk and hold up a lump of coal.

Image: Darren England

Australian priests to teach Driver Education.

Priests and religious ministers will teach Australian children how to drive under the federal government’s proposed extension to the school chaplaincy program. Men of the cloth will take over driver education and a host of other programs directed at young people under a proposal to broaden the $61.4 million-a-year program in which chaplains replace qualified counsellors in Australian schools.

Conservative politicians have demanded religious ministers and priests teach Australian children how to drive, as well as instructing them on topics such as drugs and alcohol, personal relationships, literacy and numeracy, cyber safety, gender and sexuality…and even how to shave.

“Cynics will claim this is a weak excuse to funnel more taxpayers’ money to Christian churches,” explained Prime Minister Scott Morrison, himself a devout Pentecostal Christian.

“But that form of inner-city, left-wing, latte-sipping thinking is far from the truth. Priests and religious ministers are the best people to teach Australian children how to drive – even better than existing driving schools.”

All Australian children would be forced to attend a minimum number of hours under the tutelage of religious instructors in order to qualify for the driver’s test through which they secure their L Plates, then their P’s and full licence. They will also be required to attend church every Sunday, and to go to confession every time they fail to check their blindspot during lessons. Religious instructors will also prepare teenagers for the written component of the test.

“The curriculum will change,” revealed Morrison, “…and this is an exciting change. Students will learn skills such as:

Hillsong starts

Reverse praying

3 point turns honouring the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How to drive during rain, floods, fire and brimstone, plagues, pestilence and the second coming.

The driver education program is one branch of the proposed scheme to help young students through the pandemic as they suffer mental health problems due to prolonged lockdown and online learning. Conservative politicians and commentators argue that the scheme, introduced by former prime minister Joh Howard, is so successful that it should be extended to other areas of life which impact upon primary and secondary students, especially those in government schools.

“God spoke to me,” claimed Morrison. ” “I am merely a vessel through which God runs this country, and he said we must replace qualified, educated, experienced professionals with priests and religious ministers in the following areas:

Personal and romantic relationships. Even though priests can’t date or marry.

Gender and Sexuality. Even though the Bible outlaws non-heteronormative identification.

Drugs and alcohol. Learn how to turn water into wine.

Literacy and Numeracy. Students can learn the three ‘Rs’ just from reading the Bible.

Creative Writing. Read the Bible.

Geography. How to part an ocean.

Science. Trace the human genome to a man, a woman and a serpent.

Cyber Safety. They’ll watch the show ‘God Friended Me’.

Critics, meanwhile, suggested the $61.4 million-a-year budget would be better spent coordinating a national vaccine rollout, which is the federal government’s responsibility, so that children can return to school and be released from lockdown.

Image: Orkun Azap

EXCLUSIVE: Australian government cures COVID-19.

EXCLUSIVE: The Australian government is being hailed as a saviour after announcing its COVID Capture scheme to end the global pandemic. The world-first scheme will capture all of the COVID-19 from the air and store it in the ground.

“This plan is magnificent in its simplicity,” revealed the Prime Minister Scott Morrison in exclusive correspondence with this publication.

“The plan involves using state-of-the-art technology, as well as butterfly nets, to catch all of the COVID-19 particles that are floating through the air, then store them in the ground. Patients with COVID-19 can also just dig a hole and cough straight into the soil. Particles will stay in the ground forever, or until a foreign-owned mining company digs them up while exploiting fossil fuel reserves. However, we have been advised by Craig Kelly that if the COVID-19 particles attach themselves to fossil fuel particles, they pose absolutely no threat to the wold’s population – just as Clean Coal is 100% safe for the earth.”

“Once we’ve captured all of the COVID-19, we can return to normal.”

The scheme mirrors Carbon Capture and Storage, a technique touted as a ‘technology’ that could help lower carbon emissions. According to experts such as the Climate Council, however:

  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is unproven and expensive.
  • Despite billions of dollars being spent in Australia and overseas, no CCS project has yet been delivered on time, on budget, or to agreed performance.
  • The quickest and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to stop burning coal, gas and oil and replace them with renewables.

Despite this, the government, under the leadership of Greg Hunt (Health), Sussan Ley (Environment) and Angus Taylor (Energy) will proceed with COVID Capture immediately.

“We will mobilise the entire Australian population in this effort. After all, we’re on a war footing and that means we will utilise our defence forces, plus school children and Teachers, the unemployed, those receiving welfare payments, and even doctors, nurses and ambulance workers. The latter will be freed up because no one will suffer from COVID-19 anymore, and our medical facilities will be virtually empty.”

“It really is a genius plan – much like Carbon Capture.”

The highly-touted scheme was invented after other responses to the pandemic proved ineffective, and forced half of Australia to be in some form of lockdown at the time of writing.

“We considered a national vaccine rollout, but that was too hard,” conceded Morrison.

“We tried vaccinating people with slogans, but that didn’t work.”

“We tried lockdowns, but they proved unpopular in focus groups.”

“We called in the army to shoot the virus, but somehow that didn’t work.”

“As a result, we are convinced that COVID Capture is the most efficient, sensible, reasonable long-term strategy for defeating the pandemic.”

Morrison declared the initiative one of the greatest achievements in Australian history.

“This is a momentous occasion for all Australians. Aussies should be proud that this great nation gave the world Carbon Capture, and can be equally proud that we have given the world COVID Capture.”

Image: Susan Gold

Why does Gina Rinehart sponsor water sports?

EXCLUSIVE: Billionaire Gina Rinehart has revealed why she donates so much money to the federations and athletes of water-based sports in Australia. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, is one of the major sponsors of sports such as Swimming and Rowing and has funded many of the Olympic gold medals Australia has won in recent years.

“Australia will soon be underwater,” Rinehart revealed in an exclusive interview.

“And I am largely responsible for that.”

Most of Australia’s major cities and towns hug the coastline and could soon be threatened by sea levels rising as a result of the climate crisis. Hancock Prospecting is devoted primarily to livestock farming and mining, which are driving climate change and forcing ice caps to melt. Furthermore, Rinehart wields enormous political power in Australia and has helped prevent the nation from making the transition to renewable energy.

“It is so important for all Australians to be competent swimmers, and to know how to manage a water-based vessel as sea levels rise,” Rinehart continued.

“As sea levels rise, most Australians will have to travel by water and deal with more extreme storms and floods, unless people like me stop using traditional farming methods and stop burning fossil fuels. This is why I pour so much money into sports like swimming and rowing – aside from the PR benefits and the opportunity to distract everyday Aussies from the damage my businesses do to the planet.”

“I don’t sponsor sports such as Cycling, Athletics or Hockey because you can’t play Hockey underwater (except at Uni games) and you can’t run, jump throw or cycle underwater.”

Hancock Prospecting is the major sponsor of Swimming Australia and a major partner of Rowing Australia, and is called the “matriarch” of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. She has sponsored Australian swimming since 1992, and her ‘generous direct financial support’ is described as ‘especially critical to Swimming Australia’ for it allows athletes to ‘focus on their on their training and performance and not be distracted by financial pressures that most athletes face’.

In recognition of the amount of money Rinehart has given to sports such as rowing and swimming, she was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee (interalia), and is described as an ‘inspiration’ to Australian swimmers.

Asked if she would donate some of her considerable wealth to other countries even more directly threatened by rising sea levels, such as Australia’s neighbours in the South Pacific, Rinehart replied:

“No, I’m a patriot.”

Image: Patrick Hamilton

Unique strategy to convince thousands of Australians to get vaccinated.

The Australian government has disguised the COVID-19 vaccination booking service as a sports gambling App in an effort to trick reluctant citizens into registering for the jab.

The world-first initiative is being hailed as a creative strategy to fool hesitant citizens into registering for the COVID-19 vaccine, at a time when almost half the nation is in some form of lockdown or even under curfew.

The App is called OddBetter and was developed in order to tap into the enormous popularity of sports gambling in the country.

“Refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is a huge gamble, and OddBetter is a brilliant, creative solution to a complicated problem,” announced the Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

“The world-first initiative will encourage reluctant Australians to get vaccinated, which will in turn allow the country to open up and to return to some form of normal. Sports betting is a popular activity in Australia and this App taps into Australia’s love of sport and our love of a punt.”

The App has the appearance and functionality of a conventional sports betting App. It offers betting choices on a wide range of results in a wide range of sports. It differs from legitimate gambling Apps in that every time a user places a bet, they have actually sent their personal details to the government health system and automatically registered their name for a vaccination for either Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca or Moderna.

“Users will not be charged any money at any stage of this process,” stressed Hunt. “They will be required to register a credit card in order to use the App, like any sports gambling service, but this will be used only to cross reference other personal details and to confirm the user’s identity. Once an identity is confirmed, health authorities will also know if the person has or hasn’t been vaccinated.”

The minister then explained that punters using Odd Better will ‘win’ or ‘lose’ money inside the App, but that this ‘OddBetter currency’ is not real and will not add or subtract from their bank balance in the real word.

“It’s like electronic Monopoly money.”

Of course, finding a way to make people register for a jab is only part of the process.

“Once registered, we still need people to actually turn up and get the vaccination. So, the App has been designed to shut out any user who does not honour their appointment. They will then be advised to show proof of vaccination in order to resume using the App. Also, punters who have already been vaccinated will not receive an appointment notification.”

The minister was asked what had been done to prevent users from simply turning to another gambling site once they are shut out of OddBetter for not being vaccinated.

“Two things. One, we will offer the impossibly good odds on every bet, as well as more options on more sports than any other gambling company – we can do so because our service is not real. Secondly, we know that Aussie punters have an insatiable appetite for gambling – which is why there are at least 70 online gambling sites in the country.”

Hunt was also asked whether announcing the App publicly and writing a press release would expose it’s inauthenticity and thus render it redundant, to which he replied:

“Most anti-vaxxers and vaccine-hesitant people don’t read – they just take all their health advice from social media influencers, or people like George Christensen, Clive Palmer or Craig Kelly.”

Image: Daniel Schludi

Are LGBTQIA+ people being exploited?

Embracing the LGBTQIA+ community is trending. Corporations, governments, organisations and high profile individuals in Australia are embracing or being seen to embrace people from this community. This is a sign of a fairer and more equitable world, but is it also an example of exploitation?

Are LGBTQIA+ people being used by organisations to improve their public image or to distract the public from the organisations failings in other areas?

Why would they do this?

Support for inclusion and diversity is trending. Organisations seen to support the cause can position themselves as responsible corporate or social citizens, especially if they can successfully publicise this support. The organisation is less likely to be labelled unethical, and can also use inclusion and diversity to distract the public from their unethical or questionable practices in other areas – unethical practices which are destructive to society, including the LGBTQIA+ community.

AGL

AGL is an Australian energy company with one claim to fame: it is Australia’s biggest polluter. Australia is one of the world’s biggest polluters. AGL epitomises the exploitation of the LGBTQIA+ community for Public Relations (PR) purposes and distraction.

The AGL website states that:

“In 2014, AGL implemented a LGBTQ+ Inclusion Strategy, and in 2015 we were rated as one of the best performing first-time entrants to the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). Our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, was created in 2014.

In September 2015, AGL announced our support for marriage equality in Australia. Our position was strongly endorsed by the AGL Board, our senior management, and AGL Shine members.”

What exactly is involved in supporting marriage equality?

Posting a message on the company’s official platforms stating support of marriage equality. Not particularly difficult. AGL made the statement in 2015, when the movement had gained such strong momentum that same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia in 2016. Hardly groundbreaking or brave.

The statement continues:

“In 2020, we were proud to be awarded Gold Employer status for LGBTQ+ inclusion at the AWEI Awards. This is the third year we have been awarded Gold Employer status.”

How hard it is to promote inclusion and diversity?

Including people of diverse backgrounds essentially means treating people fairly.

How much does inclusion and diversity cost?

To have been continually awarded for inclusion, the company must have made some financial investment.

How much does transitioning to renewable energy cost?

In the short term, a lot. In the long term, AGL would apparently make a profit because the global economy is embracing renewable technology. Convincing shareholders to invest in diversity and inclusion seems much easier than convincing them to invest in renewable energy. AGL is a business and bases all of its decisions on profits. Transitioning to clean energy is undoubtedly more expensive in the short term than embracing the LGBTQIA+ community.

Interestingly, while AGL was publicly supporting marriage equality, it made a deliberate decision not to transition to renewable energy. The company had apparently appointed a new boss in 2015, who was tasked with overseeing a move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, pressure from the then Minister for the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, convinced the company to reject clean energy sources and continue burning fossil fuels.

AGL wins considerable social credibility and brand enhancement through its inclusion polices and support for marriage equality, at exactly the same time that it actively rejects a transition to renewable energy.

Coincidence?

AFL

The Australian Football League runs the premier Australian Rules football competition in the country and is well-known for its support of LGBTQIA+ people. It has held a ‘Pride’ round since 2016 to promote inclusion and diversity.

The AFL is more public in its support of this issue than other major sporting codes, and this could be motivated by honest intentions or by its commitment to its women’s competition, AFLW, in which many players are openly gay. Cynics might argue that the governing body is chasing the pink dollar, but that criticism is not constructive.

Interestingly, despite having held a Pride round since 2016, not one male AFL player has come out as gay. Are there any gay AFL players?

The AFL appears sincere in its acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, is the organisation equally sincere in its attempts to tackle racism and misogyny? The AFL also holds an Indigenous round (since 2008) and claims to embrace women, not just those involved in the ALFW.

However, just days before this article was written, a popular AFL player, Taylor Walker, was outed for a racist comment during an Aussie Rules football game, and his public apology was widely criticised as inadequate. This followed revelations earlier in 2021 of widespread racism within the Collingwood Magpies club, one of the nation’s biggest, as well as the brutal racism directed at former player Adam Goodes. The racist attacks on Goodes were so vicious, incessant and damaging that they forced him to quit the sport, and they spurned two documentaries.

Treatment of women within the AFL is also far from ideal. Numerous players have been found guilty of misogyny, harrassment and even assault of women, and this history of toxic masculinity is documented in The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Thus, the AFL has failed to sufficiently address issues of toxic masculinity and racism, but derives positive publicity from its support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was praised for its decision to allow an Australian female Rugby 7s player to wear headgear with a rainbow coloured design. The rainbow design promoted awareness and acceptance of issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community, and commentators explained that the Australian player was given ‘permission’ by the IOC to wear the protective equipment with that particular design.

According to media reports:

“Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman threw his support behind the celebration and Williams for lodging the request.

“It’s wonderful for our athletes to celebrate their identity as well as promote all of our Olympic sports as safe and inclusive,” Mr Chesterman said.

“I’d like to thank the IOC for their support in allowing Sharni to wear the headgear and thank Sharni for sharing her story with us during the games.”

The IOC has been the subject of countless articles and documentaries questioning its ethics and accusing it of bullying and rampant corruption. Furthermore, Olympic athletes are given strict and detailed instructions to refrain from any form of protest or activism on any issue at any time during the games. But, they let a rugby player wear rainbow headgear.

Tiwi Islands Mardi Gras

The Tiwi Islands lie to the north of Darwin and are home to Indigenous Australian communities. In 2017, 30 Tiwi Sistagirls, or transgender women, travelled to Sydney to take part in their first ever Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The inclusion was hailed as a victory for the Sistagirls and the LGBTQIA+ community in general. The inaugural journey received widespread media coverage and many organisations associated themselves publicly with this event. They could be accused of jumping on the bandwagon (or float).

Some of these organisations, including government departments, are responsible for solving many of the problems which plague remote communities such as those on the Tiwi Islands. These problems include societal decay, low life expectancy, loss of language and culture, drug and alcohol abuse, poor school attendance, violence, incarceration, unemployment, poor literacy and numeracy, and discrimination.

If the mainstream media and organisations celebrate the participation of Tiwi people in Mardi Gras, does it create the impression that life is improving on the Tiwi Islands and for Indigenous Australians in general? Does it distract Australians from the reality of life for Indigenous Australians and the need to do something about it?

Furthermore, how hard is it to get Tiwi Islanders to Mardi Gras? How hard is it to book a few flights and hotel rooms?

How hard is it to effect real change in Indigenous communities? Apparently very difficult. According to Pat Turner, Lead Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks and CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, only two of six Closing The Gap (CTG) targets were on track: early education and Year 12 attainment.

This means that after 12 years since the release of the first CTG report, little or no progress has been made in areas such as child mortality, employment, life expectancy and education.

Once again, it could be said that LGBTQI+ people are being used to distract the public from the failures of various organisations.

Supporting LGBTQIA+ rights is important. It is a question of equality and fairness. It should not be exploited for positive PR by organisations seeking to distract the public from their unethical or incompetent practices in other areas, or to shield the organisation from public criticism.

Image: Vector Stock

Blackheath to play central role in COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The small town of Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW has been chosen as a storage site for COVID-19 vaccines as authorities continue the national rollout in response to the global pandemic. Blackheath was chosen for one simple reason.

“COVID-19 vaccines must be stored at very cold temperatures,” explained a spokesperson for the federal Department of Health, which is overseeing the rollout.

“And they don’t call it Bleakheath for nothing.”

“Winter temperatures is Blackheath regularly fall below zero and it is not uncommon for the Upper Blue Mountains town to receive a light dusting of snow every year. The bulk of the NSW vaccines will thus be stored in Blackheath, while further quantities will be stored at locations such as Mt Victoria and Bell.”

The federal government is also excited at the prospect of saving millions of taxpayers’ dollars thanks to Blackheath.

“Blackheath’s climate allows us to store the vaccines outside night and day. Thus, there will be no need for expensive refrigeration or costly underground bunkers which require a lot of electricity. We’ll just stick them in a series of freight containers and let nature do the work.”

Authorities were adamant that the storage will not cause any inconvenience to residents, and that Blackheathens should feel an enormous sense of pride in facilitating a rollout which will save lives.

“Residents will see containers pop up in various locations in the coming weeks. They will be clearly marked to identify them as medical storage sites, and will be heavily monitored by security.”

Vaccines stored at Blackheath can easily be transported to the regional hospital in Katoomba, as well as the various medical centres and clinics in the region. The town is also within easy reach of Sydney and even locations such as Lithgow and Bathurst. That said, Lithgow is likely to be served by additional storage centres in Oberon, which is an even better place to store vaccines.

Image: Daniel Schludi

Are Australia’s Olympic medals tainted?

Aussies screamed at their TV screens as yet another Australian athlete strained for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Aussies cheered and wept for joy as athlete after athlete collected gold, silver and bronze medals while wearing the green and gold.

Most of these medals were won in Swimming and Rowing.

Most of those medals are tainted.

Most of those medals were funded by Gina Rinehart. Swimmers won 21 medals and rowers won 4 medals, making them our two most successful sports.

Rinehart is one of the world’s richest people and amassed her enormous personal fortune through two of the most destructive industries in the world – mining fossil fuels and farming livestock. Rinehart’s mines and farms are not small. Some of them are the size of small countries, and she owns or has a financial stake in businesses scattered throughout Australia.

Rinehart’s business interests are contributing greatly to the climate crisis which will harm the standard of living of people in Australia and throughout the world in the near future – including swimmers and rowers. She also wields enormous political power in Australia and has helped prevent the nation from making the smart environmental and economic decision to transition to renewable energy.

Rinehart’s businesses, operating under the banner of Hancock Prospecting, have helped earn Australia a reputation as one of the world’s worst polluters. Australia has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world and the highest rate of native mammal extinction in the world. Australia’s contribution to, and inaction on, climate change has made it an international pariah in recent years. Rinehart’s businesses are central to Australia’s environmental destruction.

Hancock Prospecting is the major sponsor of Swimming Australia and a major partner of Rowing Australia. Rinehart is swimming’s patron and is openly called the “matriarch” of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. She was pictured front and centre among the PODS (Parents of Dolphins Swimmers) during Channel 7’s coverage of the swimming events in Tokyo, and ran her own long ads during the games. She has sponsored Australian swimming since 1992, and her ‘generous direct financial support’ is described as ‘especially critical to Swimming Australia’ for it allows athletes to ‘focus on their on their training and performance and not be distracted by financial pressures that most athletes face.’ With Rinehart’s assistance, several swimmers were also granted private scholarships to attend Bond University.

In recognition of the amount of money Rinehart has given to sports such as rowing and swimming, she was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee (interalia), and is described as an ‘inspiration’ to Australian swimmers.

Rinehart’s sponsorship appears to be central to Australia’s record medal haul in swimming at the Tokyo games, and to the impressive results of the country’s rowers. The ebullient language of Swimming Australia cleverly praises their largest sponsor, and implies a dependency on her funding.

The question must be asked:

Would Australia win as many Olympic medals without financial support from Hancock Prospecting? Would Australia win any medals in swimming and rowing without Hancock Prospecting? Are Australia’s medals tainted?

A more pressing question is:

What is more important to Australia, Olympic medals or a livable planet?

Image: Charles Deluvio

The Eastern Suburbs Olympics.

The region’s best athletes will fight for suburban superiority in the inaugural Eastern Suburbs Olympics during July and August. Super-talented locals will represent their suburbs in the IOC-sanctioned event and will compete for gold, silver and bronze across the following specifically-designed sports:

  1. Coffee Cup Relay

Teams of four must pass a large, full, disposable, branded coffee cup along the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee while swerving between weekend traffic and selfie addicts.

  • Shore dump Gymnastics

Gymnasts must perform the most creative and acrobatic tricks in the Coogee shore dump, without breaking their neck.

  • Bodysurfing

Whompers must bodysurf between the flags at Bondi Beach and make it all the way to the sand without smashing headlong into a swimmer.

  • Beach Volleyball Boxing

Tamarama and Bondi Beaches will host this exciting hybrid sport. Spiking your opponent in the head equals one point. Knocking them out earns 2 points, and spiking a nearby child in the head equals 6 and out.

  • Rabbit Hunting

Hunt the feral rabbits at north Clovelly headland, and earn a point for every skin. Avoid killing any of the rabbits who are completing their recovery session at Clovelly Beach.

  • Synchronised Swimming

Team and individual synchronised swimming events will be held at Bronte Baths. Every Eastern Suburbs resident is required to attend at least one session, because it’s not an Olympics without watching hour after hour of Aussie swimmers in sequins.

  • Fencing

Athletes must use a Sabre, Foil or Epee to fight off fearless seagulls while attempting to eat a full meal of Fish and Chips without losing a single chip to the ubiquitous birds.

  • Dog fights

Mackenzies Bay will host fights to the death between off-leash pooches, while local parks, beaches and playgrounds will host fatal fights between dogs and innocent children.

  • Sandcastles

Competitors will have just one day to secure a DA, receive a Homebuilder grant and construct an elaborate sandcastle to be built by the region’s best architects and tradies. The top eight sandcastles will be judged by nosy neighbours and S. Cam, if the IOC can afford his appearance fee.

10.

A gruelling challenge. Run the City to Surf in under 60 minutes while dragging at least one primary school child, plus dog, new-born, pram, school bags, instrument, scooters, helmets, projects…

Athletes can compete in just one event, or contest all ten disciplines for the right to be crowned the greatest athlete in the East. To honour the ancient Olympics, and the spectators, every event will be contested nude. As a result, competitors wearing sluggos or boardies will be disqualified, and women in Brazilian bikinis risk appearing on the front cover of The Beast.

First published in The Beast magazine, August 2021.

Image: http://www.frugalfrolicker.com

Should Indigenous Australian performers boycott Brisbane 2032?

Should Indigenous Australian performers boycott the opening and closing ceremonies at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games?

They are likely to be invited. They perform at most international events held in Australia and they played a significant role in the ceremonies at Sydney 2000.

Why should they boycott?

Because Indigenous participation in ceremonies at international events allows Australia to pretend to the world that Indigenous people are treated fairly in this country. They are not.

Because international pressure is often the best way to create change in a society. If performers boycotted, attention would be drawn to the issues which prompted the boycott. The Australian government and people might be embarrassed into acting.

Because sport matters to Australia. Boycotting at a sporting event might have more impact than a conventional protest march, petition, submission to parliament or general media coverage of the pertinent issues.

Because the very real issues facing Aboriginal people on a daily basis are far more important than an expensive pre-sporting extravaganza.

Boycotting the ceremonies could be a powerful way to draw attention to their struggles.

What are the issues?

The most accurate description of the issues facing Indigenous people in Australia today is encapsulated in the Ulruru Statement from the Heart.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago. 

This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown. 

How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years? 

With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood. 

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future. 

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country. 

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. 

Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination. 

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history. 

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Yes, I just copied and pasted the statement, because I’m not Indigenous and I’m not going to speak for Aboriginal people. Too many Whitefellas have done that in the past, and continue to do so. I’m not Indigenous, and that’s why I posed this idea as a question. It’s not my decision. I just wonder if it is a move that would be worth considering and one that might improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

As well as incarceration, Indigenous Australians rank behind the rest of the population in indicators such as physical and mental health, life expectancy, literacy and numeracy, employment, financial wellbeing and general education.

Interestingly, similar concerns were expressed in the Bark Petition put together by the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in northern Australia and sent to federal parliament. This happened in 1963.

So, would it work?

That’s a very good question. Surely it would have an impact. It would attract publicity and may force the Australian government to and people to act on recommendations that have been outlined in countless reports, but have never been implemented. It would also provoke a lot of anger from narrow-minded Australians, but that anger exists, and is expressed freely, already. It could backfire, and expose the dark underbelly of racism in Australia which could set back the fight for equality.

If it didn’t work, performers would miss out on participating on the world stage, which is as much a pinnacle for artists as it is for athletes.

Participation might be more powerful. Indigenous performers may be able to negotiate the right to say what they want to say in their performances, and to shed light on the challenges they face, through their performance. Somehow, though, it is unlikely the Australian government, International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) would have the courage to let Indigenous Australians tell the truth.

The fact that the authorities can control what the performers present to the world is another reason to boycott.

A position of power?

It might work, because Indigenous Australians appear to hold some power in this situation. If the Indigenous component was removed from the ceremonies, what would replace it?

  • Stockmen in Drizabones and Akubras? Cliched, and done at Sydney 2000. Plus, Brumbies are destroying Alpine national parks.
  • Lawn mowers and Hills Hoists? Cliched and done in Sydney.
  • The migrant story? Australia puts some migrants in off-shore detention, which constitutes human rights abuses. Plus, we are witnessing a resurgence in exclusive patriotism and white nationalism in Australia, especially in Queensland, so we can’t truly claim to embrace multiculturalism in this country.
  • The Barrier Reef? It might be completely destroyed by 2032.
  • Pavlova? A dessert with a Russian name that some people claim was invented in New Zealand.
  • My Island Home? Done in Sydney, belongs to Warumpi Band.

We can’t boast about our natural environment, because we’re destroying most of it. We can’t boast about technology, because we can barely get the National Broadband Network to work. Nikki Webster’s too old to be suspended from a trapeze wire and we can’t resurrect the giant kangaroo, the foam eskies, Ned Kelly or marching bands. John Farnham, though, is always willing to make a comeback.

Thus, will the opening ceremony consist of a case of VB and a packet of Tim Tams in the middle of a massive stadium?

In all seriousness though, do Indigenous people hold some power in the composition of an opening or closing ceremony at Brisbane 2032? The show might look quite empty, cliched and shallow without them. This, should the threat of a boycott be made now, so that the nation has time to fix the problems facing Indigenous people before 2032?

How will we know it has worked?

When the demands of the Uluru Statement from the Heart are met. This would take years to happen.

Will they need to boycott?

Will the situation have improved so much by 2032 that Indigenous people can proudly display their culture to the rest of the world and enjoy prosperous lives long after the Olympic flame is extinguished?

Let’s hope so.