About the same as is going to be spent to save the Great Barrier Reef. No-one noticed until someone from the Mitchell Institute (a think tank at Victoria University) happened to be leafing through the budget papers. The Quality Agreement program for early childhood begun in 2009 is to be wound down and conclude from 30 June 2020.
- Director of the Mitchell Institute, Megan O’Connell, said Australia was already lagging the rest of the world by offering only one year of preschool for most children when two years was regarded as the international standard.
Australia ranks 23rd in the OECD in early childhood education (ECE) spending. Here we are from the NSW study A review of the effects of early childhood education:
Bad and getting worse. That study also indicates that ECE in Australia is overwhelmingly medium quality. A shame because quality programs make a difference.
- The OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment shows children who do not attend preschool rank about 450 points on a reading performance ranking by age 15. But children who do one year of preschool rank 480 and children who do more than two years rank over 500 points.
“Apart from literacy and numeracy there are benefits for children from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Ms O’Connell said. “There are social benefits, how to be resilient, how to cope with setbacks, how to work in solitary and in groups.”
It’s about life chances, especially for the underprivileged .We’ve known that since the High/Scope studies in the 1960s.
This is the kind of stupidity you get with an elitist and uncaring government values limiting government expenditure over the lives of the people.
- Labor will expand the federal public service and cut back on the use of contractors and consultants if it wins the next election, an announcement that will likely cause panic across the big four accounting and consulting firms Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC that have collectively won $1.7 billion in work over the past five years.
There is a prevailing attitude in the Turnbull government, the ACCC and elsewhere, that the private sector can do it better, and more efficiently giving batter value for money. Capitalists don’t usually bother to get out of bed unless they can get a return of about 15%, so the improved efficiency has to be unbelievaby better to fulfil that promise. Often the profit comes from hiring staff from labour hire companies at rates about a third lower than the previous norm.
The latest is that the government is planning to privatise the visa processing system
- The Turnbull Government has already announced that multinational Datacom will be taking over the running of the immigration call centre, and now they are planning to privatise the entire Visa processing system. There are up to 3000 hardworking people whose jobs are at risk and are worried about their own future and the impact on the services they provide the Australian public.
I’m glad that Labor is also planning to scrap the ‘productivity dividend’. Research in the 19990s showed that the ‘salami slice’ method of downsizing was the most destructive of morale, yet that is what we have been doing for about 30 years that I know of. I recall Kim Beazley saying two decades ago that the practice had gone too far and should be dumped.
3. AFL comes up short on player safety
This link says Andrew Gaff and Andrew Brayshaw played golf together a few days before the former smashed the latter in the face in an off-ball incident. No doubt Gaff was sincere in his remorse, and Brayshaw says he forgives Gaff for the punch, but Gaff’s statement that he was aiming at Brayshaw’s body is laughable.
The AFL has hit Gaff with an 8-week ban, but that is nowhere near good enough.
Firstly, the principle should be that the perpetrators penalty should be longer than the victim’s absence from the game.
Secondly, the AFL has no red card option. The perpetrator should not stay on the field.
Also, the AFL should take a look at One punch law in Queensland and other jurisdictions. Intent and effect (ie. the damage done) comes into it, but on the night happened in radio talk-back an experienced lawyer said that if the AFL were serious, criminal charges and life suspension should have been the go. That would concentrate the mind of potential perpetrators wanting to go the biff.
Linked above is a garden variety report on the outcome of the Emma Husar investigation. Importantly, it found that the publication of the alleged (fabricated) outrageous sexual misdemeanors “reprehensible”.
I completely agree. Unfortunately it was standard MO for Buzzfeed, who don’t bother to verify anything like that before publication. They believe that the public can make up their minds.
The fearless philosophers, Waleed Aly and Scott Stevens, had a go, and again tied themselves in knots. They seemed to thing the reportage was in the public interest and the Buzzfeed journalism ethical, even though it had the unfortunate effect of blowing up Husar’s career whether guilty or innocent. It’s hard to believe they had not heard of the basic ethical principle of ‘Do no harm’.
As the matter stands, anyone can invent any old rubbish and use media outlets like Buzzfeed to destroy people’s careers and do them and their families grievous harm.
I hope Husar sues for damages and wins.
Confidentiality was central to the proper handling of the issue, in the interests of the complainants as well as Husar. Stevens and Aly seemed to think that publication was good in that it flushes out further information. Again they should ask the police under what circumstances that tactic applies.
I wondered why the Labor Party was investigating this, rather than the Finance Department. I’d urge people to listen to Tony Burke talking to Patricia Karvelas.
The complainants went to the Finance Department, who didn’t want to know because they didn’t work there any more. Similarly with Fair Work Australia. The complainants then approached the NSW Labor party organisation, who took them seriously, commissioning lawyer John Whelan to investigate. Bourke said he didn’t know what was going on before he read the newspapers, and pointed out that nothing was served by him knowing until the report came out. You could say the same for Bill Shorten. It is important that neither interfered. Turnbull seems to have forgotten that he didn’t know about what was happening under his nose with Barnaby Joyce last year, when a bit of early intervention from him would have been appropriate.
5. Other stuff
Other topics I’ll try to handle in separate posts include population/immigration, where we hit 25 million, and a strange and I think important book from George Megalogenis.
I thought visitations to the archive would taper off. During the last couple of days they have more than doubled, running at about 180 per day.