The Greens’ purpose
Crikey readers have their say.
Sep 21, 2010
Crikey readers have their say.
"Why is the Real Estate Institute of Victoria allowed to peddle their unreliable data to paint a completely different picture of the Melbourne property market? Taking into account "no result" auctions over the past five weeks, the clearance rate is falling -- now to below 60% -- yet the figures the REIV present indicate a clearance rate at more than 70%. "Your anonymous tipster should do their homework. The REIV does not massage the results to manipulate the market. We transparently report the results that we receive, changing them on Saturday, Sunday and as we collect more information. We clearly report the number of results even when an auction occurred and we did not get a result by publication time (hardly the action of someone trying to hide something). Those results are followed up and if they change the clearance rate we report that, too. And as for ‘how is the market going’: the clearance rate has been between 65 and 76 per cent for the past four-and-a-half months. That’s pretty stable, really. Cricket bats for asylum seekers: Troy Wright writes: Re. "Tips and rumours" (yesterday, item 7). Crikey published:
"Australian immigration officers are giving out free cricket bats in Sri Lanka emblazoned with messages to deter asylum seekers. The town of Negombo was provided with 700 of these cricket bats courtesy of the Australian government."Having visited Sri Lanka a few years ago, I have a few questions about the efficacy of what appears to be a clever ploy to deter asylum seekers from travelling to Australia by boat. Firstly, your article says the bats are being distributed in Negombo. This is where the international airport is located, and from memory it is not a major sea-faring centre. Further, it is on Sri Lanka’s west coast ... surely most boats launched to Australia would be departing from somewhere on the closer east side? Perhaps even more curiously, given we are told the majority of people arriving in Australia by boat are Tamils escaping ethnic prosecution in Sri Lanka, why are the bats then printed in Singhalese and not Tamil?! The National Broadband Network: Adam Schwab writes: Re. "Possum: cost benefit delusions of the NBN" (yesterday, item 11). Possum Comitatus wrote a fascinating article regarding calls for a cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network, pointing out correctly that a pure economic CBA would ignore flow-on benefits of the NBN. However, while Possum made some valid points and there certainly are non-economic benefits that would flow from the NBN (and such those benefits may outweigh the positive quantitative flow-on effects of the project) a CBA can still consider those benefits, even if a direct monetary value may be difficult to determine. However the key issue which Possum ignored was that the NBN was policy made "on the run" by a Prime Minister desperate to come up with a political solution in the midst of the GFC. Not only has no CBA been conducted, but it appears that no economic evaluation was undertaken, rather, a self-serving McKinsey report was produced stating that the project was able to be constructed. The project, Australia’s most expensive ever, was concocted in a very short time frame by a Prime Minister who was deposed shortly after by his own party. Few doubt that a nationwide broadband scheme would provide many benefits. But the scale of those benefits, and who the real beneficiaries of such a plan are should be given great consideration given the enormous cost. Male same-s-x couple adoption: Guy Rundle writes: Re. "Same-s-x adoption: exposing the myths in Rundle's stance" (yesterday, item 14). Tad Tietze makes several claims against my argument against male same-s-x couple adoption. Some get to the heart of the debate; others seem to me patently wrong, or based on misunderstanding. Tietze quotes adoption practice to suggest that same-s-x adoption represents no major social shift. This is asinine. Homosexuality wasn't even legal in some Australian states a generation ago. To go from that marginalisation to the possibility of adoption in 25 years is a major and epochal shift, whether you're pro- or con- same-s-x adoption. Tietze says we shouldn't retroject current parenting arrangements to past societies. I agree, which is why I had a whole long paragraph saying precisely that, and distinguishing my argument from knee-jerk familialism. He should do me the courtesy of reading me properly. Tietze's central argument is that expert knowledge shows us that care giving can be far more fluid and various than we think, without loss to the child. Well, I don't see any such consensus in attachment theory, but nor can we steer major social and cultural shifts by expert knowledge canons. My argument is that the given biological features of human existence may (note, may) predispose us to certain developmental needs, focused on a female body -- and that the best interests of children dictates we err on the side of caution in these matters. Because let's face it, expert knowledge can shift pretty dramatically. Psychiatrists classed homosexuality itself as a "mental illness" until 1974 -- and "treated" it with everything up to electric shock treatment. Tietze would presumably say they were utterly wrong, as would we all. I wonder which of his profession's current assumptions will seem obviously wrong in thirty years' time?