A Liberal Party candidate’s view on science and sexual orientation

October 28, 2007

I just came across an interesting story at The Age’s website: Homosexuality a perversion, says Lib candidate, which details some of the views of the Liberal Party’s candidate for Lalor, Pastor Peter Curtis. To my mind, the best part of the story is at its end:

He (Peter Curtis) said that, if elected, he would be urging the Liberal Party to introduce intelligent design to state school science classes. Intelligent design is an assertion that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and not by natural selection.

“I would be very much in favour of intelligent design being taught in public schools,” Mr Curtis said. “Just as the theory of evolution is taught as well — in my view regrettably taught in science classes, because I think it’s a theory and not a science.”

What an insight into the scientific method. And this man wants to help create Commonwealth law. While the Liberal Party would probably be happy for anyone to run in Lalor or other safe ALP seats in the upcoming election, you’d hope they could choose reasonable candidates.

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New career direction

October 24, 2007

Yes, a week and a half ago I started a new job at a different organisation – the Australian Energy Market Commission (www.aemc.gov.au), a government body that writes the Rules for the National Electricity Market and conducts reviews on national energy policies. It’s interesting material for you all economic reformers – the electricity and gas networks are key elements of modern life (imagine the consequences of either drastically failing) and the associated markets are very interesting.

For all those interested in its work, I recommend downloading and reading the documents on its website. I’ve been reading and learning an enormous amount since I started the job and am already working in a project.

Water metering for Qld tenants

October 15, 2007

An interesting development in Qld – according to the Courier Mail:

LANDLORDS will be able to charge tenants for their water use under legislation to be introduced to Queensland parliament this week, Premier Anna Bligh says.

Cabinet today approved a number of legislative changes dealing with water that will be introduced to parliament this week, and be passed by the end of the year.

Among the changes are new measures aimed at making renters more accountable for their water use, and the banning of any council charges being applied to water from residential rainwater tanks.

The laws will allow landlords who have installed water saving devices – such as dual flush toilets and low-flow shower heads – in their rental properties to have individual meters installed to monitor their tenants’ water use. 

This will hopefully make price signals for water more transparent for tenants – folding water charges into a tenant’s rent makes price signals for water very opaque, which could be problematic when water is so scarce in Brisbane. I have always rented and I fully support direct charging of tenants for their water use and individual water metering. It’s not immediately clear to me how you put the incentives in to encourage landlords to put water-saving devices into units, but perhaps this is what is happening in the last para I quoted from the story.

Government advertising…

October 14, 2007

Now that a federal election for Nov 24 has been called, I wonder how long it will be before the “educational” government advertising will cease? Opening up yahoo.com.au a moment ago, I was confronted with yet another workchoices job which popped up at me.