Dreyfus attacks Nalliah over anti-Islam remarks

ISAACS MP and federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has condemned anti-Islam political aspirant Daniel Nalliah’s views as having “no place” in Australia.
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Mr Dreyfus held up Greater Dandenong’s 150-plus nationalities as a “tremendous example of a modern, diverse and harmonious society”.

“We are a nation that believes everyone is entitled to a fair go — no matter what your background or religious beliefs,” Mr Dreyfus said.

Campaign launch: Daniel Nalliah last week. Picture: Wayne Hawkins

“Past mayors of Greater Dandenong have been of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Buddhist faiths and I am proud to be part of a society that affords equality of opportunity to every individual.

“Multiculturalism is a fundamental part of our modern nation, and an example to the rest of the world.”

Mr Nalliah, a pastor of Hallam-based Catch the Fire Ministries, is president of Rise Up Australia Party on an anti-multiculturalism platform.

He said Mr Dreyfus was “out of touch” with most Australians, challenging the MP for a debate on multiculturalism.

“If you walk through Dandenong, you’ll find third and fourth-generation residents are moving out to Cranbourne, Officer and Pakenham.

“People in Doveton are too afraid to walk the streets at night because of gang fights.”

Mr Nalliah said he was praised by visiting anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders as an “asset to Australia”.

“He said to me you can say what you want because you’re an immigrant. He said he couldn’t say these things without being called a racist,” Mr Nalliah said.

Mr Nalliah has recently led protests against a proposed mosque in Green Street, Doveton.

This month, Rise Up Australia’s state branch was launched in Hallam by Mr Nalliah and climate change denier Christopher Monckton.

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A bone to pick with errant eateries

MONASH restaurants have the highest rate of offending against health department standards in the state, according to official figures.
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The Department of Health’s register of convictions shows that five Monash eateries have been fined for failing to comply with food safety standards over the past 18 months.

In 2012, public health officers conducted 1151 inspections. Three businesses were prosecuted for unsafe food practices.

■ In Clayton, Moza Corner proprietor Kamal Dharmet was slugged with a $35,000 fine for failing to comply with the food standards code.

■ The proprietor of Choi Palace BBQ Restaurant, also in Clayton, was fined $20,000

■ In Glen Waverley, Spicy Fish manager Jimmy Wei Wang was fined $15,000, proprietor Global Oceanic Investments was fined $40,000 and director Li Qin Ding was fined $40,000.

A further four on-the-spot fines were also issued: two in Glen Waverley, one in Mulgrave and another in Oakleigh. The Department of Health was notified in each case.

Monash mayor Micaela Drieberg said the council inspected every restaurant in the city at least once a year.

“Our staff do take public health really seriously,” she said. “In serious cases, we can prosecute the owners of the business. In cases where there are serious risks to public health, the council does have the power to order that a business be closed temporarily until the problems are fixed.”

Businesses committing non-serious breaches are given orders by public health officers to comply with rules. Officers then conduct follow-up investigations.

“If the breach doesn’t pose a serious risk to health, businesses can be given up to 30 days to fix it,” Cr Drieberg said.

Despite the convictions, council staff believe it is safe to eat out in Monash.

“Restaurants can come good after a bad period,” she said.

“For example, Spicy Fish has passed several inspections by our staff in recent months.”

Industry hub ‘should be in Dandenong South’

AN advanced manufacturing precinct in Clayton proposed by the federal government should be shifted to Dandenong South, an industry peak body chief says.
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Paul Dowling, executive director of South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance, said the innovation hub was best sited in manufacturing’s heartland.

He said there was a “clear disconnect” between manufacturers and Clayton’s research hub, which included the Australian Synchrotron, Monash University and CSIRO.

“You can’t have connectivity [between manufacturers and researchers] if you’re not among manufacturers and not visible to manufacturers,” he said.

“Research is often in an academic setting — it’s the last place manufacturers would go for.”

Mr Dowling said Dandenong South was centrally located for manufacturers in Kingston, Casey and Cardinia, and well connected to Monash and Knox via EastLink.

He was excited by the “big potential” of the government’s concept. Australia was in the bottom five in the world for connecting innovation and manufacturing, he said.

“It will make manufacturing proactive and not reactive. It will help us build a future in manufacturing based on new technology. It may not be the same sort of manufacturing as we currently see. We may not like it. The future is technology.”

The precinct plan is a major plank in the government’s $1 billion jobs and innovation policy announced last week.

A spokeswoman for Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said Clayton was chosen because it had a strong manufacturing research and services base, but the precinct would also capture manufacturers in the wider south-east Melbourne region, including Dandenong.

“Manufacturers from around the country will be able to tap into the precinct and access its services and expertise.”

She said the government was consulting with stakeholders to sit on the industry-led board that would manage the precinct.

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Financial assistance for briquette customers

Businesses left in limbo by an eventual closure of Morwell’s EnergyBrix brown coal briquette factory have been given access to $5.5 million in Federal Government assistance.
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In a visit to the Latrobe Valley on Friday, Regional Development Minister Simon Crean announced the Briquette Replacement Program, designed to assist EnergyBrix customers transition to cleaner fuel source alternatives.

Under the program, businesses will be eligible for rebates of up to $25,000, enabling them to obtain engineering and costing advice on possible alternatives, such as natural gas, while grants totaling $4.5 million over two years will assist non-manufacturing customers with capital expenses.

The announcement comes after the Federal Government awarded the ailing EnergyBrix power station $50 million last July to continue operating, which supplies steam to the briquette factory, buying time for customers to find an alternative fuel source.

“(Briquettes) are a crucial part of their operations, and currently, there is no alternative supplier of cost effective briquettes, so making the transition to other cleaner forms of fuel or feedstock will take time and investment,” Mr Crean said.

The Express understands EnergyBrix is moving to stockpile briquettes for a possible 2014 closure, allowing it to continue supplying customers after the ceasing of production.

Gippsland Greenhouse Produce manager Peter Hobson, whose hydroponic tomato operation purchases about 700 tonnes of EnergyBrix briquettes annually to fire its hot water boilers, said the pressure was on install a new heating system before EnergyBrix’s closure.

“Without those briquettes, our existing boilers will be redundant, so we have to install an entirely new system which is horrendously expensive,” Mr Hobson said.

After being quoted $850,000 for the installation of a 2.6 kilometre pipeline to give the farm access to natural gas, a price Mr Hobson said was “ludicrous”, he quickly began investigations into bio-energy, and is due to visit the United States and Europe later this year to inspect existing wood waste heating systems.

But at an estimated price tag of $400,000 to $600,000 to install wood waste boilers on farm, Mr Hobson said he needed all the assistance he could get.

“It’s a fair whack, but I suppose with the advent of carbon tax and all those sort of things, that’s the price we’ve got to pay to clean things up,” he said.

“I’ll be applying for these grants, absolutely,” Mr Hobson said, adding the Federal Government’s $50 million bailout package awarded to EnergyBrix power station last July was a saving grace for EnergyBrix customers.

“If (EnergyBrix) said they were closing their doors (last July), I would’ve been left high and dry,” Mr Hobson said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.