Blog

Welcome to LazerWikiBlog:

This is where you find out what is ringing my chimes. This is also where you get insights into my life. I rant. I rave. I basically let off as much steam as I want here. You will probably find references to CentreLink, Australian ISP, Ombudsman, Religion, Australian Politics, and Globalisation.

Mostly, being an INFP, the thing that rings my chimes about "Western Democracy" (including Australia) is the obvious "FAIL" that corruption continues to brings to the table. A history of corruption exists in the law making process of most if not all Governments that have or do identify as Democratic nations. Australian Members of Parliament past and present also have a known history of corruption. There are just too many examples in our political past of how corrupted Politicians have done "deals" to get certain "concessions" passed into law. Nice easy passage through Parliament. Cleared along the way by beholden Politicians? Over and over. At all levels of Government. Since the whole system was inherited from the "British" and before. It seems to me that the whole system of "justice" needs a complete overhaul. Complete Overhaul. Starting with the democratic system itself. Should we allow political parties? I believe Political Parties are the means of corruption in the political system. Corporations mostly are the offenders. If we banned Political Parties, I believe we would get a system where MPs are only in Parliament to represent the will of their electorate. Nothing more. Nothing less. One MP. One Vote. None of this "Voting along `party lines` rubbish". In my perfect world.. Politicians pensions, salaries, and entitlements would be completely overhauled and massively reduced. With a brand new "Border Force" squad enabled for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to assist them in investigating future Political candidates.

Fiasco`s and cover ups have always been the rule of the day in Australian Politics. Special concessions for 'sick old pals' who have been proven to break the laws of the country. But business as usual. Politics and the promotion of disinformation is a dirty business. In Australia, I see no real difference in the direction of travel that the two major political parties participate towards. I would like for Australians to wake up and stop re-electing the obviously corrupt choice that I believe ALP & LNP to represent. Only an Independent stands for their electorate. The problem is when not enough "good people" stand up to do the job of representation.

Seems I used to Blog a bit about the unfairness of city legislated laws on rural people. I do have to wonder when will our political leaders give more than just lip service to the needs for amendments to many of the city legislated laws. Rural living is more expensive right across the board. I believe there should be leeway granted to fines and penalties imposed on those living in rural areas.

Enjoy... Dont forget to leave your comment(s)

2018-01-22 Religion

The rise of “The Christian right” (in the USA) within political parties.

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2018-01-22 Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull linked to mass logging operation in Solomon Islands

By Linda Silmalis

February 28, 2009 10:00pm

JUST as Malcolm Turnbull tries to outsmart Labor on environmental issues, a file of documents has emerged linking the Leader of the Opposition to a mass logging operation in the Solomon Islands.

The tiny island of Vangunu is a speck on the world map; a dot in the Pacific and home to just over 2000 people. It forms part of the collection of thousands of land masses that make up the Solomon Islands.

Once covered in pristine rainforest, the island and the surrounding Marovo Lagoon were the subject of lobbying by the New Zealand government and environmentalists to have it World Heritage-listed in the late 1980s.

Logging Operations in Vangunu Island

Almost two decades later, the island is again being talked about - only this time for different reasons.

The emergence of a carefully-documented file detailing mass logging operations and the ongoing impacts in the region has Vangunu back in the spotlight.

More specifically, the file - obtained by The Sunday Telegraph - records the involvement of Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull over that time.

Mr Turnbull was the chairman of a company called Axiom Holdings after he and fellow investors purchased a 16.21 per cent stake in the company in 1991.

The company was one of several companies with logging activities in the Solomons.

It was also one of the largest.

According to the documents, it was under Mr Turnbull’s time as chair that the company boosted its activities and profits, with devastating consequences on the environment.

It is not the first time that the former environment minister has been scrutinised over the issue.

His critics began digging around his past business interests during the battle for the seat of Wentworth in 2004.

With environmental issues a key issue at the time, his opponents were keen to challenge Mr Turnbull’s green credentials.

It emerged that he had been chairman of Axiom Forest Resources from late 1991 to to July 1992 – a company that had earlier been the subject of a series of damning AusAID reports.

Published in the early 1990s, the reports likened Axion and its operations on Vangunu to “a clear-felling operation” that made little attempt to be sustainable.

Responding to the issue at the time, Mr Turnbull told ABC radio that he had had no hands-on role in the logging operations on the Islands.

Describing himself as a “corporate doctor”, Mr Turnbull said that after he saw the consequences of poor forestry he had tried to encourage local owners to change their ways. Mr Turnbull said he was unaware the companies had been described as having some of the worst logging practices in the world.

He said he was aware of some companies having “difficulties” and that Axiom had acquired them to clean up the mess.

“The vision of the founders of Axiom, of which I was not one, was to acquire these logging companies and then restructure them and sort of reposition them so that they became sustainable operations,” Mr Turnbull said. “My only involvement with the company was as a corporate doctor.”

Three years later, when John Howard announced plans to help fight deforestation in South-East Asia and the South Pacific, the issue again arose as Labor circulated press clippings in Parliament House, again detailing the AusAID reports.

The clippings were an embarrassment for Mr Turnbull who had just described forests as “lungs of the world”.

When questioned at the time, Mr Turnbull said he had visited the Solomons but never been to the site of the logging operations. The issue again disappeared.

However, just as Mr Turnbull struggles against internal critics and tries to shift the focus onto his policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, documents about his Solomon Islands dealings have surfaced.

So just what do they contain?

Plenty. Enough, to suggest Mr Turnbull may have been driven more by profits than saving forests.

Mr Turnbull was chairman of Axiom for almost seven months.

In July 1992, the South China Morning Post published an article that states Mr Turnbull sold out of Axiom for HK25c per share, or a representing a sale return of over $A4.3 million.

While it has never been confirmed just how much Mr Turnbull pocketed from the venture, it is speculated that the profits from the exercise may have been as high as $25 million.

Three months after the sale, the Australian-government funded AusAID study was released which catalogued the logging activity of Axiom and its subsidiaries: Integrated Forest Industries, Rural Industries, Silvania Products and Isabel Timber Co. The report found that the companies had massively increased logging activities in the region while Mr Turnbull was chairman.

Specifically, Axiom increased its production from 25,500cum to 40,900cum between 1991 and 92.

Production was able to be increased because of a new Silvania operation that had begun on the island of Vangunu, it said. The operation had contributed an additional 70,000cum to its quota.

“The degree of canopy removal and soil disturbance was the most extensive seen by the authors in any logging operation in tropical rainforest in any country,” the report said.

Asked about the details of the report, Mr Turnbull’s office referred The Sunday Telegraph to an e-mailed transcript of his earlier interview with the ABC.

Labor has long believed Mr Turnbull has failed to explain his role as a corporate doctor and, specifically, what he did to improve logging practices given production effectively doubled under his watch.

As a Labor source said: “Malcolm’s biggest problem is everyone’s let him off the hook because it has been written about before.” However, he has never confessed that things actually worsened under his watch.

As the file states: “Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly said that he’s an environmentalist, particularly during his hard fought election win in 2007 in his leafy and well-educated seat of Wentworth.

“He’s also sought in recent days to position himself as an active campaigner against climate change. But Malcolm Turnbull’s past as a logger in the Solomon Islands calls into question how strongly he really holds these views.”

More embarrassingly for Mr Turnbull, the file also contains scientific articles published in international journals detailing the impact logging has had on the local Solomon Islands community.

A 2002 report by marine biologists published in The Status of Solomon Islands Coral Reefs said the unique reef and Marovo lagoon system was still suffering from the effects of logging.

“Villagers report huge sediment plumes following heavy rain,” it said. “Once the rain has stopped, the water may clear within 24 hours to a week. In the rainy season that means the plumes are a semi-permanent feature.”

A 2005 Melanesian Geo article by local resident Douglas Pikacha said the lagoon may never recover from the damage.

A further paper published last year said large algal blooms from sediments in the catchments were wreaking havoc on the delicate reef system.

Mr Turnbull may believe he has already dealt with the issue in the past but, so long as the devastating impacts of the logging activities on the islands keep emerging, Labor will be ensuring it won’t go away.

At the very least, the file is an embarrassment for a leader trying desperately to out-green Kevin Rudd on environmental policy. Coming smack bang in the middle of the debate over an emissions trading scheme, it is an unwanted distraction.

At worst, it suggests profit has been placed over the environment and with devastating consequences.

In the same way Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil frontman wishes he had probably never penned US Forces, Mr Turnbull might well be wishing he had stuck to banking.

Mr. Turnbull’s connection to the logging industry in Solomon Islands began in 1991 and 1992.

Chairman and share holder of the then Hong Kong listed Axiom Forest Resources that own logging operations and forest concessions in the Solomon’s was operating under the trading name, Silvania Forest Products in Western Province and other parts of the country.

Mr. Turnbull claimed in a media interview with ABC last year that “his attitude towards forestry today was informed by his involvement in the (Solomon Islands) logging industry”.

He rejected accusations that he had once played a huge role in bad logging practices

in Solomon Islands, claiming “he was trying to encourage local landowners to change logging practices and ways”.

Mr. Turnbull then further claimed “…. the company (Silvania) brought in some of the best foresters in the world. There was a lot of work done on reforestation, on plantations”.

A report by the Australian International Development Aid Bureau – now Ausaid – in 1994 described the logging practices of Axiom subsidiary Silvania Forest Products as:”…more like a clear-felling operation and bearing little relation to an attempt at even retaining a token sample of future commercial crop on the site.”

A separate report also described Silvania’s forest practices as “amongst the worst in the world”.

Following the reports, the Solomon Islands government then, which was led by a Prime Minister with logging interests and ownership, the former and late Solomon Mamaloni, threaten to close down Silvania’s operations due to constant breaches of logging practices.

Source1: http://malumnalu.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/malcolm-turnbull-linked-to-mass-logging.html?m=1

Source2: http://sosnews.org/newsfront/?p=456

ABC: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2008-09-26/turnbull-criticised-over-solomon-islands-logging-connection/22920

Daily Telegraph: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/hypocrite-malcolm-turnbull-chaired-logging-firm/news-story/ce4861bf4851c2e70cfaec826be04cee

Original Source: http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25119923-949,00.html

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2018-01-17 Indue Welfare Card

From Tina Clausen..

Everyone seems to talk about the cost of centrelink payments. Very few consider the cost of not having them or the price of having them forcibly funnelled into the coffers of a select few corporates and their vested interests. It’s time to end that ignorance.

There are over 5 million Australians receiving government payments of one kind or another and we think it would be interesting and refreshing to see just one media outlet in Australia do the simple math on the benefit of welfare recipients’ spending in the wider community and its relationship to the stability of local markets and the national economy at large. Where does the money go? To whom? What does it do once it gets there?

Outside of the social cohesion and stability paying income support payments provide us all, what is the actual fiscal return on the 160 billion dollar welfare spend to the Australian public at large? Donuts and a kinetic massage for any reporter willing to take these questions on!

We would also like to see the costings and forcecasts, were this multi billion dollar spending suddenly curtailed or reduced through welfare austerity measures.

We would like to know what the dollar cost to the average working person and to Australia’s fiscal bottom line of the added fee’s and charges would be, were this bulk of local capital suddenly funneled through a single corporation, like the one currently earmarked by the LNP to manage it all for us, at their profit?

We are also compelled to ask, just where is the ‘great fiscal burden and loss’ to the national economy the politicians are lamenting about and murdoch media are constantly harping on about? What burden? What cost? Where is the strain or burden these dillitants say is created or being borne by the Australian public?

Isn’t it the case that the national welfare budget is not just supporting those families receiving welfare payments directly - rather that they are also supporting the recipients’ landlords, local farmers, shopping centers, remedial agencies, doctors, clinics, day care centers, social welfare workers, mental health nurses and services, car park operators, small businesses and so, actually supporting the lives of regular working people all across Australia to whom this money is ultimately being given, and given back to?

When viewed in this perspective, Social Security [welfare] recipients in fact, are in fact, just third party distributors of the welfare budget, they don’t keep payments, they spend them. And unlike tax frauds and tax avoiding corporations, people receiving benefits actually pay their taxes. They contribute to the tax pool every day. A majority of recipients are also in part time or casualised work and so contribute to the economy via income taxes as well.

Yet all we see in media and LNP governemnt rhetoric, is more one eyed marginalisation, assaulting people on welfare payments as social burdens, without recognising the job they do, the role they play or the purpose they innately have in balancing Australia’s luxuries with its necessities. These people are not including them in the larger picture of Australian economy or viewing them outside the undignified view of ‘dependants’ upon it.

In media this week, the phrase ‘long term welfare dependency’ is being used as a slogan and slur yet again, when actual longer term dependancy upon income support is simply an inevitable and unavoidable reality for many people with disabilities, for the aged or very young or anyone unemployable or whos life circumstances simply do not allow a scope for a life in paid employment. How is it their fault? How is this “damaging’ us when they remain, suppliers of the cash income we depend on too?

Our stay at home child and disability carers as well, are saving Australia a living fortune in costs that could and would otherwise be imposed upon taxpayers directly without benefit. So how much more do you expect of them? What is it exactly that you expect from recipients in general? Flagellating verbal gratitude stands on every street corner? Recipients bowing to you for the simple privilege of not living in a cardboard box and contributing to YOUR social stability, welfare and social security?

It is also fact, that the majority of our national welfare spending budget heads to the aged and disabled. Often the most experienced and disciplined in need and in spending habits. If we are to rein in their payments or place them onto CDC and enforce payments 28% below the poverty line, what are we going to do next? Do we make soilent green of them all in order to buy into the LNP ruse and lie that we will all somehow save a few dollars by doing so?

Surely it will cost us more as a nation financially morally and socially to allow living conditions of our most needy to deteriorate any further than they already have or worse; cost us more than money can pay in our abandonment of our principles and our people. Abject poverty is expensive!

Like most, we are very much in support of fraud reduction and accountability of all services - however this is true only for us, when and where the same is balanced with equal and active focus and recognition of the need to target the issues of corporate welfare, ministerial entitlements rorting and wider tax avoidance scams our lax tax law permit. Issues that, when it comes to the real dollars and cents count, cost this country far more in capital loss and moral fortitude than any welfare recipient or welfare program ever could.

What’s good for one section of the community is good for all…or its not good..at all.

The simple fact is income support recipients are fellow and equal human beings, and a such, have an intrinsic value in and worth to this country - every single person from every single walk of life; every different need set. For people on welfare payments, this is also true as it relates to the wider community and taxation. We pay taxes on everything and we are basically just the middle men in the distribution of a portion of the collective taxes. We make daily decisions about spending of those taxes we receive in benefits, decisons that the government cannot or would not trust itself to address - and ought not to! In the main, we do that exceedingly well, despite the hype.

It is clear after months and years of intentional targeting and media and government bullying, that the LNP simply want to end that role and purpose centrelink recipients have held for so long. They want to remove our value and usefulness to society as anonymous distributers, and as their own reports conclude will occur under forced income managment, they want to create dependants, a generation of people incapable of self regulation, decision making and self management.

They wish to alter or to end the policy of our fair and relatively anonymous tax distribution system, and instead seek to control it and the cash economy in Australia and are willing to do or say anything to anyone standing in their way.

They are using the media and the manipulation of peoples prejudices against welfare recipients as a mask and scapegoat to do it.

Don’t let them.

Time to wake up.

So informed, you are responsible.

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2017-09-08 CentreLink

How Job Agencies Bully The Unemployed and Get Away With It

NewMatilda: Owen Bennett Aug 25, 2016

Unemployed people in Australia are finding it increasingly difficult to hold their job agencies accountable for mistreatment, stand-over tactics and poor performance, writes Owen Bennett.

When Paul Scerri’s contract ceased at his workplace in early 2015, he was without gainful employment for the first time in his adult life.

After his employment connections fell through, Melbourne resident Scerri, 36, was left with no choice but to apply for the unemployment benefit.

Making a bad situation worse, Scerri’s marriage was breaking down leading to what Scerri describes as a “messy divorce”.

Like so many Australians sacked by their employer, Scerri was hopeful that his recent employment experience would quickly lead to a new job.

With the added assistance of regular interviews with a privately run job agency – a requirement expected of all Australians on the dole – Scerri was expecting his time on Newstart to be short-lived.

However, soon after registering with his job agency Max Employment – a US-owned billion-dollar company – Scerri had to quickly revise his expectations.
Max_Employment_1
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“When I approached Max Employment about helping me find work, it became pretty clear that they weren’t really interested”, says Scerri.

Under the Government’s four-year $6.8 billion jobactive system, employment services like Max Employment are required to assist “jobseekers canvass the jobs in the local labour market”, help them “prepare a resume”, and “refer them to suitable job vacancies”.

Additionally, the Government provides job agencies with an “employment fund” of $300-1200 in order to help “job seekers with work related tools, skills and experience”.

With the current government statistics indicating that there are more than 18 job seekers competing for every listed job vacancy, this support can be the difference between becoming long-term unemployed and finding work quickly.

Scerri maintains that Max Employment failed to uphold these obligations.

“In all my time with Max, they did not help me get even one job interview”, says Scerri.

When Scerri finally managed to get a job at the Melbourne Airport – without any assistance from Max Employment – he was denied much needed travel assistance from his Employment Fund.

Six months of living off the meager Newstart payment – roughly $390 below the poverty line per fortnight – had left Scerri unable to afford petrol for the two-hour round trip to and from his workplace.

With public transport to the Melbourne Airport not an option, Scerri approached Max Employment about getting travel assistance from his Employment Fund.
Max Employment 2
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“I asked them for 7 days worth of petrol vouchers, but Max only gave me $25. It was no way near enough”.

Unable to get to work, Scerri had to explain to his managers that he had no way of getting to work. Scerri lost his job.

“Because of Max Employment I lost my job. Not only did they fail to help me find work they actually cost me my job.”

Outraged at his treatment, Scerri decided to confront Max Employment about their failure to keep their end of the bargain, known as ‘Mutual Obligation’.

“They kept telling me about my mutual obligation requirements to go to regular appointments and activities. But when I told them about their mutual obligations they became very rude and threatening.”

Scerri called the Department of Employment’s National Customer Service Line to make an official complaint, leading to a bitter six-month dispute.

After many phone calls, the Department informed Scerri they had contacted Max Employment about the issue and were satisfied with their response.

When Scerri requested to know the details of Max Employment’s response, the Department of Employment refused and directed Scerri to request the information under the Freedom of Information laws. Scerri immediately requested the documents but is still waiting to receive them.

The Department of Employment informed Scerri that if he was unhappy with how Max Employment had treated him, he should simply change to a different employment agency.

“The Department kept saying that I should just move to another job agent if I was unhappy. But I was also told that if I did that I would not be able to pursue my complaint against Max. Basically they were saying, ‘if you don’t like how you are being treated, find another provider. Otherwise there is nothing we can do’.
Max Employment 3
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This tactic only made Scerri more determined to make sure his complaint was properly investigated.

“It was clear that they were more interested in protecting the job agencies than helping me launch my complaint. I thought, ‘if I don’t complain, then who will?’ I needed to do it not just for me, but for everyone.”

In response to the Department of Employment’s refusal to properly investigate his claim, Scerri decided to take the issue to the leading Government watchdog, the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

In response, Max Employment took its intimidation tactics to shocking levels.

“Max knew that if they forced me to change to a new job agent, the Department would no longer investigate my complaint. That’s when they started coming down on me really hard”, said Scerri.

Max Employment demanded that Scerri attend a tough new regime of activities and appointments.

For his Work for the Dole activity, Max Employment insisted that Scerri must pick up used syringes on a busy metropolitan freeway.

“It seemed like a really unsafe activity and took me away from looking for jobs, so I refused to participate”, said Scerri.

In a letter sent to Scerri on the 28th of October 2015, Max Employment stated that in order to continue to receive Newstart payments Scerri must attend a total of six appointments (totalling six and a half hours) over an 11-day period.

Each month Newstart recipients are required at a minimum to attend one appointment and apply for 20 jobs.

By requesting that Scerri attend more appointments than he was obliged, it appeared that Max Employment were using its position of power to cynically manipulate the situation to its benefit.

“They just kept coming at me with these sorts of bullying tactics in the hope that I would change to a new provider and drop my complaints. How many other people they and other job agencies must have done this to?”

Max Employment also denied Scerri’s request for assistance in obtaining counselling services.
Max Employment 4
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“They told me that they would not provide any counselling services and that I should just ‘man up’”, says Scerri.

Looking for help, Scerri then joined the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU), an organisation committed to fighting for the rights and dignity of unemployed workers. Max Employment again resorted to intimidation tactics.

“In one of my conversations with Max, I told them that I was going to be attending an Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union protest which was being held out the front of a Max Employment-sponsored $650-a-head conference into long-term unemployment. I was warned that if I attended that conference I would be heavily sanctioned.”

Concerned that Max Employment would financially penalise him for attending the protest, Scerri decided not to go.

Scerri made sure to keep the Commonwealth Ombudsman informed about the stand-over tactics employed by Max Employment.

On 22 December 2015, the Ombudsman finally concluded their 6-month long investigation. A Commonwealth Ombudsman Investigative Officer sent Scerri a letter stating that they were “satisfied the Department took reasonable action to investigate and response to your complaints”.

The officer explained that in the “absence of verifiable evidence, our office is not in a position [to]prefer one version of events over another”.

Scerri was crushed.

“After going to all these lengths to defend myself against Max, it is demoralising to be told it’s your word against theirs.

“What I’ve learnt through all this is that no matter what kind of unfair treatment you have put up with, there is no use complaining. They are billionaires and you are nothing. It doesn’t work when you complain to the Department of Employment or the Ombudsman. How can you ever win?”

Paul Scerri is not alone. Every day the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union receives fresh cases of people being mistreated by job agencies who are consistently failing to provide the services they are paid by the Government to perform. As a result, complaints about job agencies have reached record levels under the jobactive system.

With the Turnbull Government trying to give employment services industry unprecedented new powers to financially penalize unemployed workers, the established culture of fear and intimidation pervading the employment service industry is showing no signs of going away.

Already, job agencies have the power to fine unemployed workers 10% of their Newstart entitlement – and a further 10% each day until they ‘re-connect’ – giving the unemployed no chance to appeal against the fine before the penalty amount is taken away.

The longer the Government refuses to properly regulate the employment services industry, the more we will see cases of unemployed workers like Paul Scerri being mistreated.

With a recent report showing that one in four unemployed Australians have been forced to beg on the streets for more than a year, and more than half forced to approach a charity for help, it is clear that a social disaster is looming if the Government does not take strong action to curb the culture of lawlessness pervading the employment services industry.

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2017-06-29 Federal Government of Australia

Australian Unemployed Workers Union

Where did this come from?

Why have organisations like “Australian Unemployed Workers Union’s” sprung up recently in Australia? What does this tell us about the state of Unemployment here?

It tells me a lot. Most intelligent, well educated, individuals are employed. Are they not? It is only those who are UNWILLING TO GET A JOB that remain on Newstart.. According to the LNP/ALP political parties..

So how come these articulate, well educated people.. are advocates for the unemployed? We have had clever people unemployed before? Yet we haven’t had an “Unemployed Union”..

So why is it happening NOW? What has changed?

It is because the unemployed have woken to the FACT that the ALP and LNP have been lying to the public for years. Jobs are very hard to get in 2017. Clever people have never had it so tough!! Most unemployed apply for hundreds of jobs without ever getting an interview. Previously.. people were able to escape the Newstart TRAP. Now they find themselves fighting a system designed to slowly starve them to death.

These unemployed, yet well educated people are sick of being put through the grinder of Centrelink and the Job Networks endless repetition of “you are not trying hard enough”.. These unemployed, yet well educated, found that the system was DESIGNED to break them. It is DESIGNED to inflict maximum stress and provoke it’s “forced patrons” to acts of sheer desperation just in order to survive.

Eventually people will do ANYTHING to escape the Centrelink prison. To make the unemployed “voluntarily” take ANY JOB that may come their way. And THAT works well for the Government!

That is considered a FAIR system. (to Neo-Cons & Neo-Libs who so obviously only ever work for the corporations)

Work for the Dole

Jobs that should have been available are further funnelled into FREE/SLAVE LABOUR in the form of Work for the Dole. Thus making sure even less paid jobs are available for he eternally suffering long term unemployed.

Welfare Card & Drug Testing

Welfare cards and Drug testing further erode the view of “mainstream Australia” towards those “tax stealing scum”

Name and Shame

Who are the LOUDEST VOICES in the Government against the unemployed?.. and WHAT (if any) DONATIONS do they receive from corporations that may benefit from workers wages being constantly forced down? (Um.. all of them..)

Well Barry O Sullivan is very vocal in the above clip.. Lets briefly examine him..

First of all.. I see Barry has a wikipedia page.

Barry James O’Sullivan (born 24 March 1957), Australian politician, was appointed a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Queensland on 11 February 2014, representing the Liberal National Party (LNP). A former police detective, grazier, property developer and LNP executive treasurer, O’Sullivan was appointed by the Queensland Parliament to the Senate seat vacated by Barnaby Joyce, who had resigned to contest the House of Representatives seat of New England at the 2013 federal election.

So he is an X-Cop and a Grazier.

Google quickly informs me thaty Barry owns 42 (or is it now 52?) properties. In fact he owns more properties than any other MP.

I wonder what came first? The cop or the money? I note Barry is a few months older than I. I survive on unemployment benefits. I wonder how he did it?

Ahh wiki tells me..

Upon retiring from the police force, O’Sullivan established an Insurance Loss Adjusting practice which specialised in the preparation of briefs of evidence in civil litigation cases associated with world-wide catastrophic aviation accidents (principally international flights).

weird..

O’Sullivan also established Jilbridge (currently NewLands) – a vertically integrated construction and development business (both civil and structural) based in Toowoomba, which currently employs over 100 staff.

Nice..

O’Sullivan and his family have operated livestock properties and contracted earthmoving services across leased and owned holdings at Cooyar, Ravensborne and Goondiwindi.

What a lifestyle!

After a bunch of visits to the CCC in QLD..

O’Sullivan was appointed to the Senate by the Queensland Parliament on 11 February 2014.

appointed? He wasn’t elected? He was a LNP appointment?

What a nerve.. This is the guy that KNOWS what it is like to be on Newstart?? Really? The LNP MOUTHPIECE?

Are they not simply “sticking their heads in the sand” hoping that the average punter doesn’t realize the treasonous link between lack of industry and unemployment? Or are they knowingly putting their ideology above the well being of Australians? Any other suggestions welcomed.

Isn’t this all just the toxic free trade they fed to us, coming back to haunt THEM in the form of massive unemployment? Because that is what I see..

You be the judge.

Conclusion: Overall Result

This Neo-Conservative “trickle down” ideological FANTASY insures overall wages are kept low and maintains a pool of many skilled, but unemployed people, are now happy to be exploited. (Just as long as they can escape Centrelink)

Resulting in “The Average Joe” being too scared to leave their jobs. No matter how much the conditions and wages have become unfair. They may not be able to get another job and will end up one of those hated scumbag tax stealing unemployed.

Meanwhile.. those LNP/ALP politicians who have “sold us out” rub their hands together in glee.. As they tick a box for their corporate masters… Mostly Unaware that their actions have been recorded and noted.

https://www.facebook.com/unemployedworkersunion/

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2017-02-22 Globalisation

The destruction of low income people by the Income managed Welfare Card..

LNP Ideology = #CLASSACTION







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2017-02-22 Corporatocracy

Australia's march towards corporatocracy

Michael West, University of Sydney

Confounding the familiar government narrative of reckless spending binges by Labor, the Coalition actually has the record of greater profligacy when it comes to showering billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on external consultants.

When John Howard became prime minister, he axed 30,000 employees from the public service. But in his second and third terms in office, public service numbers rose again. They continued to rise under Kevin Rudd’s Labor government, only to taper off during Julia Gillard’s tenure and drop sharply under the present Coalition government.

Consultants’ fees, however, after rising under Howard, eased back under Rudd before falling by more than 30% under Gillard. They rose again the moment Tony Abbott assumed office, and have continued to rise, albeit more modestly, under Malcolm Turnbull.

Raw data sourced from AusTender and APS Statistical Bulletin. Markus Mannheim

How will government look in 20 years?

Such is the pervasive influence of corporations and consultants over government and the de-skilling of the public service (as evinced by the recent slew of IT debacles) that Australia appears headed down the road to full-blown corporatocracy.

If they rely further on external parties for expertise and policy advice, governments – both state and federal – are likely to be emasculated, entirely laid at the whim of private vested interests.

With no expertise, let alone pricing power in negotiating external fees for expert advice, there will come a heavy cost to the public.

The devastating failure of Australia’s energy policy and spiralling prices for gas and electricity throw up a potent case in point.

It was recently reported that the Big Four accounting firms – PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte – picked up $2.6 billion over the past ten years for writing reports. That is from the federal government alone, to just the four top firms. They may have earned that again consulting to the states, though state disclosure is poor.

The crowning jewel in this cuff-linked fee-fest was a payment of almost $10 million, or $75,000 a page, for PwC to write its report on the future burden of welfare costs. This was the work that presaged the government’s strike on social security late last year and the ensuing Centrelink imbroglio.

Consultants’ reports deliver a licence for political action, an imprimatur. In light of the lavish fees, though, their authors can hardly claim to be “independent experts”.

Why could the Treasury not have penned this report? Why not the Productivity Commission? Surely, as bureaucrats, they are more independent, not susceptible to the tow of large corporate clients on the other side of a Chinese wall.

Is government captive to big business?

To put it crudely, many observers put the extravaganza of consultants’ fees down to “butt-covering”. This is just a ploy to lay the responsibility for political decisions, in case they go awry, at the feet of an external party. External reports can “test the water”, and can be tossed out without recrimination. They are so often a terrific waste of money.

There are two issues to consider then: one, the encroaching influence of private power over public policy; and two, the enormous expense to taxpayers in private firms penning reports that government departments and agencies could just as easily prepare.

Further to this rising sway of vested interests, there is also the incursion of corporate power in government in a physical way, via secondments.

Leading law firms, accountancy firms and banks often have executives spend time with a regulator or government department, but secondments are poorly if ever disclosed.

Then there are the “revolving doors” between industry and government: the passing of politicians, political staffers and the likes of mining lobbyists between industry, advocacy bodies and the public service.

Governments are infested with industry people with vested interests. Vincent Diamante/flickr

As is the case with secondments, there is little in the way of transparency or decent policy in the arena of staff movement despite the inevitable influence it exacts over government policy. Not to put too fine a point on it, state and federal governments are infested with industry people whose influence on policy is undeniable.

The multinationals’ hidden hand

While consultancies, political donations, secondments and staff movements magnify corporate influence over government, an equally sinister trend is playing out in the world of multinational corporations.

Many observers of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership have expressed alarm that the fine print to the TPP draft agreement contains Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses, or ISDS as they are known. These are mechanisms that allow corporations to sue governments by claiming a change in a nation’s policies has adversely affected their business.

Indeed, more than 120 cases have been filed internationally under various “free trade” agreements. Water and waste management giant Veolia sued the government of Egypt for lifting the minimum wage. Canada is being sued for a ban on fracking. Germany was sued for its phasing out of nuclear power. All these actions were taken under ISDS clauses in free trade pacts.

Surely ISDS clauses, as anti-democratic and anti-national interest as they are, are concocted and consented to by bureaucrats and politicians perverted by the influence of the very same legal and advisory firms whose multinational clients stand to benefit from ISDS lawsuits. The game is stitched up. Transparency is key, yet there is zero public visibility of these machinations.

Tax, too, is an arena of supreme conflicts of interest. While heavy staff cuts have hit the Australian Tax Office under both Liberal and Labor governments, multinational tax avoidance is rife. And the very advisers to government on tax, the Big Four accounting firms, are the tax advisers to almost the entire global community of multinationals. The answer here is to split these firms along tax, audit and advisory lines.

No longer are these corporations “bodies corporate” with their own boards of eight or so directors whose duty is to serve the interests of the local corporate entity. Rather, they have gradually morphed into puppet regimes.

For instance, Shell used to be called Shell Australia. Now it refers to itself as “Shell in Australia”, and managed to make $60 billion in revenue over three years without paying tax.

The multinational formerly known as Shell Australia used to publish accounts, but now quietly files only the absolute minimum of statutory disclosures with the corporate regulator. John Duffy/flickr

Across the board, local company directors have become “undisclosed agents” for their global headquarters, mere stooges expected to transfer pre-tax profits to tax havens every year rather than act according to the intent of Australian corporations and tax laws.

So, the big law firms and accounting firms that advise governments and reap billions in taxpayers’ money for doing reports have a conflict of interest as they act also for large corporate clients.

Should the world’s largest corporations continue to grow and the authority of governments and regulators continue to wither, ordinary citizens will bear the brunt of the consequences.

Over recent decades, rising inequality has accompanied the march towards corporatocracy. It is a relentless process of influence-peddling, complex financial transactions, cunning legal tweaks that evade public scrutiny and pernicious restructuring dressed up as “efficiencies” or “streamlining”.

In its attempts to cut costs, the Tax Office tried to introduce a scheme whereby the duty of tax compliance for Australia’s largest companies was outsourced to none other than the company auditors. The foxes were very nearly in charge of the henhouse.

Under what was innocuously dubbed the External Compliance Assurance Program (ECAP), large corporations were to have paid their own external audit firms – read the “Big Four” – to conduct their tax compliance work as well as the audit.

Along with the disasters of privatisation, such self-compliance regimes (the corporate regulator ASIC once espoused “co-regulation” with industry bodies) can only entrench corporate power at the expense of public interest. They don’t work. After all, it is the job of companies to make money and the job of regulators to regulate.

Together, captive regulators, a shrinking public service (smaller than it was a decade ago on the basis of permanent employees), the proliferation of consultants and the rise of lobby groups and political donations, alongside an obeisant and compromised media, have delivered policy stasis.

Significant reform in Australia, indeed significant reform by any Western government, is now fiendishly difficult. The tail is wagging the dog; the long tail, that is, of powerful vested interests whose purpose is wealth creation, not public interest.

Is the Adani tail wagging the Coalition dog? Taker/flickr

Now, at a time when the Coalition is moving to cut social security benefits for the most needy, it is ready to sling $1 billion to Indian billionaire Gautem Adani to build the world’s biggest new thermal coal mine.

While the government struggles to fund the NDIS to assist the disabled – and in an age where underwater drone technology is viable – it is prepared to splash $150 billion to build, man and maintain a submarine fleet. Not a squeak of dissent from the federal opposition, for fear it might be wedged as weak on national security.

The icing on this cake of corporate welfare is the government trying to shunt through a $50 billion corporate tax package when its multinational beneficiaries don’t pay their fair share of tax in this country anyway – if anything at all.

These three policy decisions – corporate tax cuts, subs and fossil fuel subsidies – are enough evidence of the power of the hidden hand of corporate and political interests.

Last year the Turnbull government planned to sell off a key piece of the corporate transparency regime. Thankfully, the public spoke up.

This writer is no fan of a large public service per se, only of an efficient and independent public service, of public servants properly doing the job they were appointed to do. And a robust watch needs to be kept on procurement of consultants.

It may seem too late to arrest the inexorable rise in the influence of powerful corporations and the Big Four partnerships over government. Ironically, in the execution of this column, we met with much dithering and eventually stonewalling from the Australian Public Service Commission when attempting to request information.

That did not engender confidence. Yet, arresting the slide comes down to public awareness of all these things. Social media should help.

Only ten years ago corporate tax avoidance was not on the public radar. Now tax fairness has come to the fore; people understand that the richest institutions among us, those who can afford to pay the most, pay proportionately the least.

Efforts by politicians to hike the GST, lower corporate taxes or lift other taxes on ordinary workers are also loudly derided. Multinational tax avoidance is no longer a secret. It is now understood for what it is. The Double Dutch Irish Sandwich no longer bewilders; it is now widely debunked as a scam.

Public understanding and transparency are therefore everything. The public funds government, voters are entitled to disclosure, and they should demand it.


This column, co-published with michaelwest.com.au, is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative between The Conversation and the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century.

The Conversation

Michael West, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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2017-02-22 Conspiracy, Government Coverups

Top journos are mad – and you should be too

LNP Government wants to sell ASIC to hide tax dodging and more

The Turnbull LNP Government has been working behind closed doors to privatise Australia’s corporate database. But momentum is building to stop the sell off.

Watch this video from award-winning investigative journalist Michael West, then add your name to the 75,000-strong petition.

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/asic-privatisation/open-letter/top-journos-are-mad-and-you-should-be-too

Selling off Australia’s corporate database could see journalists and academics lose access to the records they need to expose rampant tax dodging, shell companies and corporate exploitation.

Time is running out to stop the sell off, which is why we’re taking the fight direct to the nation’s capital. We’ll deliver the petition in a showy media stunt, and lift up the voices of journalists.

Be part of this huge public push to force the LNP government to back down on ASIC, by adding your name to the petition.

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2016-11-14 Politics

Hello bloggy my old friend.. I’ve come to talk with you again.. (apologies to S&G)



What am I not seeing here? Can someone please tell me what I have got wrong with this flowchart? Because if this is correct.. Why the hell are people right wing voters?

Do you see how they use society against itself? We give them a voice so they may tear down our society for greed.

They have no interest in "helping people" they only care for economic gains.

We all know that sooner or later we die. Rich or poor we all have the same leveller.

How do the rich peacefully go to their graves knowing that their actions or inactions have caused the suffering of countless people over the years? Why do they continue with this ideology knowing full well that people suffer and die as a result?

Have they no morals? Have they no compassion? Have they no humanity?

The politicians who have determined it acceptable to represent this ideology should be all thrown in jail and their assets seized. IMO If you do the crime.. then do the time..

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