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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police

Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police

Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police

Exclusive: Journalists covering the Australian
government’s asylum seeker policies are repeatedly reported to federal
police in bid to uncover sources

Christmas island asylum seekers

A boatload of asylum seekers arrive at Christmas island in December
2013. Journalists reporting on asylum seeker policies have been referred
to police. Photograph: Jon Faulkner/AAP

Journalists reporting on the federal government’s asylum-seeker
policies have been repeatedly referred to the police in attempts to
uncover confidential sources and whistleblowers, a Guardian Australia
investigation can reveal.

Over the past 12 months federal government agencies have referred stories by journalists from Guardian Australia, and the West Australian
to the Australian federal police (AFP) for their reporting on the
government’s asylum seeker operations during the time Scott Morrison was
immigration minister.

Almost every referral made to the AFP by federal government agencies
“for unauthorised disclosure of commonwealth information” since the
Coalition took office in September 2013 has been directly related to
immigration reporting by journalists.

least eight referrals to the police were made on the subject of asylum
seeker stories, and active police investigations continue into a number
of the referrals. One referral related to a non-immigration matter was
made by the integrity commissioner.

West Australian journalist Nick Butterly was referred twice – once in February 2014 for a story about people smugglers struggling to fill boats and once in May 2014 for a report on an intercepted asylum seeker vessel – by the head of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services, Michael Pezzullo.

“On review of the article, it appears that several of the claims may
have drawn upon classified information. This suspected disclosure of
this classified information relates specifically to operational and
assessment activity that is not available through open sources or
authorised media releases,” Pezzullo wrote in one letter sent in
February 2014, obtained by Guardian Australia.

“I would be grateful if your agency would accept the responsibility
for investigating this matter with a view to identification and, if
appropriate, prosecution of the persons responsible.”

Guardian Australia’s report that an Australian customs vessel entered much deeper into Indonesian waters than previously disclosed was also the subject of a referral by Pezzullo. A police investigation is still active.

“The AFP can confirm it has received a referral in relation to this
matter from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service,” a
spokesman said.

“The investigation is ongoing and while this process is occurring, the AFP will not be providing further comment.”

In a third referral, on 9 December 2013, the defence department
referred to the AFP a article by Ian McPhedran about an Australian patrol boat sinking an asylum seeker boat after it was towed from Christmas Island.

“This incident constitutes a potential breach of operational security
and potentially the commission of a criminal offence under the
commonwealth Crimes Act,” an officer from the defence security authority

There have been several other referrals by the immigration department
and customs – with some investigations still active – but both agencies
have refused to release further details about the nature of those

Guardian Australia understands that one of the other reports referred
to the AFP by Pezzullo concerned the vessel holding 157 asylum seekers
that was diverted to the Cocos islands
in July. An AFP spokeswoman would not confirm the referral concerned
that report, saying it would not be appropriate to comment on an
“ongoing investigation”.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Immigration and Border
Protection said: “Any unauthorised disclosure of information is an
offence, the portfolio will continue to refer any matters to relevant
agencies for consideration and investigation.”

The details of the referrals have emerged from freedom of information
requests to customs and the AFP, and separate investigations by
Guardian Australia.

The requests sought from immigration, customs, the AFP and defence
every instance in which the federal police were asked to investigate
unauthorised disclosures of information under the Crimes Act.

This is the section used to prosecute whistleblowers and leaks by federal government employees and private contractors.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has previously recommended
this offence be wound back because it had “real concerns” that
“disclosure of any information regardless of its nature of sensitivity”
could be caught by the offence.

The chief executive officer of the Media, Entertainment and Arts
Alliance, Paul Murphy, told Guardian Australia the attempts to prosecute
sources undermined legitimate reporting.

“What we see in these disclosures is a brutal, heavy-handed response
by government agencies to legitimate news stories,” he said. “The aim is
to punish and silence those who inform the wider community of what is
being done in their name. It aims to capture legitimate reporting by
journalists and media organisations of activities in the public

“Rather than moving in line with recommendations we’ve made or the
ALRC made, the disturbing thing is that the government is moving in the
opposite direction to further criminalise public interest disclosures.”

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Rossleigh's Predictions For 2015 - The AIM Network

Rossleigh's Predictions For 2015 - The AIM Network

Rossleigh’s Predictions For 2015

Now, I know that many of you will be aware of the fact that I
predicted that I’d never be the sort of person who made predictions.
Particularly after Tony Abbott actually made it to Prime Minister.

However, I feel that, as nobody in the media ever seems to feel
embarrassed that their predictions have proven spectacularly wrong, I
might as compile my own prediction list, just so I can claim how
accurate I was if I’m right. If I’m wrong, I can just ignore it and
never mention it again, just like all those ads that were telling me how
to prepare for the stock market crash of 2013.

Ok, predictions for 2015! Here goes:

  1. Abbott will be asked if he thinks that he should appoint someone
    else as Minister for Women but he’ll assure us that he’s the only person
    in his government who trully “gets women” and understands the
    particular problems some of them have getting pregnant – like
    infertility or not having a man.
  2. There will speculation about a possible leadership challenge from Julie Bishop.
  3. Speculation will intensify when Bishop says categorically that she has no desire to be PM.
  4. Steve Bracks will make a bid for a seat in federal politics leading to speculation about him as a future PM.
  5. Christopher Pyne will suggest that the words “hypocrite” and “inconsistent” should be considered unParliamentary.
  6. Joe Hockey will claim wages being too high is the reason for high unemployment.#
  7. Joe Hockey will claim a lack of wages growth is the reason for his inability to get the  Budget back into surplus.#
  8. Sources “high up in the Liberal Party” will be critical of Tony
    Abbott, but tell everyone that he is safe because everyone is too scared
    of Peta Credlin to launch a challenge.
  9. David Leyonhjelm will announce that we use introduce a “user pays”
    system when voting in elections, before asserting that if everyone
    carried a gun, there’d be no need for elections.
  10. It will be discovered that Bronwyn Bishop is completely deaf in her
    left ear, and has only been ejecting Labor MPs after secret signals from
    the Government side.
  11. Scott Morrison will tell everyone that he has a soft spot for people
    who’ve been on benefits for more than a year. It will later be
    discovered that by “soft spot” he meant a boggy swamp where they could
    all be hidden.
  12. A scandal involving the misappropriation of funds by a prominent
    Liberal will be headed “Labor Fail To Notice Dishonesty” in the Murdoch
  13. Rebekah Brooks will be given a job in Australia leading to some
    nasty comments that a couple of hundred years ago it was the ones who
    were found guilty who were sent to the colonies.
  14. One of Abbott’s ministers will be praised as one of their best
    performers, only for it later to be discovered that he/she has been
    suffering from agoraphobia and hasn’t left their home for the past year.
  15. Barnaby Joyce will tell us that the Senate should be abolished as
    it’s unnecessary, a waste of money and a frustration for democratically
    elected government. When asked if felt this way when he was a senator,
    he’ll argue that back in those days the Senate was fulfilling the
    worthwhile role of stopping the Labor government from introducing an
    Emissions Trading Scheme.
  16. Some readers will attempt to use reason and logic to argue with one
    of the trolls making comments, when the person making the comment
    clearly has a limited relationship with the real world, so abstract
    concepts like coherent arguments will bounce off them like bullets off
    Superman’s chest. (Like Superman, these trolls will often have a secret
    identity and feel very sure of themselves, but unlike Superman, they’ll
    never actually accomplish anything apart from making people wonder
    whether the education system is failing or whether it’s just a few
    Queenslanders who’ve spent too long in the sun.)

That’s it. We’ll see how many I get right.

# Yes, I know this has already happened, I’m predicting it’ll happen again. And again. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014





Author’s note: On Facebook, I post on a daily basis
continuous political commentary. Here is a selection. Please vote for
one of the following or nominate your own:

1 Scott Morrison has been promoted to Social
Services Minister. Start praying for pensioners, the disabled, those
looking for work etc. He demonised those seeking a better life. Now it’s
their turn.

2 The government’s own Climate Change Authority has
questioned the effectiveness of “Direct Action” saying the scheme won’t
deliver on long-standing emissions reduction targets.

Can’t be any more direct than that.

3 Has Australia ever elected a Prime Minister so
ignorant of technology, the environment and science? So oblivious of the
needs of women and so out of touch with a modern pluralist society.

4 The PM continues to tell the blatant and obnoxious
lie that households received $550 of their energy bill as a result of
the repeal of the carbon tax. Total bull. Now on top of that he sees it
as his greatest achievement for women. Words fail me.

5 Today the characteristic that most defines modern
Australia is “diversity”. In all its forms, together with
multiculturalism it defines us as a nation. People of my generation and
later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist

6 The murder of three people in Sydney was carried
out by a deranged, religious fanatic with a criminal record. It was not
by a terrorist organisation. People should keep this in mind.

7 Joe Hockey confirms bigger budget deficit; admits
Coalition failures in communicating policies. True, but they still
cannot bring themselves to admit it was unfair.

8 Hockey’s current budget dilemma reinforces how
stupid it was to curtail the price on carbon. However, he could easily
fix the problem by eliminating the 15% tax discount given to high income
earners. It is nothing more than a legal tax dodge supplemented by
low-income earners. It’s worth $12 billion plus PA. What about it Joe.
After that you could look at the billions given to mining companies in

9 Do you really think my chief of staff would be
under this kind of criticism if her name was Peter as opposed to Peta?”
Mr Abbott asked the ABC’s Lyndal Curtis.”

“Do you really think I would be attacking the Prime Minister in the
manner I do if her name was James and not Julia” John Lord thought.

“I think people need to take a long hard look at themselves with some of these criticisms” to quote the PM.

10 George Brandis wins a Walkley award for his “what is metadata” interview.

Well-deserved too.

11 The art of international diplomacy.

Our PM plans to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin. Once a thug always a thug?

12 In an attempt at self-justification the PM is telling lies to defend lies already told. It never works.

13 It is said that truth is the first casualty of war. Unfortunately it is also the first causality of Australian politics.

14 My condolences to all those Coalition supporters
who were wetting themselves at the prospect of Julia Gillard slitting
her wrists at the Royal Commission. Particularly the Liberal National
Chat Page.

15 Ah the law is a strange thing. Ashby brings
charges against Slipper. After a long dalliance with legal argument
Ashby drops the case. Slipper is left with a huge legal bill and Ashby’s
lawyers say “No charge mate” There should be a law against it.

16 You would seriously have to wonder exactly what
brand of Christianity it is that Scot Morrison practices. Fancy drinking
champagne to celebrate sending refugees to one of the world’s poorest
and most corrupt nations.

17 The list of companies avoiding tax is again
headed by Murdoch. Others include Frank Lowy’s Westfield. It’s seems
that it’s ok for them to lean but we must all lift. Common Joe change
the law. Or is it the donations????

18 It would seem that the Abbott Government has given
up on their remaining budget cuts. And it should be remembered that they
were not opposed on the basis of prudence but unfairness.

19 The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.

20 The common good should be at the very heart of
every political philosophy””When talking about the cost of living I
think people get confused. There is a big difference between the cost of
living and cost of lifestyle. A recent survey found that 56% of those
complaining about the cost of living had taken an overseas trip in the
same year. And a further 52% had reduced dining out from three to two
times a week”

21 Australia does not, at this time, have a clearly articulated and legislated policy on climate change. Why.

22 Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied he has
broken a pledge not to cut funding to the ABC and SBS, telling
Parliament his government had “fundamentally kept faith with the
Australian people”.

Lying is wrong but lying to defend a lie is appallingly immoral.

23 Yesterday’s attempt by the PM to legitimise lying is like saying we are no longer communicating in English.

24 The most simple way to turn the profession of politics on its head would be to demand they tell the truth.

25 It may be a good thing that some asylum seeker
children might now have a future but I find it chilling that Scott
Morrison has effectively used kids as hostages to pass his legislation.

26 Less informed voters unfortunately outnumber the
more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the
bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of

27 When asked about the Green Fund at a joint press
conference with President Hollande the PM said that we already had a
Direct Action fund of 2.5 Billion and a Clean Energy Finance Corp 10
Billion fund. The only thing wrong with the answer was that the first
won’t work and it is Government policy to abolish the second. His lying
knows no bounds.

28 What would an intelligent 18 year old about to vote for the first time think of this statement yesterday by our PM?

“As for Australia, I’m focusing not on what might happen in 16 years’
time, I’m focusing on what we’re doing now and we’re not talking, we’re

29 The G20 meeting gave Prime Minister Tony Abbott a
powerful stage to articulate his vision for Australia. So he spoke
about his inability to pass his unfair budget. Now that’s statesmanship
for you

30 In 2015, 500 workers who benefited from Gillard’s
edict that non-faith-based workers be allowed in our schools will be
replaced by chaplains sourced predominantly from big Christian
organizations. This in a secular public school system is fundamentally
wrong be you religious or not.


My wife is upset that we didn’t get the carbon tax refund when every
other family did. I’m struggling to give her an explanation.

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Liberals' review of workplace relations is critical to unmaking our social democracy | Adam Giles and Terri Butler

The Liberals' review of workplace relations is critical to unmaking our social democracy | Adam Giles and Terri Butler

The Liberals' review of workplace relations is critical to unmaking Australia's social democracy

The Productivity Commission’s review shouldn’t start with the ‘wages
explosion’ of conservative politicians’ imaginations, but with fairness

eric abetz

‘The mention of WorkChoices sends shivers down Liberals’ spines.’ Employment minister Eric Abetz. Photograph: AAP

What the Liberals really want for Christmas is a labour market overhaul, though they dare not say so aloud.

Since the Your Rights at Work campaign, most Liberals stay silent
about how they’d like to reconstruct industrial relations laws. The
mention of WorkChoices sends shivers down their spines.

That’s where the Productivity Commission comes in. To give themselves cover, the Liberals said that if elected they would ask the commission to review our workplace laws.

Friday, Joe Hockey finally delivered his terms of reference for the
review. They are so wide that everything that matters for everyone who
works for a living is up for grabs.

The review is critical to the Liberals’ scheme to remake Australia’s social compact. Alongside the Commission of Audit, the trade unions Royal Commission,
the tax white paper, and the reform of Federation white paper, it forms
part of their blueprint to unravel our social democracy.

Our present industrial relations laws and institutions promote
collective ahead of individual bargaining (which is consistent with our
international obligations), provide for freedom of association, and help
resolve disputes. It’s a better system than the Liberals’ last attempt,
as well as a fairer one.

Though you won’t hear the Liberals acknowledge it, labour
productivity has been rising faster under our Fair Work system than it
did under WorkChoices.

Conservatives have done nothing about industrial relations in the
past 20 years save to try to reduce unions’ power, undermine collective
bargaining, and erode its companion, the right to strike.

These are not abstract issues. Questions of power at work, job
security, and wages and conditions, affect governments, and they affect

These questions affect governments in obvious ways. Income tax
revenue is related to incomes, and, as Myefo showed this week, bracket
creep (or the lack of it) affects family tax benefits and other
income-based transfers as well.

Industrial relations
settings that promote inequality are bad for our economy. In a
well-reported speech this year, International Monetary Fund managing
director Christine Lagarde spoke of the risks of excessive inequality.

She said it makes capitalism less inclusive, creates division, and
undermines democracy. The IMF’s research over the last 50 years “found
that more unequal countries tend to have lower and less durable economic

Industrial relations settings that affect people’s ability to obtain a
living wage, decent conditions, and a secure job, also affect
households’ ability to manage their costs of living. Consumer group
Choice’s pulse survey – which looks at cost-of-living stress on
households – notes that people’s fear of losing their jobs contributes
to financial stress, as does whether they can “get by” on their income.

So, cost-of-living pressure comes not just from prices, but from insufficient income and job insecurity.

That’s one reason why it’s important to understand what’s happening
in the world of work. The Australian social compact is being eroded.
That key part of the social wage, Medicare, is under attack. We are in
the midst of the slowest wages growth since the wage price index began
in the 1990s.

Our minimum wage, as a proportion of our average wage, has been
falling. On its current trajectory, it could be where the US minimum
wage is now within a generation.

Australians should not be relaxed, or comfortable, about the state of
household incomes, or their prospects for curbing our nation’s growing

The Productivity Commission’s starting point shouldn’t be the “wages
explosion” of conservative politicians’ imaginations. It should be how
the Fair Work system can help put people in a position to support
themselves, and their families, and how it can help promote growth
that’s more inclusive.

And the commission should, in meeting the requirement in the terms of
reference to consider “protections” for workers, offer advice about
dealing with rising job insecurity. While, no doubt, casual or temporary
work suits some, there are many more who want more work, more security,
or both. There’s a lot of people in our community whose working life is
a long way from a career, even though they may want that.

Instead, for people worried about losing their job, or about getting
enough hours, work is a source of anxiety: an uncertain means of staying
afloat. That so many lives are “on hold” is a tragedy and a waste.
Without security, people can’t make plans confidently, and so can’t
invest in their future.

Incomes, wealth, and curbing inequality affect the national interest.
If we want to ease financial pressures on households, let’s not forget
that the costs of living – the prices of the things that people need –
is only half the story.

In this review, the commission must think broadly, and about
fairness. Industrial relations settings should serve the interests of
working people, firms, and everyone who relies on Australia having a
strong economy.

Friday, 19 December 2014

So much for Christmas cheer

So much for Christmas cheer

Under the Abbott government, Australia is now a cruel,
mercenary and pessimistic country. Author Jennifer Brassel reflects on
the battered psyche of the once 'Lucky Country' and urges us all to
embrace the true 'spirit of Christmas'.

I'M NOT religious and never have been. Christmas in our house was
about family getting together, even if only once a year, exchanging
gifts, laughter, and of course, eating and drinking too much.

In the world I grew up in the outer western suburbs of Sydney, we
didn’t have a lot but we still thought we were lucky. After all, all our
lives we were told that this was the ‘Lucky Country’ and we appreciated
the good fortune that such a credo stood for.

What the term ‘Lucky Country’ meant might have been different for
each person, but on the whole we thought nobody starved and there was
help available for everyone if they really needed it. And that we had

Each of us had an opportunity to make a great life. Naive perhaps,
but on the whole Australians were always generous people. It was country
I was proud of.

And indeed I was lucky. I got to attend university, the first in my
family to have that privilege, during the so-called ‘free university’
period that Whitlam began. I also had a lot of opportunities throughout
the years, as did other members of my family, and if we grabbed those
opportunities, worked hard, we made something of ourselves.

We could dare to dream of a rewarding and prosperous future.

(image courtesy of John Graham)

In a way, that is what makes me so sad about the Australia we now
live in. No longer can we say we’re the ‘Lucky Country’. In many ways
we’ve become a cruel country. A mercenary country. A pessimistic

Recent government policy measures don’t draw on that reserve of
positive humanity that I grew up feeling. Most are downright mean. From
asylum seeker policy to education policy, to employment policy and
climate change denial, I see a country veering sharply away from
inclusiveness and opportunity, to a place of exclusion and lack of
innovative thinking.

Instead of sending a price signal to polluters to stop polluting and
halt the quickening march to planetary destruction, this government
wants to send price signals to the ill so they won’t seek help. Such a
short-sighted, skewed set of priorities simply boggles the mind and
certainly doesn’t pass any ‘Christmas Spirit’ test.

I remember some years ago, the then Opposition screeching at the
government that they are miserly and should raise the aged pension
immediately. Yet the current government is intent on reducing the
pension by stealth and eating away at that needed rise. Nope — no
Christmas cheer there either.

Perhaps the most saddening result of this government’s policies is
the lack of hope in our youth. Youth unemployment is growing
exponentially, and yet our government wants to save its dollars by
denying any unemployment benefit for the first six months.

I presume this is in the hope that family will pick up the slack, but
the hopelessness this existence creates will likely lead to
progressively more youth suicide. And at the same time the government is
closing down channels for training and education, locking in a
generation of under achievers and welfare recipients.

Fr Bower's sledging of Abbott's anti-humanitarian policies have gone viral thanks to Facebook & Twitter 

And now, the most recent ‘policy triumph’, the new asylum seeker laws
leave me sick to my stomach. Our current government is stacked with
religious types, from ‘happy clappers’ to Opus Dei yet NONE show a shred
of the humanity their doctrines espouse. The hypocrisy is staggering
and I thank the universe I’m an atheist and not subject to the
contradictory doctrine of absolution that allows these people in power
to set aside their consciences whenever they deem it convenient.

This asylum seekers policy comes at the end of some seven years
well-orchestrated use of media (I don’t say manipulation because I
believe it has been with most outlets’ acquiescence), designed to
stimulate all the worst aspects of human nature. Headlines in the
Murdoch press, especially, have played on bigotry, greed, and the
downright selfishness of pockets of our community. As well there has
been a deliberate censoring of any positive, progressive and innovative
information that would help the community to be better informed about
issues. Christmas cheer? Bah, humbug!

If I were religious, what would I pray
for this Christmas? I’d pray that the community opens its eyes to how
we’ve been manipulated. How our apathy has allowed black to become
white. I’d pray that we’d understand how destructive this government has
been to our way of life. That we’d find a way back to the principles
that made us the ‘Lucky Country’ so that maybe I could again be proud to
call Australia home.

She won’t be right, mate. No it won’t. Not until we all remember the true ‘spirit of Christmas’.

Jennifer blogs at

(image by John Graham)

Buy John Graham originals from IA's online store.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry Christmas Gina and Rupert - The AIM Network

Merry Christmas Gina and Rupert - The AIM Network

Merry Christmas Gina and Rupert

If you go to Tony Abbott’s
facebook page, at time of writing, you will find six threads about the
Martin Place siege and one about the slaughter of innocent children in
Pakistan.  Four days after its release, you will not find any comment
about Hockey’s MYEFO.  That in itself should be cause for concern.

Tony Abbott has admitted he has little interest in the “dismal
science” of economics and it appears he is hoping that applies to the
rest of us.  He is sticking to his forte – death cults and

Despite telling us all to carry on our lives as normal, he seems
determined to class the acts of one deranged individual as a terrorist
attack on home soil.

When Australians responded by showing solidarity with the Muslim
community through the “I’ll ride with you” campaign, the odious Miranda
Devine found a new target.

“Thus it was that on Monday, while real people were
suffering at the hands of an Islamic State-inspired terrorist in Martin
Place, hashtag activists sprang to the defence of theoretical victims of
an Islamophobia that wasn’t occurring.

The meaningless, narcissistic, one-sided nature of this “near silent
encounter” perfectly symbolises the leftist ­approach to Islamist

Denial, deflection, projection. They see themselves as morally
superior to the rest of Australia, which they imagine as a sea of
ignorant rednecks. In their eyes the threat is not terrorism but

This view was endorsed by LNP member for Dawson, George Christensen who tweeted

“#illridewithyou is a typical pathetic left wing black
arm band brigade campaign, casting Aussies as racists who will endanger

The colourful characters who frequent Andrew Bolt‘s blog joined in with a barrage of hate.

Whilst Abbott, Devine, Bolt and Christensen continue to pander to the
minority of xenophobic racist rednecks, others have been commenting on
the policy direction of this government and none of it is good.

Firstly, Joe Hockey has cost us $28.6 billion in foregone revenue over the forward estimates through his own decisions.

Carbon Tax                                                         $12.8 billion

MRRT                                                                    $3.4 billion

FBT on cars                                                           $1.8 billion

Tax on super earnings                                          $313 million

Work-related self-education                                  $266.7 million

Closing corporate tax avoidance                           $775 million

RBA                                                                      $8.8 billion (classed as foregone dividends)

Add to that his spending on Direct Action, the “war on terror” at
home and abroad, and the extra spending on Operation Sovereign Borders
and PPL and we would go close to wiping out his deficit of over $40

So when you hear the girlinator Cormann talking about Layboor’s debt
and deficit disaster, understand you are being sold snake oil by a con

Speaking of con men, the G20 leaders must be wondering about our
commitment to join the war on corporate tax avoidance which has been
shown to be yet another example of Joe “over my dead body” Hockey’s ‘tell em what they wanna hear’.

The head of the Australian Tax Office, Chris Jordan, has described a
tax lurk for multinational companies that is being retained by the
Abbott government as having been “abused” by foreign corporations at a
cost of “hundreds of millions of dollars” a year
to the Commonwealth but Hockey, following consultation with the big
four accountancy firms and the Corporate Tax Association, which
represents the biggest listed companies, decided not to tinker with
section 25-90 of the act.  And they had the hide to criticise Gillard
and Swan for caving in on the mining tax though that was one time I
found myself in agreement.

And they will have more pressure coming as the world insists that we take action on climate change.

During an appearance before a British parliamentary committee meeting
held early Wednesday morning Australian time, British Prime Minister David Cameron
was asked by an MP whether there was hope Australia would do more
because “the new Australian government is in denial” on the issue.

Mr Cameron did not disagree and told the hearing there was hope Australia would step up its efforts.

“Australia will respond to international pressure and do more on
climate change because it will not want to be seen as the “back

The new revised GP co-payment has also been blasted.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has expressed its formal
opposition to the Federal Government’s new co-payment model, labelling
it a “wrecking ball”.

“That this should be instituted and ready to go by January 19 is, I
think, absurd,” Associate Professor Owler said.  “Particularly when
there has been absolutely no consultation on this issue.”

was also not impressed with Hockeynomics slamming his budget measures
and stating that ‘close monitoring’ was required mentioning everything
from changes to Newstart and pensions through to Direct Action,
deregulation of uni fees, and choice of infrastructure spending.  They
were particularly critical of superannuation tax concessions.  The
overall implication was “you haven’t thought these measures through”.

And as Abbott has his photo taken in front of lots of Christmas trees, presents are being delivered around the country.

Up to 100 ABC journalists have been told they will become redundant and ADF personnel will face rent increases as well as other charges for live in accommodation and meals.

Australia has transformed into the global Scrooge just in time for Christmas, with spending on foreign aid set to plunge compared to other wealthy industrial countries.

An analysis of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s $3.7 billion cut to the aid
budget announced on Monday – on top of the $7.6 billion cut in May –
reveals that Australia’s generosity towards the world’s poor will fall
to an all-time low.

Australia will soon devote a paltry 22¢ cents in every $100 of
national income to foreign aid – less than half the amount spent by the
Coalition government more than 40 years ago.

This is the news Tony Abbott and his band of elves don’t want you to
discuss as they take from the poorest in the world to give generously to
wealthy corporations and mining companies.  Gina and Rupert should be
well pleased.

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