28 Apr 2016

Private job agencies to levy fines on unemployed.Surely these agencies can't be trusted this far. Its an open cheque for them!

The Turnbull Government will be asking the Senate to support one of the most devastating attacks launched against poor and vulnerable Australians in recent memory.
The Bill – entitled Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015 – proposes to give privately run job agencies unprecedented new powers to financially penalise unemployed and underemployed Australians. If passed, the fines will come into effect on July 1 this year.
Under the proposal, Australians receiving the dole can be fined 10 per cent of their income support – increasing by 10 per cent each day until they ‘re-engage’ – if they:
  • Fail to sign a job plan at their first job agency appointment; or
  • Are found by their job agency to have behaved inappropriately at an appointment (“inappropriate behaviour” is defined as acting in a manner “such that the purpose of the appointment is not achieved”); or
  • Fail to attend a Work for the Dole or Training exercise without an excuse deemed reasonable by the job agency.
All fines (roughly $55) will be deducted immediately. Unemployed Australians who feel they have been unfairly fined will be required to go through Centrelink’s arduous appeals process to get their money back – a procedure that can take up to four months.
This means that even if an unemployed worker successfully appeals against a fine – and thousands do every year – they will still be forced to endure up to four months without a significant portion of their income support.

After seeing the results of the Vocational training industry they(The government) are willing to give this group such a money making venture with no oversight.

CSIRO:- The knife is still being twisted with removal of more staff.A "Clever" country or bloody stupid!

CSIRO jobs: Lab credited with inventing wi-fi may not escape cuts, organisation says

Updated yesterday at 2:04pm

At a Senate committee hearing in Canberra, CSIRO executives confirmed about 70 staff would go from the Data61 digital research team.

The technology that allows phones and computers to wirelessly connect to networks was invented in the 1990s at CSIRO's Marsfield lab in Sydney's north-west.

Deputy chief executive Craig Roy was pressed by Senators to give a guarantee that the commercial capabilities from that lab would be kept.

"No decision has been made," he said.

"Decisions haven't been made around redundancies in Data61 or changes there — they're being considered by [Data61 chief Adrian Turner]."

He flagged that the lab at Marsfield may close but would not comment on which staff or teams would be affected by job cuts.

Manus Island:- Cheap accommodation offered

A confronting Airbnb holiday listing offered people a place to stay for $13 a night in shared 16 person tents on the naval base of Manus Island.

The description read: “If you’re looking to get away from chilling acts of torture, civil war, death threats or unimaginable discrimination then you’ll have to look a lot further than Australia’s golden shores.”

The description read: "If you're looking to get away from chilling acts of torture, civil war, death threats or unimaginable discrimination then you'll have to look a lot further than Australia's golden shores."

27 Apr 2016

Malcolm and 1700 words later came the Chief of Navy. His words "there's little left to say"

There's an election coming up, can't you tell?
Based on an article in the Australian
Not only did Malcolm Turnbull speak at length but our defence and industry ministers matched his verbosity. Then, after more than 1700 words from our political leaders, came the turn of Chief of Navy Tim Barrett, who said: “Thanks, Prime Minster, I think there’s little left to say.”

Waiting for Malcolm

With such good news, you would think our pollies would be quick out of the blocks. But the Prime Minister kept the media waiting yesterday, a good half-hour before fronting the cameras.

This is becoming the norm it has happened before (perhaps most memorably his hour-long delay before turning up with Michaelia Cash at a Canberra building site last week).

 “Keeping the nation waiting” is hardly the best election slogan. Turnbull won’t appreciate the comparison but such delays invite the conjecture that he is turning into his predecessor Kevin Rudd .

PNG's Supreme Court rules against detention of asylum seekers

PNG's Supreme Court rules detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal

Updated about 3 hours ago
There are 850 men in the detention centre on Manus Island, about half of whom have been found to be refugees.The five-man bench of the court ruled the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the PNG constitution.(Now if this was under Australian law our constitution does not guarantee human rights and yet PNG's constitution which Australia helped draft does..strange but true)
The Supreme Court has ordered the PNG and Australian Governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.
"Both the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments shall forthwith take all steps necessary to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of the asylum seekers or transferees at the relocation centre on Manus Island and the continued breach of the asylum seekers or transferees constitutional and human rights," the judges ordered.

24 Apr 2016

Pay more for Pathology: Government hopes it slips through and no one notices.

Bulk billing incentives for pathologists to be scrapped on day before election.Malcolm's doing an Abbott, sneaky!

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley says she will bring in a a policy to scrap bulk billing incentives for pathologists — even if the plan is due to come into effect the day before the July 2 election.

The Opposition and pathologists are fighting against the Federal Government's policy to cut bonus payments it offers for pathology services to bulk bill.

But Ms Ley looks set to push on with the changes, despite them being flagged to kick in on July 1.

Policy to 'save $650m over four years'

The Federal Government said the policy would save $650 million over four years, but the Opposition and pathologists are muscling up for an election campaign fight.

Pathology Australia chief executive Liesel Wett argued the changes could dissuade patients from having medical tests.

"This election campaign, we will be doing everything we can to stop the cuts to bulk billing," Ms Wett said.

"We're asking all pathology patients to sign up to our campaign and we've got 466,000 patients that have signed our petition because they're saying no to these cuts."

Labor, who introduced the incentive in 2009, has described the Government's plan as "medical madness". Patients 'will be asked to pay'

Ms Wett said scrapping the bulk billing incentive would have consequences.

"Patients will be asked to pay, so be charged a co-payment at the time of their pathology test," she said.

"Some providers have actually been quite public in stating it could be in addition to $30 per patient."

Dental smoke and mirrors combined with lies??

The devil is in the detail, typical double speak.

Australian Dental Association, the peak body, said the devil was in the details.
"Let's see this for what it is. This is a budget saving resulting in a reduction of about $200 million per annum for dental care," ADA President Rick Olive said in a statement.
Dr Olive said the government was effectively reducing its funding allocation from $615 million a year under the current scheme to a new scheme that will provide only $425 million a year. This policy is being sold with a forked tongue.
"It's smoke and mirrors," he said. "Let's not be fooled. This is a measure that just won't deliver."
The scheme would place further strain on state and territory public sector dental services - which already have waiting lists of between nine months and three years depending on the state - and people from rural and remote areas will be left "high and dry".

17 Apr 2016

Marriage equality legal in New Zealand:- about time.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has held its first legally recognised marriage, with the offbeat movement hailing the New Zealand ceremony as a world-first milestone toward acceptance.

Church adherents call themselves pastafarians, wear colanders on their heads, revere pirates and believe the world was created by a deity made of spaghetti.

But while they have a love of pasta-based puns and celebrate holidays such as "Talk Like a Pirate Day", followers insist their religion is no joke.
New Zealand officials agreed, and gave Wellington-based pastafarian Karen Martyn the legal right to conduct marriages last month after ruling the church was based on genuine philosophical convictions .
Ms Martyn conducted her inaugural wedding as an ordained "ministeroni" on Saturday, when Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young became the first couple in the world to "tie the noodly knot" in a legally recognised ceremony.

13 Apr 2016

Banking royal commission should be paid for by banks

Exert from an article in the CONVERSATION 
In the face of the cultural and ethical failings we have seen recently with the Commonwealth Bank’s financial advisers and ANZ’s alleged rigging of interest rates, the question is one of conduct. Before we have our own subprime disaster, what can we do to improve the conduct of our banks?
ASIC’s Medcraft says the regulator “can’t look over every person’s shoulder”, and that it’s “up to gatekeepers to think about their culture so we don’t get the wrong outcomes”.
Asking that question – how to improve the culture of our banks - involves asking for information which may be incriminating. The people asking the questions, in order to arrive at credible answers, need the power to compel those answers. If compelled by a royal commissioner, the answers would have to be given publicly.
Banks, of course, are worried. There can be no doubt their employees have engaged in practices that they don’t want aired. So they’re pushing back. They claim it would be a distraction. But being held accountable should never be regarded as a mere distraction.
We shouldn’t be duped into thinking we are not allowed to hold to account the same banks that we, as taxpayers, are called upon to underwrite. Our federal government supported our banks during the financial crisis using taxpayer’s funds. That gives taxpayer’s the right to enquire. Given tens of thousands of consumers were affected by the financial advice scandal, and that every person in Australia would have been affected by interest rate rigging, we not only have a right to enquire, we have a duty.
The Turnbull government has argued we don’t need a royal commission because we just completed the Financial System Inquiry. But that inquiry was almost entirely macro-prudential, and concerned with long term economic issues. It did not look at the conduct of individual banks, or investigate ethical and cultural issues at all. The second argument the Turnbull government puts forward is that we don’t need a royal commission because we have regulators with adequate powers to do this job. But that’s exactly the point: we need a royal commission precisely because the regulators are not doing their job.
Banks, through their chief lobby group, the ABA, say a royal commission would be hugely expensive, and that taxpayers should not have to pay. Fair point. Taxpayers should not have to pay. Obviously someone must pay, and in light of the fact that this commission would be called to investigate longstanding malpractices by banks – banks that have had notice of these issues and failed to resolve them - it seems only fair that banks should have to pay. Perhaps by way of a special levy?
Fundamentally the problem remains: we have banks that have allowed behaviour to go on which in certain circumstances is criminal; much is unethical; tens of thousands of Australians have been left devastated. Our regulators have failed to effect real, deep, cultural change in our banks. The Financial System Inquiry’s findings are not relevant. The banks are wealthy enough to afford, and are deserving of, footing the bill for a royal commission. And even they would benefit from the opportunity to clean house.

9 Apr 2016

The UK and Australia have the same problem."Steel and we can't afford to loose it!
The UK Government's normal response to industrial closures has been to let market forces work their magic. Who needs metal bashing anyway? Britain(read Australia) isn't in the business of making stuff any more – we do clever things instead like finance. Wow that ended well?

In 2008/9 the UK Government organised a £1 trillion bailout of the insolvent banking industry. The alternative was just too awful to contemplate: the collapse of the financial system.

Somehow the collapse of the industrial system has not been so hard to contemplate. Indeed, there was some oblique criticism of the US government in 2008/9 for bailing out the US motor industry. The message appeared to be that you can only bail out and nationalise banks.

The Government appears to have realised that giving up on metal bashing is not such a good idea after all; nor is selling off strategic industries like steel and energy to foreign buyers.

The UK steel industry formerly employed 250,000 workers but that isn't the only reason it was important. By losing control of key sectors of industrial production you become the plaything of international markets.

The Australian government is still of the belief that market forces is the cure all for any problem that occurs in our industries such as oil refineries that of all but disappeared from our landscape and the car industry that was allowed to die with no thought given to its replacement.

Now it's steels turn, can we afford to be at the mercy of international markets that close industries down overnight because of oversupply.

Oversupply makes overseas imports cheaper in the short term but what happens afterwards, well we get ripped of by higher prices because we no longer have an industry to fire up and compete.

Ideology should be put aside, we must ensure that Australia maintains this essential industry.

8 Apr 2016


There is no common definition of what a tax haven is. Everybody has a slightly different definition. Ultimately what a tax haven provides is escape from the rules and the laws of jurisdictions.

Tax havens are also about ‘elsewhere’ – the laws of the Cayman Islands as an example are not designed for the benefit of the 50,000-odd population of the Cayman Islands. They are designed for people who live in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and so on. Hence the term ‘elsewhere’, or ‘offshore’, is fundamental to what a tax haven is.

Essentially, then, tax havens are about wealthy individuals and corporations taking their money elsewhere to do things that they wouldn’t be allowed to do at home.

They are there to circumvent the laws of their home country by bending the rules, or shall we say finding the large holes in the fence of sovereign government's tax laws.

Ethics have nothing to do with it, its all about minimizing liability by bending the laws. Its greed nothing less, people who partake in these schemes have no respect for the countries they live in.

As we are seeing, government leaders even put their snout in this trough.

Its all about what they can get away with!!

7 Apr 2016

CSIRO’s death by 1000 cuts is creating international embarrassment and ruining our international reputation.

This is creating international embarrassment.

COMPETITION ISN'T everything. Communities also need people to be neighbourly, tolerant and well-mannered the civilised attitudes and behaviours that bind us.
Based on this need, we created public services and amenities and thought up ideas like democracy and the rule of law, universal education, human rights. We call these benefits the public good.
Centuries of effort by numberless thinking people have created our public good, each contribution adding to previous ones like the stones that make life what it is today.
This  belongs to everybody, crossing all social boundaries. It can yield financial returns, but its most valuable benefits aren’t only financial.
There is a myriad of benefits that have been created for mankind, if the Coalition has its way all research will have to have a dollar payout, in other words if you can't prove that your research in the end can make a holy dollar don't start.
The total true benefits from a project may take generations to unfold and yet they continue with this head in the sand approach of worshiping the quick buck?
But when the public good is turned into a commodity to be bought or sold, it ceases to be a public good and our civil society is diminished.

Education and Vocational training is an investment in the future not simply a cost!

We need to stop thinking of education as a cost or our standards will tumble, as we've seen with the shonky, multi-billion dollar private training rip-off merchants.
Article by Aaron Tucker edited by S W T Read.
THERE WAS a time when we were happy with our training providers. A push to deregulate, privatise and streamline have seen our standards slip.

In their place we have a multi-billion dollar sector extracting high fees for low value.

We need to nurture our populace into well trained and educated citizens, not plunge them into the murky world of profit maximisation and "race to the bottom" standards.

The Coalition is still referring to education as a cost, dead money, its unbelievable, this is a government that talks about innovation? Cleverness?

Education is the best investment Australia can make for our future!

6 Apr 2016

Good news story:-One caring policeman, he deserved to survive.

Well worth a read.

Shot police officer breaks silence over Nepean Hospital incident - 9news.com.au:

'via Blog this'

Turnbull's recent back to the future thought bubble was cracker of an April Fools day joke.

Excerpt from article by Mungo MacCallum
Another of Malcolm Turnbull's thought bubbles of states raising their own tax has collapsed like a lead balloon.
Our Prime Minister's bold back-to-the-future plan (back some 74 years, in fact) was rejected within 48 hours, as soon as the premiers realised that it was not an April Fool's Day joke.(or was it just about the blame game)
When Turnbull announced what he called the most fundamental tax reform in generations at the Penrith Panthers car park, without warning, detail or documentation, it was never really going to be taken seriously.
As for the hapless Treasurer, Scott Morrison, once again he was caught by the short and curlies by his leader, he said it was just speculation: he was certain that Turnbull had not intended to imply that state taxes could actually rise.
All that showed us that Morrison was not only out of the loop, he was just about round the twist. If taxes did not increase, then what was the point of the exercise? Was it just to duck-shove the responsibility from one jurisdiction to another without doing anything to solve the looming crisis threatening hospitals and schools?

5 Apr 2016

Malcolm can't use"Tmodel Ford" policies to fix economy. He must dump old LNP thinking if he wants win in the economy stakes!

Based on an article in The Guardian

When Malcolm Turnbull took the leadership last year from Tony Abbott, he reasoned his predecessor just wasn’t up to the leadership the country needed.

Turnbull said:
“The big economic challenges that we’re living through here and around the world offer enormous challenges and we need a different style of leadership … a style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence.

He's right, that was what we were looking for.

Where are we now, well, Turnbull and his treasurer, Scott Morrison don't seem to respect one another– they seem to want different things just about every time they open their mouths.

We actually just want them to get on with delivering what Turnbull promised, which was a serious conversation about economic policy and respect for voters.
Voters have had more than a gutful of political discussion, because dealing with substance is just too hard, both for politicians and for political reporters.

So far all we've seen nothing but a soap opera and its been topped off with guess what, a new federalism. Then there is also a near meaningless formulation that Australia just has to live within its means.

Does it mean we would not borrow for infrastructure, we would not build for the future, we would not allow students to borrow money to fund their education. So what does this living within your means concept actually mean?

The treasurer says “It means you manage your finances responsibly, it means if you do need to spend extra money then you find savings.”(No borrowing, come on,everyone needs to borrow at some time) 

Is he suggesting Australian households don’t borrow, or seek supplementary income, in order to provision productively for their future. Its an absurdity, and one really unworthy of an occupant of the treasury portfolio.

If I hear the term “economy in transition” again I think I'll puke. It sounds as if Australia has a virus, it isn't a malignant cancer, its just the economy stupid.

For gods sake, lets hear something that resembles latteral thinking

If Malcolm Turnbull is to reset the budget debate, he has to abandon the old Liberal mantra that taxes must always be cut. Both sides of the budget have to be deployed in the search for fairness and efficiency, and in the present climate that means an active search for ways achieve that.

Wheeling out the same old thinking will no longer do the trick!