Friday 6th March 1998

This on-line paper is now archived for perpetuity in the National Library of Australia

Subscriber's password check (have your subscription number handy).

Recent stories exclusive to  subscribers of the Australian National News of the Day:

Lateline report on the MAI - 80% of Australia's economic activity is controlled by multinationals. 5th March
The discredited "Bringing them Home" report now on-line 2nd March 1998
Just who owns Westpac? 1st March 1998
Pauline Hanson to run for Blair. 28th February 1998
Sick Uniting Church peddles gay and lesbian behaviour to our kids on TV 27th February 1998
Ipswich City Council relents allowing One Nation to use city buildings 26th February 1998

Current topical links (available to all readers):
[Links to the MAI] [Queensland One Nation State Election website]
[Sign the "I'm so sorry Pauline" book]

Archive of weekly features (available to all readers):
[The Canberra Column] [Economic Rationalism]

Today's Headlines
an Aussie's viewpoint on Australia's first daily Internet newspaper.
Since October 1995


The MAI "level playing field exposed:

Pauline Hanson to raise MAI in federal parliament

The refusal by the major parties to tackle the issue of the MAI has not gone unnoticed with Pauline Hanson now vowing to raise the issue in the lower house at the first opportunity.

In the meantime the Australian Labor Party, who in 1995 opened up negotiations on the MAI, have now cow-tailed to concerns of their union "cash cow" with Laurie Brereton calling on an inquiry.

Full details can be seen in the latest One Nation press release.

Here are extracts:

"Some wonder when Laurie Brereton is lying, but many however know this is happening most of the time, and his urgent call for an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee for Treaties into the MAI is a perfect example of the crooked and politically deceitful nature of he and his chardonnay socialist accomplices........

"Secondly, it was Labor’s own Senator Cook, then Minister for Trade, who represented Australia at the OECD Ministers’ conference in May 1995 when it was decided to commence MAI negotiations, and it was Labor who oversaw those negotiations between May 1995 and Labor’s devastating defeat in March 1996."

The late B A Santa Maria's view on Australia's progress under globalisation:

In 1996 B A Santa Maria wrote an excellent article exposing "Economic Rationalism". For our regular readers, Graham Strachan's excellent, incisive weekly articles on this subject reveal just where the Australian bureaucrats, leading our politicians by the nose, are taking this country.... down the path to self-destruction.

The table below is the basis of B A Santa Maria's article which is a "must read":
Source: Professor Russell Matthews, "Dialogues on Australia's Future"


Country "A"
Australia 1953-72
Country "B"
Australia 1983-93
Economic Growth
(% Change in real GDP)
5% 3.3%
(% of Labour force)
1.9% 8.6%
(% change in CPI)
2.5% 5.7%
Average Real Earnings
(% change)
3.6% -0.2%
Interest Rates
(5 year bonds)
5.0% 11.5%
Current Account Deficit
(% of GDP)
2.3% 4.5%

Far north Gulf disappears under relentless floods.

An area twice the size of Tasmania in Queensland's far north disappeared under water yesterday creating fears of crocodile attacks, hepatitis outbreaks, and breakdowns in phone, food and water supplies. The floods resulted from a low pressure system which has hovered over the Gulf area for days.

Burketown shire mayor, Anne Clarke said, "We've had some big wets before but nothing like this. Stock losses will be huge. There won't be much branding this year."

Helicopters were used to rescue 22 people stranded near Doomadgee and Hells Gate west of Burketown.

Nick Bolkus facing censure over Skase leak

The cheap, trashy side of the ALP was revealed in both houses of Federal Parliament yesterday when Shadow Attorney General Nick Bolkus faced censure motions from both the Senate and the lower house over the release of confidential information to the media.

The information, leaked to the media early this year, was about the government's moves to catch up with Skase and his "missing millions". Senator Amanda Vanstone, in the Senate, and Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, in the Parliament, led the assault against Bolkus claiming that he had given the media court documents which he had gained in confidence through his position as shadow attorney general.

The government were able to present photographs of Bolkus showing the documents to journalists at an Adelaide press conference.

"I say to the leader of the Opposition: If you want to lead, you have to show strength," Costello said. "This is a great test for you. You have to call Senator Bolkus in and say, as the first would-be law officer of the Crown, 'I demand your resignation'."

Bolkus denied the accusations that the Australian Federal Police were investigating the issue saying that the documents were already in the public domain. "At no stage have they (the Australian Federal Police) told me that I am being investigated (over this issue). What they did tell me today is that I am not being investigated.

"I know in my discussions with them they were looking at both the leaks and they were looking at all sorts of sources in respect of the first leak.

"I think it is fair to say that all sorts of sources includes anyone who might have the documents at the time."

The censure motion was passed in the House of Representatives and will be debated in the Senate on Monday.    

Making the news" -
an indepth exposé of media and political collusion at the highest possible levels in Australia.


Federal politicians travel expenses to be better regulated?

It would appear that new controls are being brought in to try to stem the blatant abuse by some federal politicians of their travel expenses. However, there is a sting in the tail for tax payers - who foot their bill - the Remuneration Tribunal have granted MPs a Au$30 per night increase in their claims in all capital cities.

Labor in disarray over Oxley pre-selection candidate Anne Scott's comments.

Anne Scott told Australia yesterday that she was warned by the Labor hierarchy that she would have a bucket of muck tipped over her if she did not withdraw her nomination for the seat of Oxley.

We revealed yesterday the argument being put forward earlier this week by the ALP's Federal Secretary Gary Gray that Anne's husband Les should stop receiving his pension if Mrs Scott was serious about being selected by the ALP to represent them for the seat of Oxley. The real reason is that Mrs Scott dared make a noise about Labor darling Wayne Goss putting his hand up at the last moment for the seat of Oxley - shortly before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and subsequently withdrew his nomination. Kim Beazley had openly supported "shreddergate" Goss as the best candidate ... guaranteeing his selection ahead of Mrs Scott.

It was not too long ago that Mrs Scott was making loud noises about so-called disarray in the Oxley branch of One Nation (of which I am a member). The noise was based on the change of presidency from Reg Bishop to Darryl Kelly and the subsequent outburst by Bishop after he was rolled by the branch members.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot it is quite interesting to see how the worms wriggle. Mrs Scott has now claimed that a Labor front bencher approached her in August last year during the Goss fiasco warning her about the "bucket of muck". She made the statement in a radio interview yesterday - talking about a discussion that she had recently with Gray. Stating that he had warned her that the party would take steps "to destroy her candidacy".

Judy Moylan, the Minister for the Status of Women, told Federal Parliament yesterday that, "The Labor party thinks that this woman should simply stay at home and be a nice, quiet wife without an identity of her own and without the drive to earn a living on her own.

"That's an outrageous suggestion in the 90s, and even more so when considering it's the party which would have the Australian public believe the Government is trying is trying to put women back in the kitchen.

"When push comes to shove, Labor pushes men forward and shoves women aside."

A spokesman for Kim Beazley denied Mrs Scott's comments that a threat had been made to her by a front bencher. 

Democrats accuse Australian Labor Party of caving in on Wik

Queensland Democrat Senator, John Woodley, yesterday accused the ALP of caving in to the Coalition's ten point plan on Wik to curry favour with the voters of Queensland.

Labor recently said that it would revisit the amendments to accommodate one of their major party coffer funders, the mining industry. The Federal Opposition's deputy leader, Gareth Evans, made this claim when it became apparent that the ALP's funding for the next federal election could be badly affected by a boycott from the multinational run mining industry.

What should be of interest to Australians is the fact that pastoralists (the poor Australian voters) are not part of the package of amendments being considered by the ALP... they do little to contribute money to election campaign funds - they are just voters

Which brings me to a classic statement by David Kemp on Channel Nine's Today programme this morning. Kemp was talking about Australia's "wonderful" democracy:

Presenter says to Kemp, "A recent survey on students reveals that 85% believe governments cannot be trusted and 96% believe politicians are dishonest."

Kemp, "What I think that shows is that there is a great need to teach our children on the history of our democracy.... and many young people do not understand the great democratic system that we've got. Our young people are the heirs of one of the greatest democracies in the world."

All I can say is God the world must be in a mess!

email the editor

You say:

Subject: Soros; a "mixed bag of tricks" ?

"The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat." George Soros (1997):

I dealt with more than a few Central European entrepreneurs during my former life in business, all of them charming and urbane unless crossed, and even then very human (i.e. not just calculating "bottom-liners"). Some left their home countries during Hitler's time, and some after the Iron Curtain, neither being exactly times of "freedom". The things that drive them must be very different to those driving people in Canada, Aust & NZ and in the USA. I somehow doubt they are the "Trans World Oligarchs".

As well as its acceptance that we live in a global economy, the Soros speech Dion quotes includes things like:-

"the capacity of the state to look after the welfare of its citizens has been severely impaired by the globalisation of the capitalist system"

"you cannot have global markets without a global society. But our global society incorporates many different values, customs, traditions and religions" .............."therefore we ought to be able to find common ground in the open society, which celebrates this diversity"

as well as the famous "Dr Mahatir is a menace to his own country" quote. It is worth reading in full.

I find I really don't know what to think about Soros, and am inclined to think that he's done so mega-well for himself he has time to think, philosophise and try to do some good in the world.

But, maybe I'm wildly misguided, and provided it's not too far off-topic

Richard Thode
Sydney Australia

Subject: Re: Indonesia

Savage revolution and brutal retribution couldn't happen to a nicer crew than Suharto, Alitas, Murdano and the myriads of murderous crooks and thug soldiers that surround them. Tacitly sooling the populace on to the Chinese is not dissimilar from Hitler (more openly) sooling them on to the Jews except for one important fact: the gangsters' comeuppance will happen a lot sooner. Great that they're defying IMF -- that may well bring them down more quickly, because their defiance of IMF certainly isn't on behalf of their people. The collusion of successive Australian Governments with Suharto's goons is the worst national embarrassment to us since Menzies colluded with Verwoerd and Co. Behind the scenes moves are being made, involving Labor factions and a former Australian Democrat leader who transferred to Labor, plus who knows how many sleepers who may have remained behind in the Australian Democrats, to get rid of (weak) Labor leader Kim Beazley and replace him with Gareth Evans. Gareth Evans is infamous for the footage of his clinking glasses with Ali Alitas in a plane over the Timor Sea, after concluding a deal to jointly filch oil reserves belonging to Timor, while Indonesian soldiers who are little (if at all) better than animals were on hunt, torture and kill missions in and around Dili. How many people are aware that before the CIA installed the Suharto regime there was democracy of a sort, with genuinely competitive elections. Or that the coup bringing Suharto to power was immediately followed by a killing spree in which from 500,000 to 1,000,000 Indonesian citizens were murdered -- one item that I recall sub-editing as a journo (at the time) told of a river which backed up and caused a flood because it was dammed by accumulated bodies. How many are aware of the origin of the Indonesian Army -- a quisling army set up by the Japanese invaders to help rule the entire ramshackle Javanese empire.

What Indonesia's thugs have always feared most of all is not external invasion but centrifugal forces. That fear, plus the necessity to keep labour cheap and pliant to undercut workers' conditions elsewhere, is the reason for their army which Australia helps train, and Britain and America help arm. It is an occupying force in its own land, and on the rare occasions when it meets a foe who can shoot back it does very badly as it showed in skirmishes with the British in Borneo. May the centrifugal forces thrive and multiply, and arms fall into the hands of the people.

Dion Giles
Fremantle, Western Australia


The resignation of BHP General Manager John Prescott brought this response from the, once, big Australian, now dwarfed by the foreign owned banks.

With his departure expect massive restructuring, layoffs to match the size and depth of the new look privatised Telstra and a dramatic growth in foreign ownership.

Here is BHP's media release on Prescott's departure:

The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) today announced that the Board had accepted the resignation of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr J B (John) Prescott.

The Chairman, Mr J K (Jerry) Ellis, said an international search will be undertaken immediately for a new Managing Director. He said Mr Prescott had agreed to continue as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer to help ensure a smooth transition, and that Executive Director Mr R J (Ron) McNeilly will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer in the interim.

Mr Ellis paid tribute to Mr Prescott's contribution to BHP over the past 40 years, the last six as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

"Mr Prescott has contributed to BHP through the successful building of our transport business, the successful modernisation and restructuring of our steel business, the great progress in safety performance and the vigorous push for growth in recent years," Mr Ellis said.

"Most recently Mr Prescott has led the team which reviewed and recommended the business strategy for BHP," Mr Ellis said.

"In consequence, BHP is now clearly focussed on being a diversified resources company, in a position of global leadership. The Company will be progressively consolidated around high quality, large scale assets which are low on the cost curve, and maximise BHP's particular strengths," Mr Ellis said.

"The Board had reinforced the Company's steel strategy with its decision to proceed with the Whyalla billet caster," he said.

"There will be tighter arrangements for the Company's use of capital, including project management. Its gearing will be reduced. The capabilities of the Company's senior management will be better aligned with changing requirements."

"As part of the overall strategy there are particular initiatives to cut costs across the group and to dispose of assets which are deemed unlikely to achieve acceptable levels of return.

Progress is being made on both fronts and specific actions will be reported as commercial circumstances permit," he said.

Mr Prescott said: "I am very pleased this strategy has been confirmed by the Board, as it is one to which I am totally committed. The decisions taken will accelerate its implementation."

"This raises the question of what then is in the best long term interest of the Company. With great personal anguish, I have reached the view that the Company may be better served if a new person was to set the future course for BHP, beyond the successful implementation of current initiatives."

"I wish the Company, its shareholders and employees, and all those with important relationships with it, every success in the future," he said.

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another perfect day in paradise.

Have a good one.

Return to Australian National News of the Day


Web development, design, and storage by Global Web Builders - Email:

See GLOBE International for other world news.