This on-line paper is now archived for perpetuity in the National Library of Australia
Saturday, 17th January 1998
Archive of weekly features: [The Canberra Column] [Economic Rationalism - coming soon]
Special welcome to new Bunbury readers.
Once you have finished viewing today's news, please take a moment to visit the Four Corners of Australia's Trojan Horse
Pauline Hanson's One Nation - Queensland state election fund raiser.
Last night I was fortunate to be invited to a fund raiser at Mount Gravatt, Brisbane - attended by Pauline Hanson.
About 70 people attended the small function which blew away several fallacies perpetrated by the media. Fallacies about the stereo-typical people who support Pauline Hanson's One Nation. You know - bigoted, middled aged, white men.
Follow this link to get the full story and see how far from the truth the media actually are.
Wik, native title and the Australian Labor Party in self-destruct mode.
Despite the comments by Peter Beattie earlier this week that the Australian Labor Party should negotiate with Howard on the ten point plan over native title Kim Beazley has refused to budge - signalling a fair amount of disruption at the national ALP conference being held in Hobart next week. Beattie's comments have been made to try to regain flagging rural support in the upcoming Queensland state election.
Of course the fallacy that native title will exist after (multilateral agreement on investment) MAI is signed by Australia remains comfortably out of sight of mainstream Australians. The tragedy of course is that the issue of Wik is no more than party politicking and vote snatching with the real issue of Australian jobs being affected by the mess having little or no significance to career politicians.
The biggest political lie in Australia is currently tied up with MAI. Beazley and Beattie play politics over Wik and Howard's ten point plan - raising the issue of a double dissolution if the bill is rejected by the Senate again this year.
What I am getting at is best summed up in a recent radio interview on the ABC's Background Briefing programme (full transcript) in November last year where Sharif Seid from the Australian National University said, and I quote, "A foreign investor can challenge the government on the basis that Australian government has given a more favourable treatment to the Aborigines than the foreign investor. But here countries are allowed now to make reservations where certain provisions of the MAI would not apply. So I expect the Australian Government to make some reservations on this area, land titles and Aboriginal rights. But again, these reservations are temporary because every country is required 1) to make no new restrictions on foreign investment; 2) to roll back, to withdraw, current restrictions through time. So even if certain reservations would be made now, after a certain period of time they should arise again, that is Australia will be required to withdraw that reservation and then this land title legislation will face extinction."
What he is actually saying is that once the MAI has been implemented (both Labor and the Coalition have been involved in the implementation of MAI) native title will be able to successfully challenged and defeated by multinational companies investing in Australia not through Australia's High Court but through a higher court - the international court who will rule on the basis of the agreement being signed.
In effect Australians can have native title claims made against them but in the future foreign corporations can't - and, even better, foreign corporations can take away native title rights.
The big lie comes from Beazley whose stated position is that his party's hardline position on Wik will remain saying, "I will take a very close look at this one - it's possible I might well be moving it (at the Hobart convention)."
From an informed perspective the most interesting factor is the manner in which this major split is reported in News Limited's Courier Mail whose slurry headlines are reserved for Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
The headline in the Beazley-Beattie disagreement? "Beazley will not budge on native title"... if the report had been on One Nation our headline would have been closer to the mark.
Who will now fill Goss' shoes?
The fists are out and flailing as the Australian Labor Party's lesser lights step into the glow of media publicity as they seek to fill Wayne Goss' shoes by being selected to stand in the seat of Oxley.
As we reported yesterday Wayne Goss decided to walk away from politics on Thursday - citing his family as the reason. Informed critics know that the real reason is the 1990 shredding affair which has at last come home to roost. This year Democrat Senator John Woodley is expected to blow the lid off a can which should have exploded years ago, but some bureaucratic and political interference has kept it jammed tight to date.... reminds me of the time it took to bring a certain Labor Party premier, Brian Burke, in Western Australia to face the courts.
Here are some comments taken following Goss' "decision":
Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley: "He's one of Australia's premier politicians, and while I completely understand the reasons that he has given for the decision he's taken, I nevertheless regret greatly that he has done so."
ALP State Member for Ipswich West Don Livingstone: "It's a sad day for Queensland when someone of his skills leaves politics. He was the best parliamentary performer I've seen."
ALP State Member for Ipswich: "He's felt freedom, and to trade that for a life of airports and flights to Canberra... I can see why he made the decision he did."
Wayne Goss: " The prospect of coming home to retire in 10-15 years and saying 'Roisin, where are the kids?' just isn't on anymore. As Nelson Mandela said: 'Free at last'."
The real story has just begun as no sooner had Goss made his announcement than Anne Scott, who had a run in with the ALP executive after they endorsed Goss ahead of her, told the world that she was the "front-runner" now for the seat of Oxley.
However, some other shadows appeared. Australian Workers Union-aligned party member Bernie Ripoli put up his hand claiming that he would give Mrs Scott a good run for her money - putting his name forward for pre-selection.
Of course Mrs Scott is all of a sudden the total philanthropist saying this of Wayne Goss, "He's had to make a difficult decision, and I'm sorry he did..." Could this be the first lie in her political campaign?
Barry Jones challenged for the ALP top job.
The masters of dirty politics, the ALP, know how to throw mud at each other just as good as throwing it at others. It is rather fun, however, watching the internal brawlings of a party based on greed, power and lies tear itself apart. To quote Kim Beazley's dad, "When I first joined the Labor Party (in the 1940s), it was made up of the cream of the working class. When I left it (in the 1970s), it was made up of the scum of the middle class."
A few days ago we reported that the Australian Council of Trade Unions -ACTU- (the mob behind promoting the Sydney 2000 Boycott) boss, Greg Sword had challenged Barry Jones for the position of Party President just minutes before nominations closed.
Yesterday Barry Jones' mob played a trump card informing the media about a domestic violence allegation against a key right wing member Michael Danby. Danby's wife has put in an application for a restraining order in a Melbourne Court - something that Channel 7 were discreetly informed about.
Danby is now likely to be turfed out of his position as candidate for the federal seat of Melbourne Ports... weakening Sword's chances of replacing Jones.
The right faction (Sword) will have 86 votes at the conference, the Left (Jones) 87 votes and the Centre Left and unaligned 17 votes.
Subject: Request for coverage in Australian News of the Day
It may have escaped your attention, but do you know that PHON Hurstville (Phil Maddison) is holding a meeting in Mortdale (southern Sydney) on the 24th.. Do you intend to give it any coverage in the daily news???
It would appear that Socialist Worker is giving the meeting more coverage than we are...
Subject: Comments on Australian News of the Day
I would like to give Labor some advice, why no put Mal Colston's son as a candidate for the seat of Oxley. That would give the nation a bit more of a laugh at the Labor party.
Another perfect day in paradise.
Have a good one.
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