Tuesday 28th April 1998

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Recent stories exclusive to  (how to) subscribe/rs of the Australian National News of the Day:

Sultan of Brunei buys up big tracks of Australia - then negotiates Indonesian "settlements" 25th April
Maritime Union of Australia win in the Federal Court 22nd April
Just who is behind the dock war? 19th April
One Nation Birthday Party on Pauline Hanson's farm 10th-12th April
One Nation state and federal candidates meet in Toowoomba 4th -5th April
Hindmarsh Island Bridge case thrown out by High Court 2nd April
The Hindmarsh Island Bridge farce revealed 31st March
UN agrees to make our fresh water a "global commodity".... beware farmers - your fresh water dam WILL cost you! 28th March
Courier Mail's national affairs reporter Peter Charlton attacks MAI concerns and breaches ethics guidelines 28th March

Current topical links (available to all readers):
[Links to the MAI]
[Queensland One Nation State Election website] [One Nation Federal Web Site]
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

Second One Nation protest a success.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation held its second protest yesterday at a meeting of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) faithful in Goodna, a suburb of Ipswich and in Pauline Hanson's seat of Oxley yesterday.

On the right are the small group that nearly outnumbered the Labor faithful at what was to be Bernie Ripoll's big moment with Bob McMullan.

Left to right: Scott Balson, Jack Paff, Colleen Hughes, Tony Price and Merv Bostock.

We were unsure what to expect when we arrived at the Goodna Community Hall with our fold up table, brochure/hand out and posters.

As we set up our table and erected our posters just after 10am a man looked through the door of the hall and fled back into the inner sanctums... he obviously could not believe what he was seeing.... only the ALP were allowed to pull these stunts.

The first of the guests arrived, and we handed out the brochure suggesting that they read the contents carefully. Our offer was rejected with a short bullish looking man with red hair saying to me "Stick it up your arse..." after this I was not sure what to expect but as the saying goes "in for a penny in for a pound".. the red haired man exemplified what the other arriving ALP guests mirrored.

They just did not know what to do about our embarrassing presence. My Pauline Hanson t-shirt was clearly displayed and made a perfect introduction to a few more guests who arrived. At least half who came taking up our offer to look at the brochure and many of those standing outside the hall studiously studying the contents.

The ALP candidate for Oxley, Bernie Ripoll, looked extremely distressed. He wandered up and down the path shaking hands with people reading the handout trying to disrupt their attention from something which was obviously not good for his chances in the upcoming election.

Just after 10.30am the Labor Party faithful were called in. I could not understand why I had not seen Bob McMullan who I had met just once before in 1995 when I was staying at the home of a mutual friend in Karalee, Mal Bryce.

Merv Bostock and I decided that we should be present at the public meeting so we walked into the hall as the ALP faithful sat down. There was a quiet hiss from a couple of quarters. I then saw Bob McMullan near the front of the hall which held about twenty people. When he caught my eye a flicker of recognition passed across his face, he was, however, not a happy vegemite when I walked up to him and gave him a brochure and suggested "that he should read this" before he addressed the gathering...

My valour in approaching McMullan did not go unnoticed and as I walked to the back of the hall two ALP faithful were posted beside me on my left and my right. I was warned not to open my camera or I would be ejected... I was happy to oblige as they were much larger than I and Merv was too old to assist.

Our gatecrashing seemed to have ruined the function with Bernie Ripoll making the weakest of speeches, almost apologetic for having to stand there. Every time he looked straight ahead he could not miss my Pauline Hanson t-shirt - he was delighted to call up McMullan to help him out.

McMullan looked up as he was about to speak and the first thing he saw was my Pauline Hanson t-shirt. This seemed to floor him. I was hardly able to follow his speech - jumping from the waterfront issue to a quick history lesson on "globalisation" and why it was "unstoppable"... This latter off-the-cuff topic obviously associated with the handout he had been given and being held by many that he saw in front of him.

After about half an hour of blinking, pausing, and stop-start talking McMullan asked for questions.

A mistake.

I immediately shot my hand in the air. It was ignored initially as other questions were answered. Eventually McMullan had no where to hide and I was given the opportunity to ask a question. 20 pairs of studied me, or maybe my Pauline Hanson t-shirt. They could not believe that this was happening.

I asked McMullan, "Mr McMullan you talk about honesty in government why then was the international treaty the financial services agreement signed (FSIA) in 1995 under the ALP government without any discussion with the people or any debate in parliament. After all this treaty has since cost 40,000 Australians their jobs in the banking industry and has seen our banking industry become foreign owned."

McMullan's response steered clear of the loss of jobs and centered around the secrecy aspect saying that international treaties had and still have to be debated in parliament.

This is obviously incorrect as the Keating government changed the manner in which international treaties are ratified in 1995.

Rather than tackle the secrecy issue I asked a supplementary about the changes to the FSIA in December 1997 saying, "In December 1997 the financial services agreement was changed to allow foreign ownership of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The World Trade Organisation web page making this statement is attached to this handout. How could this happen after the ALP said that the Commonwealth Bank, when privatised, would always remain an "Australian" owned bank?"

McMullan responded that this had not happened because it had not been debated in Parliament. The die was cast attached to the handout was the World Trade Organisation web page which confirmed that this had, in deed, already happened. Of course, all those who had the brochure would have read this.

At this stage the heavies on either side of me were getting distinctly uncomfortable and one whispered to me to shut up.

Merv Bostock and I made a discreet departure leaving the ALP faithful with something different to talk about over the tea which  was now being carried out by a rather shattered looking Bernie Ripoll.

Port Arthur, Two Years On.

Extract from an excellent article by Peter Mackay - The Canberra Column.

The rows of cells are unroofed,
a flute for the wind's mouth,
who comes with a breath of ice
from the blue caves of the south.

-- Judith Wright, "The Old Prison"

There is a permanent chill in the air at Port Arthur. The sun shines bright as ice into the gutted interior of the Broad Arrow cafe, and the wind whines over the old stones of the prison buildings opposite.

There are spirits in this place, and a tourist need not take the nightly Ghost Tour to feel a shiver up the spine. A few minutes alone in an empty cell or head bowed before the memorial cross on the shore and the shades of the dead are uncomfortably close to the living observer.

I spent a day in Port Arthur recently, and the experience will haunt me all my life. It wasn't just the cold wind that made me button up my jacket, and seek the warmth and noise of other people.


by Dale Heslin

Extract from the above contributor's article:

Pauline Hanson is a figure of the right. Nay - the far, far right. So we are told by our left wing friends. Just what do these terms "left-wing" and "right-wing" actually mean, and where did they come from? In the post-war era western culture was sold a bill of goods. That is that it is smart and sophisticated to be left-wing, intellectually plodding and provincial to be a right-wing conservative. Right-wingers are dullards, so the story goes. This basic framework goes unchallenged - not even remarked upon - in discussions and debates on matters of politics and social philosophy. The unspoken assumption of all parties - right as well as left - is that the intellectual upperhand must inevitably abide with the left and not the right.

Patrick Stevedores up to its neck in crocodiles....

The corporate restructuring of Patrick stevedores has created a liability to the Tax Commissioner which could be in breach of laws introduced to address bottom-of-the-harbour schemes.

The money owing to sacked members of the Maritime Union of Australia, which is now being handled by an administrator, also includes tax liabilities.

A spokesman for Patrick, Mr David Reed, confirmed to the Herald that its four insolvent labour-hire companies, which are now in the hands of an administrator, owed tax on workers' entitlements, such as unpaid salary, annual leave and superannuation benefits. The liability has arisen because the four companies owe money to the sacked workers, with the exact amount to be determined by an administrator.

Mr Reed argued the amount "wouldn't be significant".

Legislation introduced by the then Treasurer, Mr Howard, to tackle the bottom-of-the-harbour tax scam says clearly that it is a criminal offence to create a structure to strip assets or income for a purpose which includes dissolving tax liabilities.

Depending on how its actions are seen, Patrick could be found to have breached the section by transferring the liability for workers' entitlements to the insolvent companies, according to senior tax sources.

Mr Frank Costigan, QC, last week raised a similarity between the Patrick restructuring and the bottom-of-the-harbour tax scams of the 1970s, but without suggesting there was any hidden tax liability or that the restructuring was designed to avoid the payment of tax.

Tax sources, however, have told anotd that the move to shift the liability to workers and the administrators may amount to a breach of the Crimes (Taxation Offences) Act 1980, which was introduced by Mr Howard following the harbour schemes.

The legislation says it is a criminal offence when "a person enters into an arrangement or transaction for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of securing, either generally or for a limited period, that a company or trustee (whether or not a party to the arrangement or transaction) will be unable, or will be likely to be unable, having regard to other debts of the company or trustee, to pay future ... tax payable by the company or trustee".

A spokesman for the administrator declined to comment yesterday on whether the Tax Office was also a creditor.

The Tax Office does not comment on individual creditors because of strict secrecy provisions in its charter.

Mr Reed stressed that while tax was owing on the workers' entitlements, the restructuring did not create any tax advantage for Patrick. He said the result was "quite the reverse" because a tax credit worth $14.8 million, accrued before the restructuring, had been written off. This was why Patrick's latest profit slumped to just $800,000.

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


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You say:

Subject: Comments on Australian News of the Day


In your news the other day, you lamented the failure of Cheryl Kernot to consult with the Australia Family Association (AFA) before launching her over 45 policies.

In The Land, a big NSW rural newspaper, of 23/4/98, there is a letter from Mr Harris of the AFA Rural Policy Committee, pointing out that their research indicates 'grave negative consequences for farmers and rural communities' if Australia signs the MAI.

A connection, perhaps?


Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another perfect day in paradise.

Have a good one.

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