Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Meet the new 'welfare bashers' on the block

North Coast Voices readers who follow Twitter may have noticed the account @creatingparity which is pushing the idea of a national Cashless Debit Card (CDC) for welfare recipients which will severely restrict an individual's choice in how they bank and spend any fortnightly/periodic payment or lump sum – only allowing access to an inadequate amount of cash in hand for bus, rail, taxi  fares and purchases from stores/businesses which don't accept debit cards outright or only accept cards if their own minimum purchase price is reached.

Creating Parity

On 4 May 2017 Whois listed Neil Pope as the registrant contact person of creatingparity.org.au. Mr. Pope is Technology Manager at the Minderoo Foundation.

Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd (formerly known as the Australian Children's Trust Pty Ltd) is a 15 year-old WA-based corporation purporting to benefit "The general Australian public" which is run by The Trustee for The Minderoo Foundation Trust (service address swells@minderoo.com.au) with the following people at the helm:

Nicola Forrest BA Chief Executive Officer
Grace Forrest BA Director
Herbert Elliott AC MBE Director
Tony Grist BCOM, FINSIA, AICD Director
The Honourable Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC (millionaire former Governor of Western Australia)
Tonya McCusker Alternate Director
Allan Myers AO QC Director

In 2016 financial year it declared Total Comprehensive Income of $15.353 million and spent a total of $19,356,519 on projects and partnerships with Arts, Culture & Community, Forrest Research Foundation, GenerationOne, Thrive by Five and Walk Free.

Minderoo is Forrest's go to name when forming corporations and at last count he had at least fourteen active corporations and business names registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission which included that word. 

So why is this self-styled philanthropic organisation on Twitter indulging in the favourite far-right pastime of 'welfare bashing':

Creating Parity‏ @creatingparity  11:52 AM 4 May 2017
The CDC tackles the problem that current welfare policies are a systemic enabler of illicit drug use, alcohol abuse and free-range gambling.

@creatingparity also promotes www.cashlessdebitcard.org.au - a website created by the Minderoo Foundation as a propaganda vehicle for introduction of the cashless debit card.

So who is silvertail grazier and mining billionaire John Andrew Henry Forrest and why is he insisting that his grand plan to control the banking options and spending practices of literally millions of Australian citizens is one that the nation needs to have imposed on it by the federal government – and why is it this aim needs to be helped along by a privately funded, misleading advertising campaign?

Well, Wikipedia has a highly sanitized version of his life at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Forrest and the unauthorised biography Twiggy: The High-Stakes Life of Andrew Forrest apparently expands on his exploits – including allegedly using complex dealings with a charity he founded and controlled to reduce his tax liabilities.

However, the bottom line is that Non-Executive Chair of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and principal shareholder Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest is an extremely rich, privately educated, professed Christian with pronounced paternalistic tendencies and a strong sense of entitlement, who apparently believes the poor and vulnerable are a class of moral degenerates incapable of functioning without lifelong, punitive governmental control.

And his bully boy mission in life is to make sure that control is imposed.

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