Showing posts with label lobby groups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lobby groups. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Quotes of the Week



‘A progressive tax system “discriminates against Australians by income….Other forms of discrimination, such as by skin colour, race, or ethnicity, are rightly abhorred, yet the income tax system openly discriminates against people by income”’  [Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) 
quoted  by Sam Longford in Junkee, 5 June 2018]

just because he quacks like his misogynist homophobic predecessor while unequivocally cosying up to a deranged and ableist racist doesn't make him the milkshake duck of prime ministers cheesh fair go”  [Academic Ingrid Matthews on the subject of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull and the Ramsey Centre for Western Civilisation’s attempt  to fund  a BA  university course,  Twitter, 7 June 2018]

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Sometimes it is hard to believe how bone-achingly stupid governments can be…… Part One


Before the Abbott Coalition Government appointed John Lloyd Australian Public Service Commissioner in 2014 he was Director, Workplace Relations and Productivity at the far-right pressure group, the Institute for Public Affairs - so this was all but inevitable....


The Prime Minister's department has refused to release emails relating to the public service commissioner John Lloyd and a right-wing think tank, saying they could prejudice an investigation into a possible breach of the law.

Mr Lloyd has previously rejected suggestions he gave special access and research to the Institute of Public Affairs after Labor senators last year raised an email he sent to a member of the group with an attachment showing what he described as "generous" provisions in public service enterprise agreements.

A freedom of information request sought emails held by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Martin Parkinson mentioning Mr Lloyd and the IPA, and dated from October 23, after senators referred to the email in a Senate estimates hearing.

The department responded to the request last month by refusing to release two emails in Dr Parkinson's inbox, dated December 20 and December 22.

"I am satisfied that disclosure secretary Peter Rush wrote.

Releasing the documents could also "reasonably be expected to prejudice the impartial adjudication of a particular case", Mr Rush said.

One document is 30 pages long, and another is five pages.

The department and the Australian Public Service Commission have refused to answer repeated questions from Fairfax Media asking who is under investigation, who is conducting the probe, and the matters being investigated.

"The department has no comment," Prime Minister and Cabinet said in two separate statements.

The APS commission said it would not comment "on speculation about any investigation".

The issue of an investigation is still dogging John Lloyd and was addressed at a Finance And Public Administration Legislation Committee Estimates hearing on 21 May 2018, where at 1:57pm Lloyd went from professing unfamiliarity with a government act relevant to his current situation to this…….

Fairfax Media journalist tweeting about Senate Estimates hearing, 21 May 2018:

Yes, the Federal Coalition Government really opted for a member of the brains trust with  the appointment of John Lloyd.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Miranda's IPA inspired rant


This was the News Corp mouthpiece for that far-right pressure group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), Miranda Devine, in full rant (though sticking closely to IPA's wish list) and under multiple mastheads on 18 April 2018:

Malcolm Turnbull has a rare opportunity to put a stop to the Left’s long march when the Race Discrimination Commissioner’s term expires in August
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane’s term expires in August and the Turnbull government cannot afford to miss this opportunity to stake out its ground in the culture wars.

Conservatives are sick of ­Coalition governments that ­appease the Left, curl into a ball and try not to cause outrage while Labor-Green governments remake the culture in their own image.

The country always takes two steps to the Left with a Labor government and not much better than one step to the Right or even staying in place with the Coalition, which puts us on a very bad trajectory indeed…..

So government gets bigger and more intrusive, the ABC continues unimpeded, destructive quangos such as the Australian Human Rights Commission proliferate and the cancer of identity politics takes hold. Little by little, our remarkable nation is transformed, and division takes root. The self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit of Australians is sapped and the bonds of mateship are eroded.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The only way to arrest this dispiriting drift to the left is for Coalition governments to stop pretending there are no culture wars and get into the trenches and fight.

With a one-seat majority, a prime minister with fashionably progressive views and an election in the next year, we can’t expect bold actions by the Turnbull government that were beyond the Howard and Abbott governments. Such as closing down the Human Rights Commission.

But Malcolm Turnbull cannot ­afford to keep making mistakes like he did at the ABC when he appointed as chairman a man who is such a leftie he said he couldn’t see any bias.

The symbolic value cannot be over-estimated of replacing Soutphommasane with a commissioner who doesn’t want to use race to divide us.

That’s all this pesky 36-year-old French-born son of Laotian refugees has done since he was appointed to a five-year term by Kevin Rudd in 2013, a month before the Abbott government was elected. Despite the fact Australia gave Soutphommasane’s family a home, a free education at Hursltone Agricultural High and the University of Sydney, and a Commonwealth scholarship to Oxford University, he preaches that this is a racist country.

Despite the fact this is the most successful immigrant country in the world, which has mostly harmoniously absorbed as many as 200,000 new people each year from around the world, Soutphommasane tells us that the culture is toxic.

The former freelance journalist has bought the identity politics agenda, hook, line and sinker. He saw the great honours bestowed on him, such as membership of the board of the National Australia Day Council and the $340,000 gig at the Australian Human Rights Commission, as proof, not that this was a country that offered equality of opportunity to all comers, regardless of the colour of their skin. No, he saw it as more evidence of anti-white racism that needed to be set straight with social engineering.

He will never be forgiven for soliciting racial complaints against a cartoon by the late and much missed Bill Leak, whose persecution under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act only really ended with his ­untimely death last year of a heart ­attack at 61.

Soutphommasane’s latest obsession is to impose ethnic diversity quotas on corporate Australia. He declared last year that there were too many white people running Australian companies.

In his five years he has just ­libelled Australia, created race-based social divisions and helped fuel a backlash against immigration.

So it’s not good enough for the government to appoint, as is mooted, an innocuous replacement who just avoids the headlines. Restitution is needed. If we must have a racial commissioner, then let it be a clear-eyed patriot who loves this country. Warren Mundine is the best person for the job. Well-respected, brimming with common sense and optimism, he has a proven track ­record as a businessman, and as an Aboriginal and political leader. He would unite us around what’s best about Australia.

This was a restrained Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane in rebuttal the following day:




Wednesday, 11 April 2018

It seems climate change deniers may be looking to that far-right lobby group the Insitute of Public Affairs (IPA) to organise defence fund appeals in the future




For more than a decade, Ridd [Peter Vincent Ridd] has been happily criticising the science linking dangerous climate change to greenhouse gas emissions and the science showing the impacts of humans on corals.

Ridd has also repeatedly, over many years, said that the impact of agricultural runoff and water quality on the health and growth rate of corals is overstated.

But his employer, James Cook University, initiated its own action against Ridd after he had criticised specific organisations at his own university in media interviews, saying they could not be trusted. This, the university alleged, went against the university’s code of conduct.

So this is not about Ridd’s “freedom” to say what he wants but is about an alleged breach of the university’s code of conduct — whether you agree with that code or not.

When the university censured Ridd in 2016, he ignored them. He gave an interview in August 2017 to another climate science denier, Alan Jones, on Sky News. Ridd was there to talk about his chapter in a climate science denial book produced by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Ridd said 'we can no longer trust' the Government-backed Australian Institute of Marine Scienceand the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University…..

The university alleged this constituted further “serious misconduct”, so Ridd took the issue to his lawyers and a case is proceeding.

To help fund his legal bills, Ridd got some help from the IPA (a key organisation pushing climate science denial in Australia for two decades) to set up a crowdfunding campaign that raised the necessary $95,000 in just 49 hours.

The IPA’s executive director John Roskam was the first donor with $500. Other notable givers included climate science denier and blogger Anthony WattsU.S. Interior Department employee and climate science denier Indur Goklany, Perth philanthropist and IPA funder Bryant Macfie and author and political scientist Don AitkenThe Washington Post and others have also reported how Goklany has had a key role in re-writing Department of Interior climate documents.

Many of Ridd’s cheerleaders have taken his scientific claims without scepticism and have not entertained the idea that he might be wrong.

Ridd’s marine pollution?

But Ridd repeated in detail several of his criticisms in a November 2017 "viewpoint" article in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin — opening up his arguments for scrutiny.

Now, as reported in The Guardian Australia, a team of nine scientists, many based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the James Cook University centre Ridd has attacked, have issued a response through the same journal. Their assessment of Ridd’s claims is sharp.

They say Ridd’s criticisms are based on 'misinterpretation, selective use of data and over-simplification' and that they ignore 'formal responses to previously published critiques'.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Corporate tax cuts lead to 'jobs and growth' in Australia? Pull the other one!


This Business Council of Australia survey was apparently mothballed when initial results indicated that it would reveal the truth about outcomes flowing from the Turnbull Government’s planned corporate tax cuts - a distinct lack of jobs and wages growth.

Financial Review, 27 March 2018:

Fewer than one in five of Australia's leading chief executives say they will use the Turnbull government's proposed company tax cut to directly increase wages or employ more staff, according to a secret survey conducted by the Business Council of Australia.

More than 80 per cent said they would either use the proceeds to boost returns to shareholders or invest in the company.

The explosive revelation comes as the government is still struggling to secure the final two Senate votes needed to pass the remainder of the $65 billion package.
The survey follows a letter to all Senators last week by the BCA and 10 of the nation's top chief executive officers in which they pledged to reinvest the proceeds of the tax cuts with the ultimate aim of increasing wages.

"If the Senate passes this important legislation we, as some of the nation's largest employers, commit to invest more in Australia which will lead to employing more Australians and therefore stronger wage growth as the tax cut takes effect," the letter said.

But The Australian Financial Review has learned that the BCA directly surveyed the chief executives of its 130-plus members about a company tax cut this year, in the wake of the company tax rate cut in the United States.

The chief executives were asked which of four options they would nominate as their preferred response to the company tax cut in Australia.

These were: returning funds to shareholders; more investment; increasing the wages of their existing workforce; or increasing employment.

More than 80 per cent nominated one of the first two options while only 16 per cent to 17 per cent nominated higher wages or employment.

The survey results are understood to have been tightly held but were reported on internally in a memo entitled "the good news and the bad news".

A spokesman for the BCA confirmed the survey to the Financial Review on Monday but downplayed its significance…….

This lobby group has now decided that 'spin' is more important than fact and senators have all received a BCA video appeal promising well-paid and meaningful jobs and wages growth that only growing investment can deliver if the comapny tax cits are passed.

A neat trick given that its members are also arguing before the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2017-18 that the minimum wage should remain as is or only be increased by 34-35 cents an hour which represents no growth in real wages.


The vague, slyly worded non-promise to lift workers wages received by Senators



Google some of the businesses on this short list and one finds an unflattering employer history with regard to employee wages and job terms & conditions.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Employer groups put pressure on Turnbull Government to stifle union mergers


In 2017 members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) considered a proposal to amalgamate into one union or alternatively to amalgamate only the CFMEU and the MUA.

The ballot was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and results declared on 28 November 2017. There appears to have been no irregularities affecting the ballot outcome.

The Fair Work Commission handed down a decision giving effect to the CFMEU and MUA amalgamation on 27 March 2018.

Employer groups Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) are now appealing the Commission’s decision.

The Australian, 9 March 2018, p.2.

Employers have taken legal ­action to try to overturn the Fair Work Commission decision ­approving the merger of the construction and maritime unions.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association and Master Builders Australia yesterday ­appealed the decision to a ­commission full bench.

The employers are also seeking a stay of the decision, which, if granted, would mean the merger would not proceed from its scheduled date of March 27.

The AMMA and MBA say the commission decision contained errors of laws and should not have approved the amalgamation.

Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the unions would vigorously oppose the appeal and defend the rights of workers to have freedom of association.

“Our members have overwhelmingly supported this amalgamation (with the CFMEU) and it should be up to them to decide whether they merge,” he said.

Former employment minister Eric Abetz welcomed the ­appeal, saying the government should intervene in the proceedings in support of the employer application. He said the government should move urgently to pass laws subjecting union ­mergers to a public interest test.

Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy said the government would resume talks with Senate crossbenchers in a bid to win support for the bill, which has yet to be put to a vote.

AMMA is lobbying for an amendment to the bill designed to have the public interest test take affect before March 27 but Mr Laundy declined to express a view on the proposed amendment.

The Australian, 8 March 2018:

Employers have accused the Turnbull government of being missing in action after the Coalition failed to pass laws subjecting union mergers to a public interest test.

Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy said today the government would resume talks with Senate crossbenchers in a bid to win support for the bill, which has yet to be put to a Senate vote.

 “The Ensuring Integrity Bill remains a priority for the Government, but because of Labor’s opposition we need the support of the crossbench,’’ he said.

“Despite what has been said in recent days, the Government simply didn’t have the numbers to pass the Bill. I am reaching out to the crossbench to see if that has changed.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A lesson in political repression courtesy of the Turnbull Government


On 7 December 2017 the Turnbull Coalition Government introduced a bill called the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.

It is currently before the Senate and the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which reports to Parliament on 2 March 2018.

This bill purports to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: establish public registers for key non-party political actors; require non-financial particulars, such as senior staff and discretionary government benefits, to be reported; prohibit donations from foreign governments and state-owned enterprises being used to finance public debate; require wholly political actors to verify that donations over $250 come from an organisation incorporated in Australia, or with its head office or principal place of activity in Australia, or an Australian citizen or Commonwealth elector; prohibit other regulated political actors from using donations from foreign sources to fund reportable political expenditure; limit public election funding to demonstrated electoral spending; amend the enforcement and compliance regime for political finance regulation; and enable the Electoral Commissioner to prescribe certain matters by legislative instrument; and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to make consequential amendments.

The bill contains these clauses in relation to not only donations made to political parties but also to donations made to advocacy groups and charities which lobby government:

# 287AA Meaning of allowable donor

 (1) A person or entity is an allowable donor if:

(a) for an individual who makes a gift—the individual:
(i) is an elector; or
(ii) is an Australian citizen; or
(iii) is an Australian resident, unless a determination is in force under subsection

(2) determining that Australian residents are not allowable donors; or

(b) for an entity that makes a gift:
(i) the entity is incorporated in Australia; or
(ii) for an entity that is not incorporated—the entity’s head  office or principal place of activity is in Australia; or

(c) for a person or entity that is a trustee of an unincorporated trust fund or unincorporated foundation, out of which a gift is made—the person or entity is an allowable donor within the meaning of paragraph (a), (b) or (d); or

(d) the person or entity is in a class of persons or entities prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph. Australian residents 

(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(a)(iii), the Minister may, by  legislative instrument, determine that Australian residents are not allowable donors.

# 302P Information relating to allowable donor status

(1) A person (the first person) obtains appropriate donor information from another person establishing that the other person is an allowable donor if:

(a) the first person obtains a statutory declaration from the other person declaring that the other person is an allowable donor (unless subsection (2) applies); or
(b) if the regulations determine information that the first person may seek from the other person in order to establish that the other person is an allowable donor—the first person obtains 11 that information from the other person.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the regulations may (but are not required to) determine that a statutory declaration that a person is an allowable donor is not appropriate donor information.

Note: A person who obtains appropriate donor information may not commit an offence or contravene a civil penalty provision in this Division (see 17 subsection 287(9) and section 302M).

It should be noted that approved witnesses to a Commonwealth statutory declaration come from specific occupational pools and only justices of the peace are prohibited from charging a fee to act as a witness.

It should be further noted that these clauses are in addition to the bill's amending of the definition of an associated entity which GetUp! asserts threatens its independence.

GetUp! had this to say on the subject:

Our lawyers just uncovered a killer clause in the Turnbull Government's new anti-democratic legislation that would decimate GetUp's ability to fundraise.Can you dig deep to help establish a GetUp Survival War Chest -- while we still can?

If passed, this killer clause would force then anyone who contributes as little as $4.80 a week to the GetUp movement to provide a signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

The impossibility of collecting thousands upon thousands of these documents would spell the end of people-powered fundrasing as we know it.

Of course, we're going to fight tooth and nail to stop this legislation in its tracks. But to prepare for the worst, we're creating a GetUp Survival War Chest, to ensure we run can keep our campaigns thriving no matter what.

Can you dig deep now (while we still can) as an act of defiance against this effort to choke off our people powered impact?


Donations page here.

Monday, 29 January 2018

One of the IPA's unofficial attack dogs is attempting to savage the charity sector once again


The Guardian, 24 January 2018:

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has pushed for new powers to regulate charities' "effective use of resources" under its controversial new commissioner, Gary Johns.

The charities sector is up in arms over the proposal, seen as an attempt to control how charities spend their money from a commissioner who has argued that it is not appropriate for charities to fund advocacy.

In its submission to a review of charities law, the ACNC called for two new objects: to promote "the effective use of the resources of not-for-profit entities"; and to "enhance the accountability of not-for-profit entities to donors, beneficiaries and the public".

The ACNC's objects now are to maintain public trust in and the independence of the sector and to promote the reduction of "unnecessary regulatory obligations" for charities.

The commission argued the expanded scope was "appropriate" because "the maintenance and promotion of the effectiveness and sustainability of the not-for-profit sector" was already a factor the commissioner must consider when making decisions.

It said the new objects should come with additional powers, functions and resources.

The Community Council for Australia's chief executive, David Crosbie, said the proposed objectives were "incredibly disappointing" and amounted to a "bizarre overreach" from the regulator.

He said there was "no explanation" of how the ACNC would measure an "effective use of resources".

"It's not the role of a government regulator which may not agree with a particular charity's approach – it's absurd that should tell them how to use their resources," he said.

"As long as charities are meeting their statutory requirements and fulfilling their charitable purpose it is not up to the regulator."
He added: "The use of resources is best left up to charities, the communities they serve and their own governance structures."

Johns was a Labor minister under the Keating government and a former head of NGOWatch at the Institute for Public Affairs. After his appointment in December, Johns said when people gave to charities they expected that "most of [the donation] will be used for the charitable purpose … [and that] the work that is undertaken on behalf of a donor works". He promised to bring those matters "to the fore" in his work at the ACNC.

In 2014 Johns argued that the government should remove advocacy as a charitable purpose to "deny charity status to the enemies of progress", citing the fact the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland advocates against coal mining.

In his 2014 book The Charity Ball, he said advocacy was of "doubtful public benefit". He criticised larger charities "whose service delivery is heavily weighted towards advocacy, research, campaigning and lobbying", including World Vision Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Amnesty International Australia.

Crosbie said Johns' public statements demonstrated that he believed "charities should not be advocating for extra funding from government".
He suggested that advocacy for more housing for homeless people and spending on mental health services were examples of activities that could come under attack.

Crosbie, who served on the ACNC's advisory board for more than three years, said the original objects had been developed after thorough consultation and "not once" had stakeholders suggested adding the new objectives in the ACNC submission.

Labor's charities spokesman, Andrew Leigh, accused the government of an "ongoing war on charities" and said it was "worrying that the new commissioner's first actions have already put the sector offside".

Friday, 5 January 2018

Climate denialists discuss suing a company for NOT increasing pollution


There are times when one wonders just how crazy the people associated with The Heartland Institute can get – then this sentence pops up a 6-page email from the Institute’s CEO Jim Bast to its Director of Communications Jim Lakely:

sue a company for not increasing CO2 emissions, force a court to consider the evidence on CO2 benefits.

The October 2017 email exchange can be read at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4112082-Joe-Bast-Email.html

A list of people on The Heartland Institute’s mailing list who would be receiving such suggestions, courtesy of DeSmog Blog:

Heartland Institute's Climate Scientists Mailing List
Heartland Institute's Climate Economists Mailing List 

As far-right global warming denialists in the Turnbull Government tend to mimic US moves against science-based policy, I suspect that this pared-down version of the latest Heartland playlist will be used in Australia in 2018 whenever they plan strategy or are quoted in the media on the subject of climate change:

* be briefing news reporters and news readers
* simplify the issue by focusing on one or only a few arguments and images
* identify a few good spokespersons and focus on promoting them
* stop chasing the other side’s latest argument and focus instead on the benefits of CO2
* focus on the “tuning scandal” that discredits the models
* turn debate from referring to median temperatures to high temperatures, which show no trend
* find independent funding for [insert climate change denier of choice]
* respond to [insert climate report of choice]
* get good people onto EPA advisory boards
* we need to be able to say “EPA is reconsidering whether CO2 is a pollutant”
* document instances where EPA etc. fail to cite research findings that contradict their agenda
* conduct a new survey of scientists to refute the 97% consensus claims
* sue a company for not increasing CO2 emissions, force a court to consider the evidence on CO2 benefits
* read The Business of America is Lobbying to understand the tactics of those we are really up against
* never use the phrases “windmill farms,” “all of the above,” “carbon pollution,” “social cost of carbon,” or “air pollution”
* use “industrial windmills,” “reliable and affordable,” “carbon dioxide emissions,” “benefits and costs of fossil fuels,” and “air quality”
* emphasize that we are pro-science and pro-environment… and the other side is not
* always think about what is most important to your audience
* when being interviewed, deliver your headlines first, don’t let the reporter lead you astray or cut you off
* prepare to answer the “what if you are wrong?” question with “what if you are wrong? How much damage will you have caused by costing the average household $4,000 a year for nothing?”
* fundamentally challenge, reform, or replace the [insert government agency of choice], the source of much pseudoscience
* stop funding “more research”
* clearly distinguish “safe” – a policy concept – from “risk” – a scientific concept, and keep scientists from pontificating on the former and advocates from misrepresenting the latter
* doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase plant productivity by 35%.
* any SCC calculation that doesn’t include the benefits of CO2 should be rejected out of hand

Friday, 6 October 2017

National Party President Larry Anthony is not happy and neither are a good many Australian voters



On 30 September 2017 Lawrence James "Larry" Anthony (pictured above) was not happy and here’s the reason why:


The Directors of The SAS Group note reports in Fairfax newspapers today which refer to our firm.  The SAS Group prides itself on achieving outstanding results for our clients.  That has been our track record since our inception almost a decade ago, and we make no apology for the fact that we give our clients the best advice and guidance to help them achieve their business goals.

At all times we operate in accordance with the Federal lobbying laws and code of conduct, and we will always do so. We note that the Fairfax journalist has made no allegation of impropriety, and was not able, when asked, to point to any breach of the relevant code.

We are unbothered by the baseless implications upon which the news story is founded.  However, we are deeply offended that our hard-working staff and consultants should have their achievements debased in this way.

The SAS Group has risen to be one of Australia’s leading strategic communications consultancies because our consultants have a breadth of experience in media, government and a range of industry sectors.  We value the outcomes achieved by our personnel, and we – and our clients – understand that the firm’s success is derived not from the standing of one director, but from the efforts of our entire team.

The media report in question can be found in The Sydney Morning Herald of the same day, Nationals Interest: Larry Anthony, the party president who runs a lobbying firm.

On 30 September 2017 thousands of voters across Australia were also not happy and here’s their reasons why:

The Catholic Leader, 27 September 2017:

THE plan to rollout cashless welfare cards to thousands of residents on the dole in Hervey Bay-Bundaberg has sparked a fierce backlash from opponents claiming the cards will cause social segregation, stigmatise job seekers and entrench poverty.

“The people of the Hinkler region (Hervey Bay-Bundaberg) are feeling threatened, scared and worried for their financial futures and inclusion in our communities,” Hervey Bay’s Kathryn Wilkes, who has launched an online petition opposing introduction of the Federal Government scheme early next year, said.

The scheme is based on a suggestion by Western Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, that 80 per cent of welfare payments be cashless and only available via an electronic debit card that cannot be used for alcohol or gambling.

“The insults that we cannot manage our funds, that we are all drunks, druggies and pedos are unjust and not true,” Ms Wilkes said.

“The cashless welfare debit card will completely destroy people on so many levels and we don’t have the mental health services to cope with the loss of self and autonomy.

“The card does not care what colour your skin is, your religion, or your circumstance; it is about profits for private business.”

The Guardian, 18 September 2017:

A new research paper has issued a damning assessment of the quality of the report the Turnbull government has been using to promote its cashless welfare card trials, saying the report shows the program is not working.

Janet Hunt, the deputy director of the centre for Aboriginal economic policy research at the Australian National University, says the government has ignored serious flaws in the Orima Research report, which it released this month.

She said the report showed the government’s cashless card trials had not actually improved safety and violence figures in the two trial sites in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, despite that being the point of the card.

Her findings support the work of social researcher Eva Cox, who has already found significant problems with the design of the report, including the way interviews were conducted in Indigenous communities and the ethics of the process.

“Indeed, the authors qualify a number of their apparently positive findings with various caveats, but, at the same time, the evaluation itself has serious flaws, so even these findings are contestable,” Hunt says in her report, The Cashless Debit Card Evaluation: Does it Really Prove Success?

ABC News, 14 September 2017:

A researcher studying the impact of the cashless welfare card has linked the Federal Government's welfare program to the issue of youth suicides in the Kimberley.

Coroner Ros Fogliani is examining the suicides of 13 children and young adults in the Kimberley, and is this week hearing testimony in the town of Kununurra.

Among those to give evidence was Melbourne University researcher Elise Klein, who is midway through a study on the effects of the implementation of the cashless welfare initiative in Ceduna and the west Kimberley.

All of the suicides being examined in the inquest took place before the cashless welfare card trial began in the East Kimberley in April 2016.

But Dr Klein argued the program would add to the disempowerment felt by Aboriginal people in the region.

"It has become a symbol of not having control over one's life and of state intervention over people's lives," she said.

Questioned on her findings so far, Dr Klein said local people and the community as a whole felt weakened by being subjected to the mandatory spending restrictions.

"Maybe the relevance to this inquest is that the kind of atmosphere that this feeds into is extremely disempowering for people.

Dr Klein was scathing of the implementation of the cashless card program, saying there was no proper consultation in Kununurra or Wyndham, and inadequate explanation as to how it worked.

"People were given a manual, that was full of technical language that was difficult to understand, so people had a lot of difficulty using the card," she said.

"When the trial began there was a fair amount of chaos.

"People were directed to a mobile app to check their balance, but some people didn't know how to use the internet, never mind have a mobile phone."

What connects all this unhappiness? Well it’s the SAS Consulting Group of which Larry Anthony is a founding director and part owner through Illalangi Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Anthony Family Trust and Indue Limited a financial services corporation established in 1999.

Anthony is listed as an owner, as well as a contact person for and employee of the SAS Consulting Group on the current NSW Register of Third-Party Lobbyists.

In my opinion this is a blatant work-around of the Australian Government Lobbying Code of Conduct at s8 & s10, because the NSW Lobbying of Government Officials (Lobbyists Code of Conduct) Regulation 2014 allows for more wriggle room.

From 17 February 2005 to 30 October 2013 Larry Anthony sat on the Indue board as a director and, for much of that period he was also Senior Vice President Australia of the National Party.

The Australian Government Register of Lobbyists shows that Indue Limited is one of the 19 clients on whose behalf SAS Consulting lobbies. Indue has been reportedly a client since mid-2014.

Indue Limited has the federal government contract to supply the cashless debit card and associated financial/banking services.

All welfare recipients, excepting age pensioners, have been placed on the cashless debit card in Ceduna SA, Kununurra and Wydham WA.

By January 2018 it is expected that all welfare recipients under 35 years of age who receive unemployment or single parent benefits and live in Goldfields WA or Hervey Bay Qld will also be placed on this income management scheme.

It is likely that within the next five years an est. 24,633 people on Centrelink income management as of 25 March 2016 will also be transferred onto the cashless debit card program.

Larry Anthony can expect to see more media articles in the future which make him uncomfortable, now his relationship with Indue Limited has begun to be scrutinised.

BRIEF BACKGROUND

SAS Consulting Group Pty Ltd talks up Larry Anthony:

Larry has had a distinguished career in both business and politics and is the current President of the National Party, one half of the ruling Coalition Government. 

He is the founding Director of the SAS Group and prior to his current commercial career was a former member of the Australian Parliament and served between 1996- 2004 in the Howard Government. During this period, he held numerous Ministries:  Children and Youth Affairs, Minister for Community Services and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade.  Larry also served on House of Representatives' Standing Committees on Financial Institutions; Public Administration; and Corporations and Securities. 

Larry was the longest serving Minister responsible for Centrelink with an annual budget of over $60 billion and is widely regarded for his achievements in social policy reforms.  In trade, he was responsible for driving export market development programs. 

Larry is the third-generation Anthony family member in the Australian Parliament - the only family in Australian history where each elected member served as Minister of the Crown and collectively served 56 years in the Australian Parliament.

Prior to entering Parliament, Larry was a stockbroker and investment banker with Potter Warburg and Merrill Lynch.

Larry is a professional company director with a keen interest in information technology, finance, media and human services sector.

As Minister for Community Services in 2000 Anthony introduced a Centrelink pilot data matching program which compared data held on welfare recipients with data held by the Australia Taxation Office and the Australian Investment & Securities Commission.

Larry Anthony held the seat of Richmond for the National Party for over eight years and lost it at the federal election on 9 October 2004.

Anthony became National President of the National Party in September 2015.

Larry Anthony's professional profile.

Indue Limited on North Coast Voices at http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/search?q=indue

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