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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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16 June 2000. Thought for the Week: "This departure from the Christian conceptions would be less serious if Christians were less confused about it. The prevailing idea of justice has become comparative; a matter of 'fairness' in the distribution of rewards and punishments between classes or individuals, rather than that which is based upon Natural Law and the sanctity of agreement between free and responsible men.
So much has been heard . . . of the principle of 'no taxation without representation' that we are in danger of forgetting that representation is a secondary thing . . . Consent is the fundamental thing, and it is the implications of consent to taxation which seem to be insufficiently appreciated."
"The Just Tax" by Geoffrey Dobbs, 1964

DEBT-FOR-EQUITY-SWAPS

by Jeremy Lee
Those who can recall the gathering politicisation of the conservation movement at the end of the '80s will remember the first mention of the idea of "debt-for-equity-swaps". The theme was set out in an article in The Chicago Tribune (20/9/1987) in an article headed BANKS STRIKE DEAL WITH CONSERVATIONISTS.

It said: "ESTES PARK, Colorado
At the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park last week, some of the world's most powerful bankers advanced a bold new strategy for dealing with environmental degradation in the Third World. Their plan is to use the immense debts owed by many impoverished countries to pressure them into taking steps to conserve their threatened environments .... Dubbed a "debt-for-nature-swap"' the plan calls for outside forces to pay off parts of a targeted country's outstanding debts in exchange for concessions to protect natural regions. The proposal was advanced last week to a largely enthralled audience of diplomats, scientists and conservationists from 52 countries at an 8-day series of presentations .... The 4th World Wilderness Conference .... Congress meetings are held every four years in different countries to allow UN officials and a number of major conservation groups to discuss urgent environmental issues.

Among those at the Colorado Conference backing the new approach to Third World ecology were David Rockefeller of the Chase Manhattan Bank and Edmund de Rothschild of the European banking empire ....
At sessions attended by Rockefeller, Rothschild and other major world figures (Canadian banker) Michael Sweatman advocated setting up a 'World Conservation Bank' to make such deals .... But many of the Estes Park participants, with equal fervour, laid much of the blame for the current crisis at the feet of these self-same bankers, whose loans have financed so many of the disastrous development projects .... While many at the conference seemed enthralled by the smooth presentations from Sweatman, Rockefeller and Rothschild, others were sceptical and noted that it was bankers like them who did so much to cause the very problems they now want to solve.
At one session, Dr. Raymond Dasmann, of the University of California at Santa Cruz, told Sweatman and an audience of several hundred, 'Beware of bankers bearing gifts' ...."

One of the official hosts at the Fourth World Wilderness Conference, Mr. George Hunt of Boulder Colorado, issued his own report, warning of the proposed formation of a World Conservation Bank, capitalised with trillions of dollars. Much of the proposal was contained in the innocent-sounding REPORT OF THE WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT.
Now a press statement issued by Queensland Senator Len Harris (One Nation) warns of the latest developments.

He says: "The cat is out of the world heritage bag - here comes the World Bank's debt swap for our so-called World Heritage areas. These vast tracts of North Queensland are in the process of being officially valued by none other than the chairman of the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Tor Hundloe in conjunction with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. "

Also an economist, Mr. Hundloe published his comments in the Courier-Mail in April giving yet the strongest signs of the World Bank utilising our natural resources to help pay off our staggering $200 billion overseas debt.
"Entry fees are being proposed for visitors to areas defined as World Heritage or of high conservation and cultural heritage value.
Mr. Hundloe said the World Bank has prepared a report entitled 'Expanding the Measure of Wealth' analysing the dollar-value of agricultural land, pastoral land, forests, national parks, metals and minerals, coal, oil and natural gas. All of these commodities represent the basis of Australia's natural wealth ...."

Senator Harris's allegations deserve attention. A series of blunt, direct questions should be directed to all Coalition members. The National Party particularly (if there is any life left) should be speaking out against the obvious bastardisation being directed to Australia's remaining family farms. A host of draconian conservation measures are making life impossible for farmers. In Queensland - although it is impossible to get hold of the draft legislation - farmers are likely to have large parts of their farms 'neutralised" when areas 50 metres either sides of creeks, rivers and water-courses are declared environmental areas.

Legislation regarding water commodification is equally dangerous.


ABORIGINAL ISSUES HOTTING UP

A former Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Peter Howson, has written some urgently-needed common sense (The Australian, 24/5/2000). Pointing out that 70 per cent of Aborigines now live in urban communities, and that 64 per cent are married (de facto or de jure) to non-aboriginal spouses.
Howson said of the small remainder living in non-urban areas: "The traditional communities have land, but they have effectively become economic and cultural prisons where the residents are almost totally dependent on the dead-end of social welfare. Tragically, within those communities there is virtually no civil society as it exists elsewhere. As a matter of urgency, that must be restored by proper policing and education ..."

Speaking of the 'beat-up' surrounding the so-called Stolen Generation, Howson said: " ....The conclusion of Ronald Wilson (a former High Court judge - ed.) in his Bringing Them Home report that between one-tenth and one-third of Aboriginal children were 'stolen' has lost all credibility in the light of evidence in test cases in N.S.W. and the Northern Territory.
Wilson's claim that the removal of mixed-blood children constituted 'genocide' is absurd. However, that has attracted the attention of the U.N. committee that investigates racial discrimination. Indeed, an international journal has already published an article highlighting the resulting potential for Australia to be hounded as the world's next pariah ...."

All of which bears out Ivor Benson's warning that, after the destruction of Rhodesia and South Africa, the multinational guns would be aimed at Australia.


THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND ABORIGINES

With the Olympics almost on us, the international media is now producing a spate of articles on Australia's Aborigines, many factually erroneous. Dennis Shanahan (The Weekend Australian, 22-23/5/00), gave some examples. An article in The International Herald Tribune, distributed in Europe and parts of Asia,
" ....included claims that 100,000 children of the stolen generation had been put into institutions where they were sexually abused and maltreated by priests and nuns ..... Charles Perkins outburst about burning cars at the Olympics as part of Aboriginal protests were quoted at length. It is clear that those claims have well and truly entered the international journalistic lexicon and will be used time and time again .... The wave of publicity has not peaked - that will happen when more than 3,500 journalists and photographers arrive in Sydney for the Olympics .... This, of course, will not prevent the rest of the world from using facts, half-facts, innuendo and downright smear to blacken Australia's name as a tolerant society....."

TOWARDS A NATIONAL AGENDA

by Betty Luks
In November 1988 I attended a "One Day Workshop" convened by the office of Multicultural Affairs (O.M.A.). The title given for the workshop was "Towards a National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia". All discussion was based on the policy of a "multicultural Australia" and centred on the question of how to impose it on the Australian people - the E.S.B. ones ("English speaking background" ones).

Legislation must originate from the Commonwealth because the Commonwealth Government had the lever (power) to force change through its control of the national pursestrings and tied grants. Local Government got a mention; it was believed not enough attention had been given to this arm of government and as tied grants were paid to Local Governments it was essential specific, task designated "agents of change" kept check on them to ensure the "tied grants" were used for the specific policy intended.
The Auditor General's Department was to check on this - this process is called "mainstreaming". The "agents of change" were to monitor the "outcome" and "Multicultural Australia" was about institutional change.

As I travel around Queensland I can see very clearly that this "process of change" is well entrenched within Local Government structures. The "agents of change" are setting up "networks" right around Australia - even to small communities in remote places. Local Government councillors and staff are sent on "junket" "training programmes" where such people as Noel Pearson, Aboriginal activist, are the keynote speakers. What the indoctrinated take in is then brought back to the local community and implemented.

"Nebo News", a Local Government newsletter, wrote of the "Positive Rural Futures Conference held in Cooktown, Qld., where Noel Pearson in his keynote address said, "Reconciliation is for everyone, it is not just black and white, it is multicultural. . ."
"Working in partnership" was the other key word of the conference and a David Wilson, International speaker, spoke on Heritage and Cultural Development.

The "agents of change" are receiving their training and we can expect to see the process of networking and mainstreaming more clearly as time goes on.


Opinion - THE WOMEN VERSUS THE WIMMIN IN NEW YORK

by Antonia Feitz
Some 10,000 women from 189 countries are meeting in New York this week for a special U.N. session to evaluate progress in women's affairs after the 1995 big (and expensive) gabfest in Beijing. As usual, this expensive gabfest has little to do with women's rights or equality and everything to do with furthering the feminist and homosexual agendas.

The delegates have split into two camps. On one side is the Group of 77 representing a U.N. voting bloc of 138 developing nations in Latin America, Africa, China and the Middle East. Opposing them are the developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.S., and the E.U.

And the reason for the split? Far from even pretending to work towards advancing the status of and opportunities for women in the poorer countries, the rich countries are obsessed with gender politics. They're demanding that men and women share equally in household responsibilities, for Pete's sake. This is an area where no government, let alone the U.N., should have any say. But worse, the decadent rich countries are demanding sexual 'rights' for minors including private and confidential sexual and reproductive information, counselling and services - i.e. contraception and abortion - through national policies and programmes.

The U.S. is challenging the G-77 group's insistence that any such programmes should be subject to national sovereignty allowing countries with traditional cultures to pass, thanks all the same. The G-77 have also shocked the rich countries by calling on world governments to "promote responsible sexual behaviour, including abstinence" (Washington Post, 5/6/2000). In response, the developed group's delegates want the U.N. report to "intensify research on . . . microbicides and vaccines . . ., provide access to adequate and affordable treatment and care for people with sexually transmitted diseases, H.I.V. ..."

Aren't feminists pathetic. If they didn't champion promiscuity in the first place they wouldn't waste such time, effort and money on researching and treating venereal diseases. What an insult such U.N. reports are to the chaste people of the world. How grotesque that they focus on sexual 'rights' instead of such necessities as education and employment opportunities. Or even clean water.


BASIC FUND

Now is an opportune time for those supporters who have perhaps held off contributing to the Basic Fund to send in their donation, however small, as the goal of $60,000:00 is clearly in sight. The response to our call for help with the last "push" to achieve our target has brought the fund to $56,869:15, less than $4,000:00 from "home"!

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

West Australia's State Weekend: Saturday/Sunday, August 5th-6th.

South Australia's State Weekend: Saturday/Sunday, August 19th-20th.

Betty Luks' Queensland Tour: Townsville - Thursday, June 15th. Phone (07) 4773 5186 Ingham - Friday, June 16th ) Cairns - Saturday, June 17th ) Phone (07) 4056 3839 Port Douglas - Sunday, June 18th ) Gladstone Area - Friday, June 23rd. Contact Ted Patterson, Phone (02) 6674 0193


NATIONAL MOOD BEGINNING TO SWING

by Jeremy Lee
Over 1,500 people packed into Brisbane's City Hall on the evening of June 6th to hear businessman and explorer Dick Smith deliver a passionate address on the plight of Australia's industries. Sharing the platform with Dick Smith were John Pym, producer of the well-known Ausbuy Guide, and Jeff Antcliff, a supermarket-owner who has started an Australian-made identification technique already adopted by over 1,000 stores.

People who had come hundreds of miles, from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Brisbane's hinterland packed into City Hall, where Dick Smith " .... told the crowd that globalisation had gone too far. He said a recent retail conference in England predicted that within five years there would only be four major retailers left in the world ...."We need to protect our Australian companies and start buying them back to give our economy back its balance. Every Australian can make a huge difference by buying Australian-made products by Australian-owned companies ...." (Courier-Mail, 7/6/2000).

Remarkably, the audience was largely composed of young people, heralding a major shift of concern in the Australian community. The Ausbuy Save Australia Campaign has built a significant threshold in Queensland, with consumers joining in thousands. Housewives are committing themselves to spend $50 of their weekly household budgets on Australian-owned-and-made products, and are demanding at stores and supermarkets that these items be prominently displayed.

Supermarket owner Jeff Antcliff, from Caboolture, has set a trend with a small, yellow ticket displaying a map of Australia and the message that buying the item will create Australian jobs. More than 1,000 stores have followed his example - a number growing by the week. The campaign is spread by a number of individual promoters, using a very effective slide-programme, explaining in easy-to-understand terms such things as loss of Australian ownership, our Current-Account-Deficit and what people can do to change things. With Queensland support beginning to swell organically, the project is looking to move interstate.


LAST WORDS ON THE G.S.T.

A major review of the whole, sorry G.S.T. saga in Australia, under the heading THIS IS A DISASTROUS CHAIN OF G.S.T. EVENTS appeared in The Australian Financial Review (6/6/2000), written by Alan Kohler. Included in his remarks were these extracts: "Australia's 30-year obsession with tax reform reaches its climax in three weeks; for the Coalition it is beginning to look like a train crash.
It is 27 years since the Asprey Committee first recommended a broad-based consumption tax to replace wholesale sales taxes, 15 years since Treasury's first attempt to have the idea implemented was defeated at the 1985 Tax Summit, and seven years since the second defeat at the 1993 election ....This time round Ted Evans and his latest Treasurer, Peter Costello, have been consistently backed by a succession of powerful corporate leaders. It was Graeme Samuel, then president of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who started the tax reform ball rolling again in 1996 and the Business Council has kept it going ever since.
But Evans and Costello have overplayed the hand Howard gave them in 1997. Once again the Coalition couldn't keep the idea simple. ..... the benefits of the package have been absurdly oversold with the 'Unchain My Heart' advertisements. The result is a deadly mixture of confusion and cynicism.......
Governments generally lose elections after imposing a tax on consumption. The only weapons against that pattern are time and simplicity: make the thing as uncomplicated as possible and then put off any election for as long as possible afterwards ..... survival, you would have to say, is what it is all about now for the Government ...."

A small shopkeeper in Brisbane has collected 186,000 signatures against the G.S.T. The pensioners, we understand, have collected 40,000. Other collectors have picked up as many as 200,000 between them. There has probably never been such a huge, unreported swell of opposition from Australians. The reaction after the tax has come in will be much larger.

The Howard Government has asked for everything it is going to get. An accompanying article in the same paper (Heading: G.S.T. PANIC PUTS ACCOUNTANTS UNDER STRESS) added the following: "Only four weeks to go and the G.S.T. will be upon us. Accounting firms are being knocked over in the stampede as businesses get the G.S.T. jitters. As one accountant said: 'In the last two weeks, clients and non-clients have been telephoning our office in a mad panic, to see if they even need an A.B.N. - having watched the G.S.T. commercials on T.V. Most have done little to educate themselves.
To add to the problems, the Australian Taxation Office is understaffed and still learning about the G.S.T. themselves'...."

There followed lengthy details of the huge pressure on accountants, many of whom had been forced to postpone the normal processing of tax returns so that they could deal with G.S.T. work. A two-week extension by the A.T.O. on the date to lodge returns was not nearly enough, accountants were saying. Simple!


THE GROWING CRISIS ROUND AUSTRALIA

The latest coup in the Solomon re-enforces the urgent need for Australia to upgrade its defence and foreign policies. Both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are degenerating into a state of lawlessness and financial crisis with the gravest consequences for an unprepared Australia. It now transpires that Australia had months of warning about the Solomons crisis, and was asked to send police to restore law and order before the coup occurred. Australia refused to send police, but offered to pay for police from other countries.

Former Fiji prime minister Rambuka, who was invited to broker a peace agreement in the Solomons, was forced to return to his own country after the Speight coup. Australia's north, east and west spheres are going up in smoke. Africa is in carnage. Mugabe's persecution of white farmers has already produced 'copycat' reactions in other countries - notably Kenya, where the re-emergence of the Mau Mau, now 300,000 strong, has prompted one government spokesman to say that white farms would also be repossessed. The Horn of Africa is a ghastly mixture of war and starvation.
The Sierra Leone conflict in West Africa has seen the United Nations "peace-keeping" force out of its depth, with the strong possibility that the Sandline mercenary organisation be asked to step in. Currently, British troops are trying to release U.N. hostages and restore law and order.

Continued heavy fighting in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) between the government and the Tamil Tigers bodes ill for the future of the island, with the possibility of a future mass of refugees - as is the case in Fiji and the Solomons. Immediately to Australia's north is the question of West Papua, currently held tenuously by Indonesia - where a week-long congress attended by 2,700 delegates in Jayapura in the first days of this month, declared themselves "independent". Their case would seem just as strong as that of East Timor.

Formerly a Dutch colony, West Papua was only entrenched into Indonesia in 1969, against the apparent wishes of many of its people. The former Dutch New Guinea declared itself independent in 1961, and the Indonesian takeover in 1969, with U.N. blessing, occurred in an "act of free choice", which many West Papuans say was stage-managed. Indonesia, with its 17,000-island archipelago and its 211 million people - 90 per cent of whom are Muslim - is on the edge of a further slide into chaos. A major earthquake in the island of Sumatra at the beginning of June hasn't helped.

Indonesia's financial crisis has again worsened dramatically. Its leaders recently considered following Malaysia's lead in introducing capital controls - the logical step - but a visit by I.M.F. managing director Horst Koehler resulted in President Wahid dropping the capital-control proposal. The Indonesian Rupiah dropped sharply, currently standing at 8,490 to the $U.S. It is clear that with many of its islands in conflict, Indonesia is almost totally dependent on "aid-packages" from the I.M.F., and cannot make policy on its own. The fact that Henry Kissinger is now the official policy adviser to Indonesia gives some idea of the plight of that nation. Mr. Koehler said capital controls would deter foreign investors.

The Australian Financial Review (6/6/2000) added: " .... Mr. Koehler ... said there was an urgent need for Indonesia to speed up the sale of the assets of its failed bank system to speed economic recovery.. These assets, which have a book value of around $A150 billion, are held by the Government's Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, and most are non-productive until they are sold at a discount to buyers who will recapitalise them ...."
What buyers? It wouldn't take much of a guess to reply "Kissinger's mates".

The planned destruction of Indonesia, and the multinational takeover of its assets is on the drawing-board. The consequences in human terms are of little account to the acquisitors. The Solomons' crisis has been simmering for months, with over 50 dead and 10,000 fleeing from Guadalcanal after the militia expelled them at gun-point last year. The Solomons has about 1,000 islands of its own. On May 5th, Australian Labor front-bencher Duncan Kerr, after a visit, wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer warning of the dangers if Australia didn't make some effort to restore law and order in the Solomons.
The Department of Foreign Affairs - one of the most complacent and incompetent in Canberra - did nothing.

With such events all round us, Australia should be urgently upgrading its defences, and toughening up on its refugee policies in anticipation of a vastly-increased refugee crisis likely to break in coming months. But defence experts are warning of our complete unpreparedness. We have, apparently, not learned the lessons of East Timor.

How could an upgrade of our defence system be financed? Only by the release of the nation's credit, as we did in two World Wars. But that doesn't suit the private cartel that has 'privatised' the debt-bankrolling of the globe. Fear of standing up to this cartel by Australia's leaders is the greatest betrayal of all. Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander 'Eiderdown' and Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock may be "jolly nice chaps" with the best intentions - but resolution and statesmanship are not included among their qualities.
Oh, well! On with the foreign-owned-and-controlled Olympic Games, and the totally-phoney reconciliation walks!


QUEENSLAND'S CULTURAL HERITAGE BILL

from Senator Len Harris
The introduction of the Queensland Government's new Cultural Heritage Bill would most likely be "purely coincidental" if one was to ask the Premier, Mr. Beattie. Labor's Bill provides for fines of $3,750 for farmers or miners or anyone else for that matter who may stumble upon an aboriginal art site or any artefact on freehold or leasehold land and not report its existence and location to the department. This Bill has been widely condemned by landholders and aborigines alike. The former because it removes the last remaining right of secure tenure placing it in the hands of a "dispute tribunal" and the latter because the Bill doesn't immediately hand over ownership of private land to aboriginal groups.

Ten years ago former Queensland corruption inquiry head, Tony Fitzgerald, was appointed as head of an inquiry into the future use of Fraser Island. For nearly a century responsible logging and mining practices had kept the local economy afloat providing quality building timber and high-value minerals from sand mining. This harvesting of natural resources had left the island's ecology and economy in such good shape it was readily accepted as a world heritage area. These commodities are now being imported at great cost to ordinary Australians.

Tor Hundloe (Chairman, Wet Tropics Management Authority) was involved in the controversial listing, at the time preparing a valuation of the island's natural resources. Today he confirms it was listed because of its "large dollar value as a protected area". World Bank intervention in management and debt-collection of Australian assets should sound the alarm bells for farmers and miners alike. The innkeeper has come for the room key.
For more information contact Senator Harris on (07) 4092 3194 or 0409 268 150.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159