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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
by Jeremy Lee
It said: "ESTES PARK, Colorado
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 ....
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.
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
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
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
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 ABORIGINESWith 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
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
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. . ."
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
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 FUNDNow 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
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.
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.
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.
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 ...."
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.
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.
QUEENSLAND'S CULTURAL HERITAGE BILL
from Senator Len Harris
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.
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