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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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On Target

3 March 2000. Thought for the Week: "Modern rationalists contend that government has the right to decide economic or social programmes. Policies are adopted and laws framed to collectivise all effort towards the consummation of such centrally-devised objectives. Thus the true place for government is perverted by the belief it has been elected to direct rather than serve. It will brook no dissent. The path to dictatorship has been set.
The government for a free society is a servant. Its members are elected to serve the people by representation. A balanced trinity of interests is clear - God, government and the elector. A perfect balance is essential if unity of purpose is to be achieved. Should any be elevated to a position of monopoly, the trinity is shattered and with it God's relationship to men."
"Trinitarianism: the Threefold Substance of Reality" by Edward Rock

GST BUSHFIRE GATHERS FORCE

by Jeremy Lee
Normal life in Australia switches off from hundreds of day-to-day issues of importance. The sheer weight and complexity of government prompts Australians to take more interest in cricket scores, where statistics on the score-board are more reliable than those from politicians. Occasionally something comes along of such moment that the community is galvanized. The ID Card was one. At such moments politicians are appalled at the public reaction, and attempt to distance themselves from the object of fury. The approaching GST is without doubt another.

The public anger is sweeping through Australia, and takes some keeping up with. These rare events have what Douglas called "steam". Media commentators and politicians alike are seen to have entirely misjudged the mood in the electorate, and end up with egg all over the place. Take Paul Kelly, writing in The Weekend Australian (18-19/2/2000). This was his description of the Australian economy:
"... We enjoy our strongest economic expansion of the century. Our Reserve Bank governor, Ian MacFarlane, says that the 1990s growth has run for nearly nine full years and our average gross domestic product growth rate in this period has been 4.1 percent as opposed to 3.6 percent in the US. We have outpaced the US miracle. Yet any visitor touched by the media-driven political debate in the past few weeks would conclude only that Australia is in the depths of a national crisis. This crisis lies in our own heads and hearts. The 1990s have delivered a prosperity and peace rare in our history ...."

Kelly has only been able to reach such conclusions by avoiding other areas of "growth" - our foreign debt, our tax-levels, our loss of Australian-owned production enterprises, our highly-dangerous levels of foreign ownership, our cynicism and distrust of our political representatives, our levels of poverty and homelessness, etc.

Later in his article Kelly was forced to concede: "Polls show upwards of two-thirds of Australians either oppose the GST reform or think they will be worse off. But most people will be better off .... So why do two-thirds of Australians disagree with Kelly? He provides the answer: " ...Howard's economic policies - tax reform, industrial reform and privatisation - are designed to reap the benefits of globalisation. Yet his populist rhetoric largely confirms the world view of the talkback jocks that globalisation is an evil ...."

Another journalist, George Megalogenis, writing in The Australian (23/2/2000), condemned Howard for not doing the job properly: ".... Neither Howard's half-baked GST, nor Beazley's genetically-modified alternative will generate enough money to pay the nation's bills. Therefore neither package can be considered tax reform in the truest sense of the word ..... It's like the US soldier who torched the village in Vietnam in order to save it for democracy. The Government and Opposition preach tax reform, but they practice tax rip-off ... When the people and/or their respective parties finally give Howard and Beazley their marching orders, the tax system will still be crying out for reform."


WHAT DO THE POLLS SAY?

Two polls within a week of each other show the majority of the Australian people opposed to the GST. On 16/2/2000 The Age (Melbourne) included the following in its front-page article: " .... On the GST Mr. Howard faced a barrage of questions from nervous backbenchers in the party room after the release of an Age Poll showing that 60 percent of Australians opposed the new tax, that Labor held a 10 percentage-point lead over the Government in two-party preferred terms, and that Mr. Howard's approval rating had plunged by 15 points. Mr. Howard said the Government faced a 'challenging' time, especially in the lead-up to the 1 July start of the GST. ... But because an election was 18 months away, it was crucial not to cave in to scare campaigns and allow more tax exemptions..."

One week later, again in its front-page leading article, The Australian (23/2/00), under the heading VOTERS GROW TO FEAR GST said:" ....A majority of Australians - 56 percent - still oppose the GST and more than four in five believe it will make their lives worse ..."

It is a safe prediction that hostility to the GST will escalate rapidly between now and July, and that the Howard government will face an informed and implacable opposition from the Australian people that will certainly not be assuaged in the 18 months until the next election.


CAN YOU HEAR THE JACK-BOOTS?

It is already expected that the mass of new laws round the GST will create new crimes that didn't exist before. A chilling article in The Australian Financial Review (21/2/00) had this to say: "The Australian Taxation Office is recruiting 100 specialist staff to work in its new GST fraud prevention and control unit .... If overseas experience is anything to go by, the tax office will start seeing serious cases of fraud soon after the GST's introduction. Canada, for example, introduced GST in 1991 but was forced to expand the GST fraud unit in 1993 after an upsurge of cases. "In that year, Ms. Lori Kunimoto moved from Revenue Canada's audit department to GST and income tax fraud investigations. Ms. Kunimoto is considering moving to Australia in response to an advertisement for GST experts that was placed in the Canadian press by recruitment firm Robert Half. Ms. Kunimoto was one of 2,000 people who responded to the advertisement ...."

All we need now are new detention centres - alongside Port Hedland and Woomera - for Australian GST fraud perpetrators, routed into the open by the no-doubt formidable Ms. Kunimoto and her foreign-recruited fraud squad!


WHERE HAS AUSTRALIA'S CLOTHING AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY GONE?

For the first time, clothing and textile's have become Fiji's biggest export-earner, eclipsing sugar for the first time. Ten years ago the industry didn't exist. Christopher Dore, writing in The Weekend Australian (18-19/2/2000), explained how it was done:
"Today, one in five of Fiji's 100,000-strong work force toil in more than 150 garment factories, scattered in and around the capital, cutting, sewing and finishing fabric - mostly supplied by Australian companies such as National Textiles - into more than $400 million worth of export products, most of which ($250 million last year) is sold and shipped directly back to Australia .... The catalyst for the creation of the textiles and clothing trade in Suva has been the onset of the demise in protection of the Australian industry and the import credit scheme set up in the late 1980s to soften the blow. .... The import credit scheme allows Australian textile companies to source the fabric from Asia before treating and dyeing it locally, ostensibly to officially transform it into an Australian-made product, before exporting - and earning valuable credits - to factories in Fiji that in turn sell it back to Australia ...."

The article added that a number of companies were involved in this exercise, including Moontide South Pacific Ltd. owned by National Textile's director and main shareholder Philip Bart. Also Mark One Apparel Ltd., and the Australian-owned Consolidated Textiles (Fiji) Ltd., which sub-contracts to such companies as Yakka and King Gee, owned by multinational Sara Lee. Halabe and Ranjit Garments Ltd. have contracts to supply official uniforms for the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. Somehow, we don't think Canadian Ms. Kunimoto will be directing her no-doubt formidable talents to this one!


LEGISLATION AND CORRUPTION

by Alfred King
The GST issue has stimulated a lot of debate about what should be the correct level of income tax and of consumption tax. One interesting point that has come out is that most Australians would be happy to pay a reasonable amount of tax in total, i.e., they would volunteer it. When the artificial scarcity is removed from our situation, it is a lot easier to share what we have with others. At this time of the year, we are reminded of the neighbours/work colleagues who are more than happy to give you some of their excess fruit at harvest time. This is a reality of human nature. After meeting their own needs, most people want to make a constructive contribution to society.

Today we are in a situation where an increasing number of people are convinced that they have to avoid what they perceive to be excessive levels of taxation. So we have more tax inspectors, and huge and increasing amounts of legislation, which even the large number of experts don't really understand. In this situation people are turned against each other. It is a poisoned society. We have lost sight of the Christian concept of voluntary inducement.

There was a time when a man's word was his bond. That was a better society, with far less laws than we have now. Today everything has to be written in contract form. US style newspaper adverts are common, prompting people to take legal action against a third party that they were previously unaware they may have a chance of getting some money out of. Whether the action is moral is irrelevant - everything is measured in terms of dollars.

Today's policies are rooted in a philosophy that does not reflect reality, and we are suffering the fruits of it. There is more unrest; more laws are required to maintain control. Ours is a static society because there are too many laws, with more and more people required to police them. If a government is to do good, then it needs no fearsome capacity to force submission. It will lead with a gentle example and evidence of benefit. The fact is that the government cannot force the individual to be good by legislation. We are not robots who can be forced to act in a way that exists only in the mind of the idealist. This is not making people good, but merely creating the conditions for even more unrest.

The individual will have to be trusted with his own freedom. The only decision that the individual makes that is worthwhile is where he freely makes that decision. It is the role of government to create the right conditions for this to flourish. The Common Law, which works because it is based on human experience, has been effectively wiped out by legislation based on 'logic'.
As Tacitus (Roman historian) put it: "the more corrupt the state, the more laws it has."


BASIC FUND

Contributions over the last two weeks have brought the Basic Fund to $46,001:15. The last mile always seems the hardest. We ask our supporters to get behind this 'last mile' push. The goal is $60,000 so that leaves just under $14,000 to go. All contributions are most welcome, no matter how small.

DEATH TAX LINKED TO GST?

Quite a number of good letters are appearing in the letters to the editor columns of major newspapers. The following are from The West Australian, 3/2/2000:

"John Howard is going to tell us about all the money he is going to give us in tax cuts under the GST, but what he will not tell us is that we will have to pay all those tax cuts back to the tax department when we die with the death tax attached to the GST at 47 percent. If you think you might give your assets away to your family, there is a gift tax also at 47 percent. "Money left in a long-term trust, through a will to protect assets on the possible divorce of children, attracts 47 percent tax on the estate when paid to the children. A husband and wife leaving the home to children, with the surviving spouse entitled to live in it, is taxed at 47 percent of the rent value of the home. Allowing a family member to live in a house owned by a trust company is also 47 percent of the rent value.
There is more. Paragraph 165-55 of the GST Bill states: 'For the purposes of making a declaration under this subdivision the Commissioner may; (a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and (b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as; (i) having happened at a particular time; and, (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity, and (c) treat a particular event that actually happened as; (i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or (ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved action by that entity).'
The GST was supposed to simplify and reduce tax. We are lucky the Government did not decide to increase tax and make it more complex. We are not going to cop this attempt to dispossess us of our children's heritage. We must scrap the GST in its entirety and replace it with a 0.3 per cent debit tax." - Frank Starcevich, Dardanup.

IT'S A TAX BY STEALTH
"John Howard claims that 'nobody will be worse off under the GST', yet the facts prove this is errant nonsense. "The abolition of the wholesale sales tax, which yields $15 billion in taxes, will be replaced by the GST, which will double the Government's tax income to $30 billion a year, so somebody has to be worse off for government tax to double and that somebody is the average family and worker and the disadvantaged in our society.
The GST is a stealth tax and to tax essential requirements which were never subject to the wholesale sales tax, such as rent, electricity, gas, car and household insurance, plus phone bills (the list goes on)." - P. Mullins, North Perth.

PENALTIES AGAINST THE POOR
"The banks are going to pay the 10 percent GST on the goods and services they receive. What is going to happen is that instead of paying their GST out of the multi-million dollar profits they make every year, they will make every effort to recoup it by increasing the fees of the poorest people who can't maintain a balance high enough for fee exemption. It is an absolute disgrace.
The worst thing a Labor government ever did in this country was to deregulate the banks, allowing them the freedom systematically to penalise those who can least afford it." Rev. Paul Gill, Mirrabooka

We hope West Australian supporters are monitoring their newspapers and sending copies of the petition, with a covering letter, to those who get such good letters into the papers. Send them a bumper sticker while you are about it. Ask them to work with you to organise a local meeting where the 'average family and worker and the disadvantaged' can have their say and get involved in action.

Remember, Howard needs to lose only six seats and he is OUT at the next election. Don't be fobbed off by the Labor politicians either. What do the militants chant when they demonstrate? "What do We Want? What do We Want?"
Tell them. "We want the GST Bill scrapped. Not 'rolled back'."


MIGRATION TALK SECRECY CHARGE

The West Australian, 2/2/2000, reported that the Federal Government has been accused of using cloak and dagger tactics over a planned 'public' meeting on immigration. (How would West Australians now feel in the light of the latest news - 1,000 more illegal boat people are on their way to Australian shores.) It seems that the 'public' meeting was held 30km from the city centre, at a spot not well served by public transport and one could only get in if registered by telephone beforehand.
The Labor MHR for the seat of Stirling said Ruddock's meeting was only a 'token effort' to talk about the very contentious and worrying issue of illegal boat people. Ruddock defended his position of course, claiming that under the previous Labor government the meetings had been by invitation only...Wasn't this one?

ANOTHER LEAGUE INITIATIVE

Order your quality, long-lasting vinyl bumper stickers for the GST battle now taking shape. Stickers (80 by 215cm). Black print on yellow background. Advance orders taken NOW. Prices include postage. Order from your State Book Services. 3 for $2.00; 10 for $6.50; 25 for $15.00; 50 for $27.50; 100 for $50.00; 1000 for $350.00.
Wording is: NO GST JOHNNY OR NO VOTE

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: GST REVOLT GATHERING MOMENTUM

Petitions available from Ken Grundy - to be presented to the Governor - keep plugging away gathering signatures. Ken Grundy, PMB 21, Narracoorte, SA, 5271, Phone: 08 8765 3234, Fax. 08 88765 3294.

Don't forget to send a stamped self-addressed envelope to help him cover costs. Closing Date for the petition: April 30th. This date allows for latecomers and compilation of the petitions for presentation.

The Australian Constitution, Section 59, states
The Queen may disallow any law within one year from the Governor-General's assent, and such disallowance on being made known by the Governor-General by speech or message to each of the Houses of the Parliament, or by Proclamation, shall annul the law from the day when the disallowance is so made known.


VICTORIA - THE 'MATT SINCLAIR' ANTI-GST CAMPAIGN

This campaign, initiated by three pensioners, came out of Matt Sinclair's letter to the editor. They have no resources other than a few, but very welcome donations received by those concerned about the GST. So far, they have supplied petition forms to over 3,000 people who are collecting signatures as fast as possible. While this would appear to be a large number of signatures they emphasise it is not enough to move government. The campaign must be increased and sustained. There is a 'sifting process' going on to identify those who are committed to taking the matter and action further. Box 184, The Basin, Vic., 3154.

MELBOURNE LETTER WRITERS' CLUB - Notes from the Steering Committee

All Associate Members should now have their lists of both State and Federal Members of Parliament. If not, write to or call at your Member's electoral office and ask for the list. The list is vital for our future letter writing. In fact, you should be ready to write your first letter, e.g.: Dear Member of Parliament: Sir, Did you read the GST Legislation before you voted for it? Did you consult your Constituents before voting for the legislation?.... Yours sincerely,.... Please submit a copy of your letter and any reply to: Melbourne Letter Writers' Club, Box 1052J, GPO Melbourne 3001.

Post script
All credit must go to that great letter writer, Ron Fischer, for his consistent application and content of the letters that he sends out to newspapers (and more often than not gets published) on such a regular basis.


IT'S TIME! - IT CERTAINLY IS!

The Melbourne Age published the results of a survey they did on the issue of the GST under the headlines: "Don't Panic PM tells Libs." The Age found that over 60 percent of all surveyed was opposed to the GST. That paper also thinks that the Liberal marginal electorates will be in trouble at the next election. If they lose just six seats, they are OUT! We must make sure the Liberals get the message loud and clear. Order your bumper stickers NOW!

Senator Len Harris' (One Nation) Petitions. Copies available from his Senate Office, Parliament House, Canberra. Phone: 02 6277 3410, Fax. 02 6277 5705.


SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

National Director, Betty Luks for Tuesday, March 28th CSC meeting. This will be the time to meet up with our newly appointed National Director. She will speak on the future directions of the League and will follow that with "The Oppressive and Intrusive GST". Meetings have so far been arranged for the following areas:
ARMIDALE: CWA Hall, Rusden Street, Armidale, Monday, March 13th, 7.45pm. Contact: David Smith, Phone: 6778 1308.
DORRIGO: Wednesday, March 15th. Fred Marsden "Rivermead" Dorrigo, Phone: 6657 5141 (includes Coffs Harbour).
WAUCHOPE: Monday, March 20th. RSL Hall. Contact Bryan Morrow, Phone: 6562 4649 (covers Kempsey, Port Macquarie)
LAKE MUNMORAH: Monday, March 27th. Contact: Roy Gustard. Phone: 4358 3634

A call is going out for League supporters to get behind this visit of Betty Luks to NSW. She would like to meet as many League people as possible. What about the smaller towns' people organising house meetings for her? Contact Roy Gustard for confirmation of dates. Phone: 4358 3634


CANBERRA CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The League's National Director, Betty Luks will be the guest speaker at the next CSC, Wednesday, March 29th. Her topic will be "The Oppressive and Intrusive GST". She asks, are we going to draw the line and HOLD it? Betty hopes to meet as many League folk as possible when she visits Canberra and NSW. The Canberra CSC is the latest club to be formed and the hope is that it will become a place of meeting folk of like mind, enjoying good speakers, socialising and having fellowship. For further information and to make bookings phone: 6292 2044.

VICTORIAN TOUR PUT BACK TILL LATER IN YEAR

It has been decided to put back Betty Luks' Victorian tour to later in the year. To those who have responded to the request to organise meetings, we say 'thank you' and we will get back to you later in the year and finalise dates.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Leading civil liberties activist, Mr. Geoff Muirden will be the guest speaker at the next Adelaide CSC on Monday, March 6th. Venue: Public Schools' Club, 207 East Terrace, Adelaide. The title of his address is "Challenges to Our Freedom" and he will deal with such topics as: the Irving/Lipstadt trial; Personal Freedom and the Racial Vilification legislation to be introduced by the Bracks Victorian government.
Book for the two course meal and meeting by phoning: 8381 3909 or 8322 8665. Bookings must be in by Thursday, March 2nd.

COMING UP - INVERELL FORUM

Promoted as a 'Political Incorrect" event the organisers of the Inverell Forum have worked hard to make sure it is an outstanding event. Kerry Spencer-Salt will be conducting a workshop on Friday, March 10th, and the events go through to Monday, March 13th.
Topics include: Privatisation of Australia's Water Resources; Electoral Responsibilities; Legal Implications of Taxation; Food Storage and much more.
For further information - and to book your place - contact: Forum 2000, PO Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360, or Phone: 02 6723 2351 or E-mail: rnb@northnet.com.au
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159