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Posts Tagged ‘lobbying’

Fire Fly has more detail.

Basically: Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, has announced that there will be a compulsory acquisition of Alice Springs town camps.

She has wonderful [that’s sarcasm] timing, today being the start of National Reconcilation Week and all.

Fire Fly has a good roundup of information, including the text of a statement put together by the group Stop The Intervention, which is to be presented to Jenny Macklin this Friday 29 May.

Email your support (individual or organisation) by tomorrow (Thursday 28 May).

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Ok, so we all have our own biases. I can deal with that idea.

And the Federal Government’s consultation on the possibility of a federal charter of rights was hardly starting with a blank page, given that the Federal Government took a constitutional bill of rights off the table right from the begining.

And ok, Frank Brennan, self-described fence-sitter, has done Good Things in his life.

Um, that doesn’t mean he’s always right.

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If you know New South Wales politics, the title of this post may not particularly surprise you. However, the Business Council of Australia’s lobbying for better pay for teachers is something of a surprise to me.

In fact, it seems the BCA first suggested this back in October, but it seems it got lost in the election coverage at the time.

According to the SMH article, the NSW state government has stonewalled the idea. No interest shown. No surprises there, either.

Somewhat interestingly, I wonder how many big-salaried business-type people are aware of the real numbers involved with teachers’ salaries. Not sure if he’s a great example or not, but Allan Moss was apparently completely ignorant of how low the figures are, until recently. I wonder if more discussion of the facts and figures would lead to a better conversation generally. About this and many things.

[First posted here.]

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The Libs and Nats are apparently getting used to their Opposition status, but are perhaps a little confused about what democracy means.

First of all, John Howard, who says:

“It will be the first time in 25 years that a major economic reform in Australia has been reversed.”

John, I’d say it’s inconclusive, but there are at least two readings of the fact that a major economic “reform” is being reversed for the first time in 25 years: yours (that there is something wrong with the current government) and its opposite (that there is something wrong with the policy).

I’d say that the latter has more support. More democratic support, at least. That policy was a big reason you’re now doing what you’re doing – in other words, the Australian people thought there was something wrong with the policy.

Deal with it. We don’t want your sour grapes.

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An article in The Guardian, quoting the UK’s Ed Miliband saying that charities should be free to be able to criticise government, reminded me of the changes to Australian tax law that took place a couple of years ago.

Essentially, a government response to a tax office review in 2003 decided that charities which were “too political” (my words) could lose tax exemption status, although some political activity was ok as long as the dominant purpose was charitable (the review itself did not go this far). There was a lot of talk at the time about how this would have a serious chilling effect. In particular, the Howard government was criticised for illegitimately attempting to stifle opposition, since a lot of the organisations which appeared to be likely to be targeted were somewhat left-wing (although about 12 months ago, it was reported that the Exclusive Brethren was among a group which was warned about political activity).

Although two of the links above are to stories within the last 12 months, this is an issue which has been largely under the radar since the changes were made in 2003. I wonder whether the ALP will pick up on what Miliband has said in the UK and think about relaxing the definition of charity a little – perhaps even following the recommendations that resulted from the review.

[First posted here.]

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