Com­pa­nies avoid­ing tax. Healthy Rivers.

Dubbo Photo News - - Weekender - Greg Smart

TOO of­ten I fall into the trap of not be­ing grate­ful for all the amaz­ing things which make up my life in­clud­ing fam­ily, friends and health.

To all the peo­ple who aren’t so blessed, I hope you can make 2019 your year. I’VE been pretty busy this year so the best Christ­mas present for me would be a larger share of the Aus­tralian econ­omy, so I didn’t have to spend so many hours at my com­puter.

I’m not the only one with this prob­lem, so when I read fi­nan­cial journo Michael West’s most re­cent re­port into cor­po­rate tax dodg­ing, it set my blood boil­ing.

He sets it out pretty well, how de­spite the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice’s an­nual trans­parency data, while tax payable is dis­closed there are no pub­lic records when it comes to tax re­funds.

“In other words, cor­po­ra­tions are show­ing how much they pay but not how much they get back,” Mr West wrote.

“While the Tax Of­fice, now in the fourth year of its cor­po­rate data dump, re­veals how much in­come Aus­tralia’s top com­pa­nies made, and how much tax is payable by them, what it does not show is the bil­lions handed back to them in re­bates.”

Un­be­liev­ably, or not, cor­po­rate re­port­ing is based on an hon­our TO fin­ish the year off I thought I would re-visit a topic I have pre­vi­ously writ­ten about and has resur­faced.

Con­sider this chain of events for a mo­ment.

The elec­torate of Went­worth has a large num­ber of res­i­dents of Jewish back­ground. The Lib­eral Party is strug­gling in the polls so Prime Min­is­ter Mor­ri­son an­nounces his idea to move the Aus­tralian Em­bassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in or­der to get a boost in the polls. This was an­nounced with­out con­sul­ta­tion with the De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade.

The Prime Min­is­ter can’t give a rea­soned, nu­anced an­swer as to why the Em­bassy needs to be moved. Those who fol­low the news know the USA moved its em­bassy ear­lier in the year, and Mor­ri­son is just blindly fol­low­ing Trump.

The Lib­er­als lose the Went­worth by­elec­tion but the idea of mov­ing the Em­bassy is bub­bling away in the back­ground. Mor­ri­son, be­ing an evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian of the vi­car­i­ous redemp­tion via hu­man sac­ri­fice type, with en­cour­age­ment sys­tem.

As a na­tion we could do with the money these transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions are rip­ping off us year af­ter year, decade af­ter decade.

As a na­tion, we’re a pretty poor ex­cuse un­less we’re mar­ket­ing our­selves as a lob­by­ist’s par­adise. MOST peo­ple know they want to get back to some sim­ple plea­sures in life but in this fran­tic world it’s of­ten far more dif­fi­cult to ac­tu­ally do it.

Now Healthy Rivers Dubbo has gone to the trou­ble of ac­tu­ally stag­ing a laid back event where all you have to do is bring a chair, sit back and re­lax while the Mac­quarie am­bles by.

Just chill­ing out with other peo­ple re­ally is some­thing we shouldn’t take for granted.

Bring a chair, a plate to share, drinks, any ques­tions you may have about river health and be at Sandy Beach from 6 to 9pm on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 17. WHEN the ALP was in power in NSW, the coali­tion ap­pointed Na­tion­als’ up­per house politi­cian Dun­can Gay as the duty MLC for the Dubbo elec­torate.

Now the Coali­tion holds the reigns, the ALP has al­lo­cated that role to MLC Greg Don­nelly and he’s been pretty ac­tive in the area in re­cent weeks.

He met with some af­fected land­lords from the Vic­to­ria Street shops in the past few days to hear how Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices (RMS) has a plan to take all their park­ing to al­low gi­ant B-triple trucks bet­ter ac­cess to the in­ter­sec­tion once traf­fic lights are in­stalled to re­place the cur­rent round­about. from oth­ers in his Party let the­ol­ogy over­rule pru­dent na­tional in­ter­est and con­tin­ues to ad­vo­cate for mov­ing the Em­bassy.

Is­lamic lead­ers in the Mid­dle East and Asia, in­clud­ing our ma­jor agri­cul­tural trad­ing cus­tomers In­done­sia and Malaysia, de­nounced the idea of mov­ing the Em­bassy. They threaten sanc­tions against Aus­tralian ex­ports. The sheep live ex­port trade (long one of the Na­tional’s pro­tected projects) could be af­fected.

Mor­ri­son pushed on. Af­ter six months of de­lay, the Re­li­gious Free­dom Re­view was fi­nally pub­licly re­leased. Re­li­gious free­dom and dis­crim­i­na­tion were in the news again. Mor­ri­son pushed on with his de­sire to have the Em­bassy moved.

In a for­eign pol­icy speech on De­cem­ber 15, Mor­ri­son an­nounced Aus­tralia would recog­nise West Jerusalem as the cap­i­tal of Is­rael, and move the Aus­tralian Em­bassy there when there was for­mal agree­ment to a two state so­lu­tion be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tine.

Fol­low­ing that an­nounce­ment travel warn­ings were is­sued by the De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade for Aus­tralia trav­ellers to Bali due to the chance of re­tal­i­a­tion.

Don’t for­get that when that round­about was built to re­place the traf­fic lights that used to be there, it cost a few hun­dred grand more than St Brigid’s Church, which it­self went way, way over bud­get.

“I met with con­cerned landown­ers Terry and Cath Skin­ner at the Vic­to­ria Street shops,” Mr Don­nelly said. They have been told by RMS that it’s likely they will lose all their park­ing spots as part of a pro­posal to put B Triples through the heart of Dubbo – this will have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on what should be a grow­ing neigh­bour­hood precinct.

He also said he’d like to see the $140 mil­lion com­mit­ted to the River Street bridge pro­posal di­verted to start­ing a build for a freight­way link road around the city.

And he’s also con­cerned that if a high­way by­pass in built that com­pletely avoids Dubbo, the city could lose its high­way sta­tus and the fund­ing that goes with that. DUBBO will be home to a trial for the world’s first au­tonomous ute and peo­ple will be able to book this driver­less ve­hi­cle via an app to travel be­tween the zoo, air­port and CBD.

I’m scep­ti­cal when it comes to driver­less cars at this stage so it’s good to see a live per­son will be there to take the wheel in case some­thing hap­pens.

The an­nounce­ment was made by roads min­is­ter Melinda Pavey and what struck me as odd is that the ute will carry equip­ment to col­lect data on the er­ratic move­ment of kan­ga­roos, yet will only be trav­el­ling by day­light and only in pretty ur­ban ar­eas where I can’t re­mem­ber the last time I saw a kan­ga­roo.

You’ve gotta love the way bu­reau­cracy sets up these things and The Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter di­rectly re­buked Mor­ri­son and de­clared the an­nounce­ment hu­mil­i­at­ing and pre­ma­ture.

There are two things to ac­knowl­edge at this point.

Firstly, there will never be a twostate so­lu­tion. Both par­ties be­lieve they have a di­vine war­rant to pos­ses­sion of the ter­ri­tory and ac­tively work to un­der­mine achiev­ing the two-state so­lu­tion. It could not be plainer that this im­passe will never be re­solved.

Se­condly, an in­cred­i­ble amount of po­lit­i­cal en­ergy has been ex­pended on an is­sue that a mi­nus­cule num­ber of Aus­tralians care about.

And we have good rea­son to ask why? And how did we go from a by­elec­tion, to in­ter­na­tional trade is­sues, to trav­ellers be­ing threat­ened, to a for­eign pol­icy de­ba­cle? What po­lit­i­cal ben­e­fit did all this ex­pen­di­ture of en­ergy and time­line achieve for the gov­ern­ment? Ex­actly nil.

What this time­line and con­se­quent fi­asco con­firms is Mor­ri­son is a man of con­vic­tion. Un­for­tu­nately for sec­u­lar Aus­tralians his con­vic­tion is re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism. Twelve months ago, he openly de­clared he was not go­ing then sells them to the pol­lies.

Next we’ll be hear­ing the gov­ern­ment has bought Lon­don Bridge to span the Mac­quarie at River Street, so I hope that whacky pro­posal falls down just like the orig­i­nal Lon­don Bridge did. NOT so whacky is the fund­ing for Nar­romine’s flood-proof­ing, the Flood­plain Grants Scheme is backed by both the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment and the NSW Of­fice of Emer­gency Man­age­ment.

Mem­ber for Parkes Mark Coul­ton said de­spite the big dry, com­mu­ni­ties have to plan ahead for to put up with the ‘mock­ery and dis­crim­i­na­tion of Chris­tian­ity’, and would spend 2018 con­sciously work­ing to­wards en­shrin­ing re­li­gious pro­tec­tions into law.

“We will just call it out and we will de­mand the same re­spect that peo­ple should pro­vide to all re­li­gions,” he de­clared.

Putting aside the idea that re­spect should be earned rather than de­manded, this is ev­i­dence of both his de­mand for the predilec­tion of faith to be re­spected by the sec­u­lar, and his de­sire for sec­u­lar law to re­spond ac­cord­ingly.

Twelve months on from this state­ment, fol­low­ing the re­lease of the Re­li­gious Free­dom Re­view re­port, Mor­ri­son in­tends to push ahead with leg­is­la­tion which will put re­li­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion on the same level as dis­crim­i­na­tion against race, gen­der and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

In other words, he wants to el­e­vate a be­lief sys­tem to the level of in­trin­sic hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics. Or, de­value in­trin­sic hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics to the level of wish­ful think­ing.

As a sec­u­lar hu­man­ist, I think this is out­ra­geous. Mor­ri­son thinks the ‘walls are clos­ing in on Aus­tralians of faith’ and he in­tends to vari­able sea­sonal con­di­tions.

“Con­tend­ing with drought is num­ber one at the mo­ment, but it’s cru­cial we are pre­pared for all man­ner of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters that are part and par­cel of life in Aus­tralia, and that in­cludes floods,” Mr Coul­ton said.

Nar­romine Shire Coun­cil re­ceived $92,571 for the project.

z Send your news tips to [email protected] or 0429 452 245 txt is best

z Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by

News staff. Note: John Ryan is also a coun­cil­lor on Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil, and is also em­ployed part-time by Land­care. He writes here in his ca­pac­ity as a jour­nal­ist. make re­li­gious free­dom an elec­tion is­sue in 2019.

The walls are not clos­ing in. It is just im­pos­si­ble to take se­ri­ously the in­ter­ven­tion of God in the lead­er­ship spill, and the ‘dark­ness’ that will descend on Aus­tralia if Mor­ri­son doesn’t win the next elec­tion, as claimed by pas­tor Adam F Thomp­son from Voice of Fire Min­istries. “I re­ally see that the body of Christ is go­ing to have in­flu­ence in the arena of – the po­lit­i­cal arena of this na­tion.” This is Mor­ri­son’s ‘flock’.

How is this a po­si­tion from which to de­mand re­spect? As I’ve writ­ten be­fore, re­li­gion is a pri­vate mat­ter and shouldn’t be in the pub­lic square dic­tat­ing gov­ern­ment pol­icy and claim­ing priv­i­lege.

Aus­tralians have an in­her­ent free­dom to prac­tice what­ever re­li­gion they like. The free­dom to mock in­sti­tu­tions is also an in­trin­sic Aus­tralian value.

The dis­crim­i­na­tion and hos­til­ity oc­cur in the per­pet­ual in­ter­faith bat­tle over whose is the one true re­li­gion, and no leg­is­la­tion championed by Mor­ri­son will ever end that. z Greg Smart lives and works in Dubbo, and is keen ob­server of cur­rent af­fairs.

Shop­ping can be an ex­haust­ing pas­time so it’s great to see some shops pro­vid­ing in­for­mal rest­ing places so con­sumers can have a quick rest­ful break. Tanika An­drews (pic­tured) couldn’t re­sist tak­ing five in a gi­ant camp­ing chair which was set up along Mac­quarie Street. Brax­ton the dog was happy to have a break along­side his owner.

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