Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thousands of Victorians go to court over unlawful 'fines'

More and more Victorians are waking up to the fact that parking and traffic fines are unlawful.

Whether it be:

  • a parking fine issued from an (alleged) 'authorised' officer (which they are not) from the 'city council' or 
  • a fine generated from a parked car sporting a hidden camera, which is operated by a private business or 
  • a fine generated by a speed / red light camera mounted on a pole at an intersection or
  • a fine from 'Citylink'

the general populous are waking up to this scam which is perpetuated by Victoria Police, as a  result, challenging the unlawful fines in court.

The (alleged) offence starts out as an "Infringement Notice - to The Operator" from Victoria Police, and this is where the fraud begins. See illustration below:



If no action is taken is culminated with actions from Victoria's unlawfully appointed sheriff - Brendan Facey, where he gets his alleged authority from that being the Sheriff Act 2009, which is also unlawfully put into action.

Please Note: just because the information is available on the internet via various social netoworks, the corporation conglomerate (read government) is not going to say "oh, you busted us... okay okay, we'll stop".

They WILL continue to defraud the masses hundreds of millions annually and as a result:

In reality every single fine a motorists receives must be challenged in a place of business/trading/commerce called an 'administrative court'.

Could it be because of social media, and the ability to share information instantaneously?

Could it be because of the various websites that provide information based on 'their' (the government's) actual and current laws, irrespective of how valid they really are?


No doubt the people who disseminate this information, to help the victims of fraud in court, should be commended for their efforts for exposing 'criminal' actions of the authorities, but it would be very doubtful that they would be awarded Australian of the Year let alone Victorian on the Year.
 
At least this year 72,900 motorists have woken up AND decided to take action.

See the following article from 31 December 2015 by the Herald Sun publication of the headline:

Fight for our money.





Please note that we have notified many reporters of this fraud and to date not one of them has shown up in the courtroom in order to print the story in their boss's newspaper publication.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to oil companies Aussies ripped off as government does nothing, again!

It's been happening every single holiday season, you know Christmas, Easter, school holidays, etc.

The petrochemical giants have been gouging Australian motorists, year after year for decades, but have told the plebs that it's not the case.

The retail price of petrol has gone up by up to 30% overnight in some places, whereas the oil price (per barrel) has remained steady or even dropped.

Apparently the Australian government has a 'watchdog' or institution that can apparently intervene, but this has not happened to this date.

So, many people have said that these 'watchdogs' are as useless as the proverbial on a bull 

Are these people in office colluding with the CEO's or other people in the industry?

Are the people in the positions of government also part of the 'brotherhood' where they get their order first and foremost from?

Whatever the real reason for the lack of action at the end of the day it is the Australian tax slaves general populous that bleeds trough the wallet.

Deliberate by design?

See article from news.com.au on 16 Dec 2015 of the headline:

It’s official: petrol stations are taking us for a ride, keeping margins high despite falling oil price

It’s official: petrol stations are taking us for a ride.
Dana McCauleynews.com.au

THAT sneaking suspicion that petrol stations are gouging us has been proven true.

The national competition regulator has released a damning report that confirms service stations are taking the biggest cut that’s been seen in more than a decade.

Despite plummeting oil prices, retailers are enjoying the highest margins since monitoring began in 2002, keeping prices above $1.30 across the country.

The margin means the difference between what petrol station operators pay for petrol compared with the price they charge consumers.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims told the ABC there was “a bit of aggression going on” in the market.

“We’ve certainly noticed that in some of our regional market studies and looking nationally it does seem as if margins are at the highest level ever and that does suggest some fairly aggressive behaviour in the petrol market,” Mr Sims said.

Asked if this amounted to “price gouging”, he told the ABC that “people can use whatever terms they want, but it certainly is I think some reasonably aggressive behaviour”.

He said Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide were the worst hit, while Melbourne and Perth did not fare as badly.
Mr Sims called on petrol retailers to rethink their approach, or risk damaging their reputations.

With global oil prices levelling out to their long-term average, the wholesale price of petrol has dropped by eight cents a litre. But this has not been passed onto drivers.

The ACCC is fighting Australia’s five largest petrol retailers in court, alleging that a third party company has been enabling them to alert each other to their prices in close to real time.
Quarterly average gross retail margins in Australia’s five largest cities, in real terms. Picture: ACCC
Quarterly average gross retail margins in Australia’s five largest cities, in real terms. Picture: ACCCSource:Supplied

The average retail petrol price in the Australia’s five largest cities was 133.2 cents per litre in the September quarter, down 2.6 cents from the June quarter (135.8 cpl).

But the decrease followed much bigger falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices.
A weaker Australian dollar went only some of the way towards explaining the discrepancy.

Mr Sims said if the exchange rate had been at the same level as it was in January 2013, when it bought $US1.05, retail petrol prices in the September quarter 2015 would have been about 20 cents lower.

International prices fell during the quarter due to a rise in crude oil supplies in global markets, and the Australian dollar fell by 9 per cent to 70 US cents.

The report also showed that gross retail margins in the September quarter were at their highest level since the ACCC began monitoring in 2002.

Average margins in the five largest cities were 11.8 cpl, an increase of 1.3 cpl from the June quarter.

Sydney and Brisbane had the highest margins in the September quarter, about 14 cpl.

“Gross retail margins in Sydney and Brisbane were 6 cpl higher than in Melbourne,” Mr Sims said.

“In fact, margins in Brisbane have been consistently higher than in the other major cities in recent years. We will be closely monitoring gross retail margins in the coming months, because high retail margins likely indicate increased profits of the petrol companies at the expense of motorists.”

The ACCC recently released a separate report into the petrol industry in Darwin, where inflated prices are forcing motorists to fork out an extra $9 million a year due to “weak competition”.

“We hope that the findings from the Darwin market study, as well as from future market studies, will provide a better understanding of why petrol prices in many regional locations are as high as they are,” Mr Sims said.
The ACCC has been closely monitoring petrol prices since December last year, when then Coalition minister Bruce Billson ordered quarterly reports on prices, costs and profits, for a period of three years.

dana.mccauley@news.com.au


Australia is a nation once "roamed by rascals and outlaws", claims China


 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra Photo: Rex
Australia, once "roamed by rascals and outlaws from Europe", is in no position to criticise China, a newspaper with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said after an Australian visit by Japan's prime minister.

The Global Times newspaper condemned Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott after he praised Japanese military personnel during World War II in an address to Australia's parliament welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Recalling a submarine attack by Japanese forces on the city of Sydney, Abbott said: "We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did," according to a transcript on his official homepage.

The Global Times dismissed the remarks as an "outrage".

Beijing is embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan and Abe is a frequent target of Chinese state media criticism.
He became the first Japanese leader to address Australia's parliament and along with Abbott oversaw the clinching of major free trade and security deals, including the sharing of defence technology.

The Global Times stressed that even as Australia sends exports to China it is "one of the loudest voices" condemning Beijing over human rights issues despite the country's own faults.

"Australia's history is not short of records of human rights infringement on the Aboriginal population," said the English-language editorial at the weekend.

"The country used to be a place roamed by rascals and outlaws from Europe."

The Chinese-language version referred to Australia's "filthy record of violating the human rights of Aboriginals".

The tabloid followed up on Monday with an article penned by former Australian diplomat Gregory Clark criticising what he sees as Australia and Japan teaming up against China.

"Japan and Australia are the odd couple in Asia," Clark wrote. "Canberra uses its long-standing close alliance with the US to justify the anti-China aspects of its pro-US and pro-Japan policies."

The weekend editorial also took Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to task for comments made last week and seen as provocative.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Bishop said: "China doesn't respect weakness" and Australia must "hope for the best and manage for the worst" in its relations with China.

"Bishop's verbal provocation made her look more like one of the often pointless 'angry youths' found in the Chinese cyber sphere than a diplomat," the Global Times said.

The Chinese-language editorial was in places more strongly worded, referring to Bishop as an "idiot".

She was already on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when she visited Beijing in December. He delivered a stern rebuke after Canberra criticised China's declaration of an air defence zone in the East China Sea.

Edited for Telegraph.co.uk by Fiona Govan

news.com.au 14 Ju 2014

What do you mean "once roamed" ??? !!! ???

It still is roamed by "rascals and outlaws" - in the corridors of parliament.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Find companies that paid zero tax in Australia



This data is from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and lists more than 1500 companies with turnover of more than $100 million for the 2013-2014 financial year. It shows their total income, their taxable income and their tax payable for that year.

Note that zero reported income or tax payable doesn't mean a company is doing the wrong thing or deliberately trying to avoid tax. According to the ATO, 20% of companies each financial year make a loss, which means zero tax would be payable.



The pdf below is 35 pages long at 183KB in size.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B21_coIgIYu2eU14YlF0YVBKXzA/view?usp=sharing


Source Supplied.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

ISP’s to issue ‘Infringement Notices’ unlawfully?



Any (genuine) Constitutional Lawyer should be able to tell you that the law in Australia is an appalling joke (at the expense of the general populous).

Pertaining to a subject called ‘piracy’ or illegal downloading (whatever those terms mean), the authorities are in a bit of a pickle.

Many people’s names have been given to the ‘authorities’ for pirating movies, but to date no successful conviction.

Australia’s ‘laws’ function on contract/corporate agreements with one deciding factor called consent.

So now, overseas companies are bringing in ‘laws’ into this country.

Not really lawful is it?

What any budding lawyer, ‘facebook lawyer’ or even 'meme maker' should know is that only the government can issue ‘fines’ (let’s put the validity of Acts aside).

So how is any person in government going to enable a company, business or corporation called in ISP (Internet Service Provider) to be able to lawfully issue a ‘fine’?

Real answer: They cannot.

So how WILL they do it?

In typical Aussie 'legal' fashion: Through force, fear and intimidation.

Read the article from 20 Dec 2015 by news.com.au of the headline:


Makers of Dallas Buyers Club could still come after illegal downloaders

Game of Thrones is still the most illegally downloaded series in Australia.

AUSSIE pirates beware. 
While the bid by the makers of the Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club to sue people it believes illegally downloaded the movie may have hit a major hurdle this week, the race is not quite over yet.

This week’s Federal Court ruling ended Dallas Buyers Club LLC’s attempts to seek extra damages from illegal downloaders but it also effectively gave the studio that owns the rights to the film, Voltage Pictures, an ultimatum.

Comply or have the entire case thrown out.

According to Professor Michael Fraser from University of Technology, Sydney, DBC still had the option of pressing ahead with matter, it just won’t be able to argue for extra damages, and it will still have to foot a bond.

In April Justice Nye Perram granted DBC’s request for the names and addresses of 4726 Aussies accused of pirating the film, provided it put up a $600,000 bond.

The bond was put in place by the court to stop DBC from speculative invoicing, a tactic by which a letter demanding a large sum is sent out in the hope the person will pay up rather than contest the figure.

Justice Perram also granted the claim for the cost of renting the film, as well as out-of-pocket expenses and insisted on vetoing the letters before being sent.

But the film studio went back to court seeking to reduce the bond to $60,000 by only gaining access to 472 names (10 per cent of names for 10 per cent of bond).

In addition, DBC also wanted to be able claim an amount based on each person who had accessed the uploaded film, a claim for punitive damages depending on how many copies of non-DBC copyrighted works had been downloaded by each infringer and for damages relating to the costs of obtaining to user’s details.
The company also argued that each person who uploaded the movie to a torrenting website, such as The Pirate Bay, would need to pay for a “worldwide non-exclusive distribution agreement”.

Justice Perram wrote in his judgment that he thought this request was “wholly unrealistic; indeed, I went so far as to describe it as surreal.”

He dismissed DBC’s application and issued an ultimatum to DBC to comply or the entire case would be thrown out.

<i>Dallas Buyers Club</i>’s legal action has become a landmark case.
Dallas Buyers Club’s legal action has become a landmark case.Source:Supplied

Professor Fraser, who was a founder and chief executive officer of Copyright Agency Limited, told news.com.au the judge effectively ruled against the extra damages claims because DBC did not plead for them in the original hearing.

He also said the case appeared to be more about what kind of letter DBC/Voltage Pictures wanted to send the alleged downloaders, rather than about copyright.

He explained the judge did grant them the right to claim the cost of renting the film as well as court costs.

“I don’t know what they will do of course, but they will have to come back by the date set in order to do that,” he said. “The ball is in Dallas Buyer’s court. It’s up to them.

“It’s not necessarily the case that this is the end of the proceedings.

“They may take on board what the judge has said and proceed in accordance with that decision then test out the actual copyright issue.

“I think its possible they might comply and there will be letters sent out in a way that has been approved by the court.

“But we also don’t want to see speculative invoicing and I think the court has made sure that doesn’t happen. But we also don’t want to give a green light to massive piracy either.”

Professor Fraser said another avenue open for copyright holders such as DBC was the stalled Copyright Notice Scheme Industry Code.

For the past year, debate over who would bear the burden of the costs associated with having to track down and identify illegal downloaders has held up the implementation of a controversial three-strikes notification policy.

Australian internet service providers put together the code in a bid to reduce online piracy.

Under the code, customers suspected of illegally downloading content would be hit with a series of escalating infringement notices from ISPs.

After the first breach, a customer would be emailed a standardised “education” notice and if they continued to breach copyright laws they would be sent a “warning” notice followed by a “final” notice.

If this dude appeared at your door instead of a threatening letter maybe people would stop downloading? Maybe not.
If this dude appeared at your door instead of a threatening letter maybe people would stop downloading? Maybe not.Source:AP

The ISPs plan to detect illegal downloading through customers’ internet protocol (IP) addresses, and then send warning letters to the account holder.

The email must be sent within seven days of the infringement and include the title of the work, and the date and time of when the downloading occurred.

The final notice, which does not have to carry the ISP’s branding, warns that the account holder could be taken to court and recommends they “seek independent legal advice”.

The “three strikes and you’re out” scheme can then kick off a “facilitated preliminary discovery process”, which obliges the ISP to serve up the customer’s identity to the rights holder.

If a customer receives three notices within 12 months, the owners of the content — such as Hollywood studios or record companies — can then apply to a court to access the customer’s name, address and contact details and launch legal action against them.

The code was meant to be implemented in September but has stalled over the dispute between the ISPs and copyright holders over who should foot the bill for the process.

Professor Fraser said the code has been submitted to the Australian Communications Media Authority by the parties but it hasn’t been registered because there still hasn’t been agreement over who should fund what.

He said if film studios such as DBC wanted to pursue illegal downloaders through the avenue then they need to come back to the negotiating table.

He also said if no agreement could be reached then perhaps the Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield, should intervene.

“In my opinion I think the costs should be shared but I also think the ISPs have an obligation to provide a lawful, safe, secure environment through their service for their customers and the community at large,” he said. “It’s been a stand-off for such a long time perhaps the Communications Minister might intervene in the absence of an agreement.”

Professor Fraser said if the code was registered then it would become the mainstream way of dealing with illegal downloaders however legal action would still be an option for film studios.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Australia's criminal bankers above the law: Macquarie Bank manager Michael Roth escapes jail over fraud

Australia's 'legal' system (read joke) is geared up in such a manner that the criminal elite are actually above the law.

Bankers to be more specific.

None dare call it a 'conspiracy'.

Well, have you seen a 'banker' in jail for fraud ??? !!! ???

Macquarie Bank manager Michael Roth (from the Rothschild family?) does no time for fraud.

Conversely, if a person does not pay an [unlawful] fine they can end up in jail.

Do you STILL think you have 'rights' in this country?

See article from 18 Dec 2015 from smh.com.au of the headline:

Former high-flying Macquarie Bank manager Michael Roth escapes jail over fraud



Michael Roth has escaped jail after pleading guilty to 10 fraud offences. Michael Roth has escaped jail after pleading guilty to 10 fraud offences. Photo: Michele Mossop
A high-flying, hard-partying Macquarie Bank manager who committed fraud worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has walked free from a Sydney courtroom.

Michael Roth, 45, spent years deceiving colleagues with a "well-planned, sophisticated and well-hidden" scheme that involved preparing leases for fictitious clients and having invoices paid out to his own bank account.

By the time he was caught, in 2013, Roth was a national manager for the bank's Macquarie Leasing business, and earning $160,000 a year plus commissions.

But he told the Sydney District Court he was "consumed by alcohol and gambling", and there was now nothing left to show for the hefty sums he siphoned away.

He pleaded guilty early on to 10 fraud offences committed between 2004 and 2012.

Roth was sentenced on Friday to two terms of imprisonment of two years and 18 months each, but Judge Julia Baly ordered that he serve those custodial terms in the community under the strict supervision of NSW Corrective Services.

This means Roth will not see the inside of a jail cell if he remains of good behaviour and complies with other conditions, including a community service order.

"He said he had bad days when he felt worthless, and good days when he felt invincible and untouchable," Judge Baly said.

"He said he got a rush from gambling and it was all that mattered to him during that period of life."

Judge Baly recounted how Roth's former partner believed his crimes stemmed from the "hedonistic Macquarie lifestyle".

It was "a constant frenzy of drinking and mixing with clients", the former partner said.

The judge described how Roth had got "caught up with" a senior manager who drank and gambled at lunchtimes, as others at Macquarie turned a blind eye.

"The behaviour was allowed to continue because they were making so much money for the company," Judge Baly said.

But the judge said there was another side to Roth's offending - his deep depression, his acute anxiety, and his hitherto undiagnosed bipolar disorder - and said she accepted Roth's mental illness helped explain his crimes.
"As his offending went on, it became clear that he could not fix what he had created, and his anxiety grew," she said.

Some nights, Roth would stay up all night gambling, and would not sleep at all.

Roth, who has separated from his long-term partner and is living with his parents in south-west Sydney, must report to police and will not be allowed to leave the state without permission.

Centrelink clients endure a nightmare before Christmas


Thousands of Centrelink clients around Australia remain nervous of the prospect of Christmas without their welfare payments as the agency's website remains in meltdown.

The welfare agency's parent department Human Services says the problems were fixed and that no clients had missed payments.

But the glitches and outages that have plagued the vital website for weeks persisted into Thursday and Fairfax Media has been inundated by Centrelink customers still panicked that their payments were either late or might not come through at all.

The department refuses to say what exactly has gone wrong with its web systems but an insider alleges that the entry point server is now too small to handle the volume of traffic and the complexity of transactions supposed to go through it.

© Provided by The Age Blue Mountains mother Rosa Pascoe said her daughter's birthday was ruined when her regular disability benefit payment failed to arrive. 

Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday that Human Services had apologised to clients over what it says are "intermittent issues" and encouraged users to log on to its mobile apps, which have been working normally.
Blue Mountains mother Rosa Pascoe told of how her daughter's birthday was ruined when her regular disability benefit payment failed to come though on Wednesday and she was unable to log onto Centrelink's website.

"It told me that my payment information, amongst other info, was currently unavailable and to try again later," she said.

Ms Pascoe, who can only undertake her teaching work intermittently because of a number of chronic conditions, took to Centrelink's notorious phone lines to see what had happened to her disability benefit. "I then tried to call and speak to someone and four hours and five minutes later I [was] still on hold," she said.
"This is not how I intended to spend my daughter's birthday."

As late as the small hours of Thursday morning, desperate clients trying to log-on to the website in the middle of the night when traffic should be low said they were shut out of their accounts.

"Have tried to log into Centrelink to report 3.27am Brisbane time & still down," one Queensland-based client said.

"Tried both the normal website & their mobile site and no luck.

"Not very good when people are expecting payments & need to purchase Christmas things."


© Provided by The Age A screenshot of the Centrelink website. 

On Wednesday afternoon, a member of DHS' media team insisted that the system was working again.
"Services have now been restored and customers are able to use Centrelink online services to complete a range of transactions, including reporting income," the spokeswoman said.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers.

"The intermittent issues with Centrelink online services did not directly affect any customer payments.
"The department has many alternative channels, including mobile apps, and these were not affected.
"Customers who are concerned about their immediate payments can visit a service centre for face-to-face assistance, or call their usual payment line."

But an attempt by Fairfax to access the Centrelink site at 11.15 am on Thursday morning brought up a "not available" message.

A DHS spokesman said it was a temporary glitch and that customers were able to conduct business as usual.

msn.com 18 Dec 2015

More dodgy work from the corporation known as 'Centrelink'. 

Telling you that you're not a welfare (government) recipient, but rather a (corporate) customer.

BIG DIFFERENCE.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Australians to pay for 600 corporate tax cheats

CEO’s of nearly 600 companies are responsible for tax evasion.

Tax evasion in Australia is a criminal offence.

  • Is any legal action going to occur?

  • Are their assets going to be frozen?

  • Will they still be allowed to trade?

and,

Who’s going to foot the bill?

Why the general populous of course.

The people in government already told their ‘serfs’ that the [unlawfully enacted tax called the] GST will rise from 10% to 15%.

Why is the GST unlawful?

Well you need to talk to an honest lawyer to find the answer to that question.

As if that’s not going to be hard enough, you would need to speak to a constitutional lawyer.

If a ‘normal’ person does not pay tax, the ATO seizes their assets, or freezes their bank account, or even liquidates their business.

The ATO in this instances takes no action against the CEO’s of those corporations, not only allowing them to commit more tax fraud the following years, but also to keep on trading without any consequences whatsoever.

So are the people of those ‘corporations’ and the people in governance part of the same ‘brotherhood’?

Note: Conspiracy Theory -  Still not convinced the people of Australia are ‘Corporate Slaves’?

Read the article from abc.net.au from 17 Dec 2015 of the headline:


Almost 600 major corporations did not pay tax in 2013-14 financial year, Australian Taxation Office says

Parliament House 
 
Related Story: Australia's biggest companies bagging $100m in sales each year under tax microscope
 
 
Almost 600 of the largest companies operating in Australia did not pay income tax in the 2013-14 financial year, figures released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) show.
 
More than 1,500 companies with annual incomes of more than $100 million are on the list.

Why companies might not pay tax

  • The ATO data looks at income before business costs, not profit after costs
  • 22 per cent of the companies in the total sample made a loss in 2013-14
  • 8 per cent had prior year losses that they could offset against current profits
  • 7 per cent had other offsets, such as franking credits
  • Companies claim depreciation on asset values and some claim research and development tax concessions
  • Some multinationals have already paid tax on income made overseas and do not have to pay tax on that income again here
Source: Grant Wardell-Johnson, KPMG tax expert
 
Of those companies, 960 did pay tax, while 579 companies did not pay tax.

The ATO said no tax paid did not necessarily mean companies had been engaged in tax avoidance.
Some of those companies incurred tax losses, while others used prior financial year losses or offsets to minimise their tax payment.

Companies with high yearly income paid little or no tax

The data highlights a number of companies that paid little to no tax, but does not outline how they minimised their tax bill.

However, the data does show significant differences between the total income of certain companies, and the income that was subject to tax in Australia.

Technology giant Apple had total income of about $6.1 billion, but only $247 million of that was taxable income.

The company's tax payment was the largest of the multinational tech giants at just over $74 million, but that only equates to around 1 per cent of its total income in the 2013-14 financial year.
Apple's competitor Microsoft had taxable income close to $104 million, less than a fifth of its total revenue of $568 million. Its tax bill was about $31 million — just 5 per cent of its income.

Google's total income was about $358 million, but only a quarter of that was taxable. Google's tax bill was $9 million.

All three gave evidence to a Senate Inquiry about their tax affairs earlier this year.

Cleaning company Spotless Group, which has been accused of underpaying its staff working at department store Myer, made about $2.2 billion, but paid no tax.


Embattled car manufacturer Volkswagen made almost $2 billion in 2013-14. But, its taxable income was $35 million and it only paid $10 million.

Yokohama Tyres Australia paid about $220,000 tax on a taxable income of $747,000, despite earning $121 million.

Other large companies that did not pay tax in the 2013-14 financial year include Qantas, Virgin Australia, General Motors (owner of Holden), Vodafone, petrol company ExxonMobil, online betting shop William Hill, Warner Bros Entertainment, property developer Lend Lease and media company Ten Network Holdings.

Qantas reported a $2.84 billion loss in that financial year, while the Ten Network lost almost $80 million.

Immigration detention centre manager Transfield also paid no tax in 2013-14.

Mining and banking tax bills among the highest

At the other end of the spectrum, mining giant BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto faced two of the highest tax bills in the country.

BHP made more than $40 billion in 2013-14, but its taxable income was closer to $14 billion. Its tax bill was almost $4 billion.

Rio Tinto's taxable income was almost $11 billion after its total income reached $34 billion. The miner paid $3 billion to the ATO.

The big four banks are the next highest tax payers.

Commonwealth Bank's income hit more than $43 billion in 2013-14, and close to $10 billion of that was taxable. It handed over close to $3 billion.

Westpac's total income was $39 billion, of which $9 billion was subject to tax, and it paid tax of close to $2.5 billion.

ANZ's taxable income was $8 billion, after its total earnings hit $30 billion in 2013-14. The ATO took close to $2 billion.

NAB earned close to $43 billion in 2013-14, and more than $11 billion was taxable. Their tax bill hit more than $2 billion.

Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan said releasing the data helped build community trust in the taxation system.

"Community trust and confidence in the way these large companies operate matters," Mr Jordan said.

"And tax should matter to these companies. It is not something to be taken lightly.

"Collectively, these 1,500 large corporates paid almost $40 billion in company tax in the 2014 fiscal year."

Federal Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer reaffirmed there were many reasons why a company may not pay tax in any given year.

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh seized upon the data, saying it was the sort of information the Liberal party had worked hard for the public never to see.

On the Prison Isle of Australia: Interlock devices to become mandatory for Victorian motorists

The authorities are stepping up the campaign to limit and monitor the movements of the 'convicts' in the colony known as Australia.

It is done through various guises, something what some people may call 'false flags' or just even plain and outright 'slavery' laws that are passed through via whatever pretext necessary.

None dare call it conspiracy.

It's a legitimate law passed to protect the people, but that's what it seems.

We've had many people  speak to police regarding 'drink-driving' or even 'speeding' and the figures are falsified.

This holds true especially for 'speeding' statistics, where police are told to falsify reports that the contributing factor to any accident is speed, rather than driver error.

No police to date that we spoke to were prepared to put this in a public statement for fear of job loss and other reprisals.

So now under new laws, which incidentally are UNLAWFUL, drivers will have their movements restricted if convicted of drink driving?

What next ??? !!! ???

Will drivers be 'speed' limited if 'convicted' of 'speeding' ??? !!! ???

Read the article from abc.net.au from 27 May 2014 of the headline:

Interlock devices to become mandatory for Victorian motorists convicted of drink-driving

Low-range drink drivers will be targeted under the new laws.
 
Related Story: Mandatory ignition devices for drink drivers

The Victorian Government has announced it will introduce legislation to make it mandatory for all motorists convicted of drink-driving to have interlock devices fitted to their cars.
Currently, only disqualified drivers found to be over 0.15, repeat offenders or those under the age of 26 who record 0.07 are required to have the devices fitted.

The interlock requires the driver to blow into a breathalyser and prevents the car from starting if the person is over the legal limit.

Roads Minister Terry Mulder said under the new legislation, which will come into effect in October, first-time offenders and low range drink-drivers will be targeted.

"Anyone who is 0.07 and above [and have their] licence cancelled, when they come back they will have an alcohol interlock fitted to their vehicle," Mr Mulder told the ABC.

He also said those who are supposed have an alcohol level of zero such as professional drivers and p-platers will also have to have them installed.

Cameras will also be fitted into the car to stop others from blowing into the device and starting the vehicle.
VicRoads vehicle and road user safety director at James Holgate said drink-driving is reduced by about 60 per cent when people have them fitted.

"We know from the program we've got they have prevented people from attempting to drive more than a quarter of a million times," Mr Holgate said.

He said 30 per cent of people reoffend once the the interlock is removed.

"Repeat drink-driving is still a problem, and what we're trying to do is make sure everyone has an interlock until they can demonstrate that they've improved their habits," he said.

Mr Mulder said more than 5,000 of the devices are currently in use but that figure could climb once the program expands.

"There's a possibly it could be up to 10,700. I hope that as a result of this announcement we don't get that, but people get the message and don't get caught drink driving," he said.

"But nevertheless, if they do that's what they're going to face going forward."

Interlocks cost $150 a month and offenders will be required to pay for them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On the Prison Isle of Australia: learning encryption will be illegal soon

We've stated before that Australia is an Alcatraz version 2.

None dare call it a conspiracy.

One would only have to look into the new 'laws' that are being introduced.

There is literally no such thing a 'privacy' (for the people) in Australia.

Information is shared about you without your knowledge or consent behind your back from corporation to corporation.

"Yeah, but that's ILLEGAL" exclaims the blue collar worker who heard something about a 'Privacy Act'.

"Well" the learned colleague may say "Have you seen a successful prosecution against the corporation involved?".

What many Australians do not comprehend is that Australia is still a penal colony, something which is reflected in the laws that are being passed.

You can read the article of the 12th of December 2015 from gizmodo.com.au of the headline:

In Australia, Even Learning About Encryption Will Be Illegal Soon

You might not think that an academic computer science course could be classified as an export of military technology. But under the Defence Trade Controls Act — which passed into law in April, and will come into force next year — there is a real possibility that even seemingly innocuous educational and research activities could fall foul of Australian defence export control laws.


Handcuffs picture from Shutterstock

Under these laws, such “supplies of technology” come under a censorship regime involving criminal penalties of up to ten years imprisonment. How could this be?

The story begins with the Australian government’s Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). This list specifies goods considered important to national defence and security, and which are therefore tightly controlled.

Regulation of military weapons is not a particularly controversial idea. But the DSGL covers much more than munitions. It also includes many “dual-use” goods, which are goods with both military and civilian uses. This includes substantial sections on chemicals, electronics and telecommunications, among other things.

Disturbingly, the DSGL risks veering wildly in the direction of over-classification, covering activities that are completely unrelated to military or intelligence applications.

To illustrate, I will focus on the university sector and one area of interest to mathematicians like myself: encryption. But similar considerations apply to a wide range of subject material, and commerce, industry and government.

Encryption: an essential tool for privacy

Encryption is the process of encoding a message so that it can be sent privately. Decryption is the process of decoding it, so that it can be read. Encryption and decryption are two aspects of cryptography, the study of secure communication.

As with many technologies subject to dual-use regulation, the first question is whether encryption should be covered at all.

Once the preserve of spies and governments, encryption algorithms have now become an essential part of modern life. We use them almost every time we go online.

Encryption is used routinely by consumers to guard against identity theft, by businesses to ensure the security of transactions, by hospitals to ensure the privacy of medical records, and many other organisations. Given that email has about as much security as a postcard, encryption is the electronic equivalent of an envelope.

Encryption is perhaps dual-use in the narrow sense that it is useful to both military/intelligence agencies as well as civilians. But so are other relatively mundane technologies like cars.

Moreover, since the Edward Snowden revelations — and even much earlier for those who were paying attention — essentially everyone knows they are subject to mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, along with its Five Eyes partners, including Australia.

While states have no right to privacy, an individual’s right to privacy is considered a fundamental human right. And in today’s world, encryption is essential for individual citizens to safeguard this human right. Strict control of encryption as dual-use technology, then, would not only be a misuse of state power, but would represent the curtailment of a fundamental right.

How the DSGL covers encryption

Nonetheless, let’s assume for the purposes of argument that there is a justification for regarding at least some aspects of cryptography as dual-use, and consider how the DSGL covers encryption.

The DSGL contains detailed technical specifications. Very roughly, it covers encryption above a certain “strength” level, as measured by technical parameters such as “key length” or “field size”.

The practical question is how high the bar is set: how powerful must encryption be in order to be classified as dual-use?

The bar is currently set low. For instance, software engineers debate whether they should use 2048 or 4096 bits for the RSA algorithm. But the DSGL classifies anything over 512 bits as dual-use. In reality, the only cryptography not covered by the DSGL is cryptography so weak that it would be imprudent to use.

Moreover, the DSGL doesn’t just cover encryption software: it also covers systems, electronics and equipment used to implement, develop, produce or test it.

In short, the DSGL casts an extremely wide net, potentially catching open source privacy software, information security research and education, and the entire computer security industry in its snare.

Most ridiculous, though, are some badly flawed technicalities. As I have argued before, the specifications are so imprecise that they potentially include a little algorithm you learned at primary school called division. If so, then division has become a potential weapon, and your calculator (or smartphone, computer, or any electronic device) is a potential delivery system for it.

These issues are not unique to Australia; the DSGL encryption provisions are copied almost verbatim from an international arms control agreement. What is unique to Australia is the strict level of regulation.

Criminal offences for research and teaching?

The Australian Defence Trade Controls Act (DTCA) regulates the DSGL and enacts a censorship regime with severe criminal penalties.

The DTCA prohibits the “supply” of DSGL technology to anyone outside Australia without a permit. The “supply” need not involve money, and can consist of merely providing access to technology. It also prohibits “publishing” DSGL technology, but after recent amendments, this offence only applies to half the DSGL: munitions, not dual-use technologies.

What is “supply” then? The law does not define the word precisely, but the Department of Defence suggests that merely explaining an algorithm could constitute “intangible supply”. If so, then surely teaching DSGL material, or collaborating on research about it, would be covered.

University education is a thoroughly international and online affair — not to mention research — so any such “supply”, on any DSGL topic, is likely to end up overseas on a regular basis.

Outside of academia, what about programmers working on international projects such as Tor, providing free software so citizens can enjoy their privacy rights online? Or network security professionals working with overseas counterparts?

Examples of innocuous, or even admirable, activities potentially criminalised by this law are easily multiplied. Such activities must seek government approval or face criminal charges -— an outrageous attack on academic freedom, to say the least.

There are exemptions, which have been expanded under recent amendments. But they are patchy, uncertain and dangerously limited.

For instance, public domain material and “basic scientific research” are exempted. However, researchers, by definition, create new material not in the public domain. And according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “basic scientific research” is a narrow term, which excludes research with practical objectives. Lecturers, admirably, often include new research in teaching material. In such circumstances none of these exemptions will be of assistance.

Another exemption covers supplies of dual-use technology made “preparatory to publication”, apparently to protect researchers. But this exemption will provide little comfort to researchers aiming for applications or commercialisation, and none at all to educators or industry. A further exemption is made for oral supplies of DSGL technology, so if computer science lecturers can teach without writing (giving a whole new meaning to “off the books”) they might be safe.

There is no explicit exemption for education. None for public interest material. And indeed, the government clearly envisions universities seeking permits to teach students DSGL material — and, by implication, criminal charges if they do not.

On a rather different note, the DTCA specifically enables the Australian and US militaries to share technology.

Thus, an Australian professor emailing an American collaborator or postgraduate student about a new applied cryptography idea, or explaining a new variant on a cryptographic algorithm on a blackboard in a recorded lecture broadcast over the internet — despite having nothing explicitly to do with military or intelligence applications — may expose herself to criminal liability. At the same time, munitions flow freely across the Pacific. Such is Australia’s military export regime.

Brief reprieve

There is nothing wrong in principle with government regulation of military technology. But the net is cast too broadly in the DSGL, especially in the case of encryption. The regulatory approach of the DTCA’s permit regime is effectively one of censorship with criminal penalties for breaches.

The result is vast overreach. Even if the Department of Defence did not exercise its censorship powers, the mere possibility is enough for a chilling effect stifling the free flow of ideas and progress.

The DTCA was passed in 2012, with the criminal offences scheduled to come into effect in May 2015. Thankfully, emergency amendments that passed into law in April this year have provided one year’s reprieve.
Despite those amendments, the laws remain paranoid. The DSGL vastly over-classifies technologies as dual-use, including essentially all sensible uses of encryption. The DTCA potentially criminalises an enormous range of legitimate research and development activity as a supply of dual-use technology, dangerously attacking academic freedom — and freedom in general — in the process.

The Conversation
Daniel Mathews is Lecturer in Mathematics at Monash University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.