30 March 2013

Sun setting on fraud capital of Australia

No, unfortunately this story is NOT about Canberra.

The Gold Coast has had its share of scams and shysters, but the strip's mayor is adamant it's not the dodgy place it is made out to be.

It's lunchtime on a clear, warm Gold Coast Saturday in February and the city's mayor, Tom Tate, is railing against non-Queenslanders who take a dim view of the sunny seaside strip.

''We're taking our critics head on,'' Tate tells the Gold Coast's business elite - including a gentleman in white shoes - who have gathered at the city's Metricon Stadium.

Tate is launching the Gold Coast's new brand, a giant red full-stop that cost $180,000 and has already been slammed as expensive and unnecessary in readers' letters spread across two pages of the local Murdoch paper, the Gold Coast Bulletin.

An ebullient property developer, Tate is undeterred. He loves the logo, even if other people have different views - ''the good, the bad, and the southerners''.

''From now on, we're scripting our own story,'' he says.

Tate wants to dispel the image of the Gold Coast as a haven for fraudsters, rip-off merchants and dodgy property developers; he is keen to stress new industries such as

education and research springing up in the hinterland behind the famous beach.
Queensland Racing Minister Russ Hinze, pictured at a Sydney race meeting on 14 March 1987.

Former minister Russ Hinze. Photo: Peter Rae

Fast forward to this month and it is obvious he has his work cut out. The empire of yet another flamboyant Gold Coast property developer and funds manager, Peter Drake, lies in ruins after administrators were called in to his LM Investment Management on March 19. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission immediately flew investigators to the Gold Coast to talk to administrators of LM, which claims to oversee $3 billion in assets and has invested heavily in Drake's Maddison Estate development.

Drake is a well-known figure on the coast. In addition to LM and Maddison Estate, which is endorsed by celebrities including landscaper and former stripper Jamie Durie, he owns glitzy restaurant Lauxes - that's ''sexual'', backwards - just opposite Jupiters Casino in tourist suburb Broadbeach.

The Gold Coast is also home to characters including controversial cartoonist Larry Pickering, who has been involved in companies selling stock-picking software that was banned by the corporate regulator. An undischarged bankrupt, he lives in a lavish canal-side mansion.
President of the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce Tom Tate with the Surfer Paradise high rise behind....

Tim ''Sharky'' Ward, a self-described loan-shark turned pimp in Thai flesh-pit Pattaya, also boasts a Gold Coast base - a $4.35 million Surfers Paradise mansion.

Conman Peter Foster also lives on the Gold Coast. He is facing jail on contempt of court charges over his involvement with slimming spray scam SensaSlim, which the Federal Court has heard was backed by Melbourne underworld figures Mick Gatto and John Khoury. The impending verdict does not seem to have interfered with Foster's lifestyle: in January, he sold his $2.2 million mansion in Carrara, ''Gov'ment House'', and moved to a new mansion on the Sovereign Islands.

Gatto and Khoury are sometimes seen on the coast, hanging out at an apartment in the Wave building on Broadbeach.

Peter Drake. Photo: Louie Douvis

Then there are the ongoing internet investment scams, run by organised crime out of rented Gold Coast offices, which have cost investors millions and are yet to be eradicated despite the combined efforts of state and federal police, and ASIC, which warned last week against another group, trading as ''Global Capital Wealth''.

They are sophisticated operations that rely on complex infrastructure - operators rent offices, set up phone systems, hire staff to telephone potential victims and have elaborate internet sites that must be maintained.

BusinessDay has linked Melbourne gangland figure Jack Doumani, an old schoolfriend of convicted drug kingpin Tony Mokbel, to Intra Trading Group (ITG), which on its website says it has achieved returns of 22.5 per cent in just nine months.

John KHOURY and Mick GATTO out the front of Florentinos on Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Melbourne underworld figures John Khoury (left) and Mick Gatto. Photo: Erin Jonasson

ITG claims to achieve its results using computer software that picks movements in global stock indices.

BusinessDay could not get through on ITG's toll-free number, but its website says its methods are ''perfectly legal and a fantastic way to increase your income without increasing the tax that you pay. THIS MEANS YOU KEEP ALL OF THE MONEY THAT YOU MAKE''.

Corporate records show that Doumani owns 40 per cent of the company behind ITG, Stanwide, which operates out of an industrial park on Ashmore Road in Gold Coast suburb Bundall.
Tim Sharky in Pattaya, Bangkok.

Tim 'Sharky' Ward. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Stanwide says it offers advice on betting, and a search of ASIC records shows it does not appear to possess the Australian financial services licence that would be required to offer a financial service such as index trading.

In 2008, Doumani was banned from holding a Victorian liquor licence for 15 years over his involvement with the Red Lion Hotel in Kilmore, north of Melbourne.

The venue was owned by Mokbel's estranged wife, Carmel, and operated by Doumani's wife, Natalie, who received a seven-year ban.

In 1999, Doumani was also co-owner of a $100,000 racehorse, Danislew, originally bought for Mokbel. Doumani could not be reached for comment.

Boiler room scams continue to be a focus of Queensland police investigations.

''We are looking at some areas of suspicion at the moment,'' head of the Queensland Police fraud squad Detective Superintendent Brian Hay says.

He says the groups involved are organised and highly mobile, but plays down suggestions that motorcycle gangs are behind the scams.

''I've heard the rumours too of the OMCGs [outlaw motorcycle gangs] but I've not seen any firm evidence. But we are looking.

''It's sort of like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - if you look far enough you'll probably find a link to everybody.''

Hay says the scams are native to the area and police first started investigating them about six years ago.

''People didn't migrate to south-east Queensland to establish these things. They were here and they saw an opportunity and as they've got more people involved, those people have then broken away to their own cells.

''In the early days they were offering gambling - it was arbitrage sports investment, but we've seen them evolve into investments in diamonds and gold, offshore stock markets and all this sort of thing.''

Hay says the police are hampered in their investigations because victims are slow to realise they have been conned.

''People are told, don't expect a return for 12 months. That gives them the time. It can be 12 months old before they realise they've been ripped off. Then there's going to be another six months before they really believe they've been ripped off, and the trail's cold.

''We've had the situation where you go in and if you take out a fraud like this mid-stream you get accused of all sorts of things by the victims.

''They want to sue you and kick you in the belly because they think you're actually interrupting their chance of an investment.''

Private investigator Ken Gamble, who has worked for victims of Gold Coast investment scams, is blunt in his assessment of the strip.

''That's the fraud capital of Australia,'' he says.

Schmoozing reporters at a breakfast on the morning the Gold Coast's red dot is unveiled, Tate disagrees.

''I don't see it that much,'' he says in response to a question about cold-calling scams.

''Those sort of things are highlighted a bit more on the Gold Coast, primarily because we're of the size we are.

''I'm sure they've got these schemes in Sydney and Melbourne, its just for the sheer size of Sydney and Melbourne the warts are a bit better covered - but they're there.''

Yet corruption runs deep in the Gold Coast's history. Even its distinctive canals are tainted by allegations of bribery linked to the infamous ''Moonlight State'' regime of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

In 1991, developer Albert Scheinberg pleaded guilty to paying a $170,000 bribe to former Nationals minister Russ Hinze, known as ''the minister for everything'', for help getting approval for canal estates.

Hinze died in July 1991, a fortnight before he was due to face trial on charges that he took $520,000 worth of bribes from developers including Scheinberg and Eddie Kornhauser, a former business associate of underworld kingpin Abe Saffron.

(Kornhauser, who died in 2006, was found not guilty of bribery charges.)

Gold Coast property developers are sometimes regarded by Tate's dreaded southerners as the sharks of the business world - dead unless they keep moving forward.

But the canals are also full of actual sharks. Expert Jonathan Werry says bull sharks live in the top of the river system as pups of about 50 centimetres long. As they get older, and bigger, they move downstream into saltier water, moving offshore when they are about 1.5 metres long.

''In the canals that are closer to the river mouth and closer to the sea, you're less likely to encounter an animal but it's likely to be a larger juvenile,'' he says.

They have few predators, except each other.

''They've got more to worry about from other bull sharks, which are notorious eaters of sharks - including bull sharks,'' Werry says.

The coast's business world is similarly closely intertwined.

Take Tomato Technologies, floated on the stock exchange in January 2001 by Pickering's son, Jamie.

Tomato sold stock-picking software that reportedly bore a resemblance to software packages circulating at the time, which were supposed to be able to pick the winners of horse races.

The company denied the allegations, but listed just as the dotcom bubble burst and hurt its bottom line. It declared a $5 million loss in 2002.

While it recovered and did reasonably well for several years, by the end of 2006 the company was again struggling. So it decided to change shape. Jamie Pickering sold his shares and left the board, and Asian Pacific Advisory, a financial services business associated with Gold Coast veteran Ric Hayter, was backed into the company.

With the company renamed Asian Pacific Limited, Hayter and Brisbane Broncos founder Barry Maranta joined the board. Tomato director Ken Wybrow stayed on.

Asian Pacific ran straight into the global financial crisis and was in voluntary administration by July 2008.

In September that year, a Queensland District Court jury found Hayter not guilty of charges brought by ASIC over the collapse of his old accountancy outfit, Harts, in 2001.

Since then, Maranta and Hayter have been caught up in the collapse of their solar shade business Sky Shades, which was heavily promoted using golf legend Greg Norman's name.

In a report dated March 20, Sky Shades Holdings liquidator Ozem Kassem, of Cor Cordis, told creditors he had referred the possibility that Maranta had breached his duties as a company director to ASIC, which is investigating the collapse.

Maranta is also stoushing with GE Finance, which on March 11 obtained an order in the Queensland Supreme Court allowing it to seize his Brisbane apartment over a $600,000 debt.

Meanwhile, AAA Shares, a financial planning business of which Wybrow was formerly company secretary, collapsed in January and ASIC revoked its financial services licence.

Tate and Gold Coast boosters are sick of hearing about it. They want to focus on a positive new future. There's an education hub going up in the shape of the new Gold Coast University Hospital, a teaching hospital next door to the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University and at the end of a light rail line that's also under construction.

There's also something of a motor sport industry, centred around the V8 Supercars competition.

But there are few cranes on the horizon - in two days, just one was seen on a private construction site, a medium-rise building in Southport.

The local construction industry has yet to recover from the financial crisis, which ended a property bubble and made many local developers broke.

And the high Australian dollar has wreaked havoc with the coast's other main industry, tourism.

While it is Australia's sixth-biggest city, with a population of 500,000, many of the people on the Gold Coast at any one time are just passing through - it gets about 10 million visitors a year.

Tate realises he has work ahead of him but is, like most others on the coast, an optimist.

''I think we'll bounce back,'' he says.

''The preparation is happening now and you'll see the cranes back in the sky by the end of the year.''

theage.com.au 30 Mar 2013

What a joke!

Corporate fraud has, is and always will be Australia's biggest Achilles heel.

There is literally no stopping it, and it cannot nor will it ever be eradicated, especially if it emanates from government facilities.

Casey Council chief executive Mike Tyler still in job despite charges

CASEY chief Mike Tyler should stand down to face court over conflict of interest charges that follow a harassment case, a local MP says.

Casey Council chief executive Mike Tyler was charged with two counts of breaching the Local Government Act for allegedly failing to notify the mayor and council of a conflict of interest in a matter he had authority over, a statement from the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate said.

"It is alleged that as a consequence of the breach Mr Tyler then committed council resources and funds on a matter in which he had a personal interest, without notifying the mayor or council as required under the legislation," the statement said.

Narre Warren North Labor MP Luke Donnellan said Mr Tyler should volunteer to step down “for the good of the community”.

“I think, due to the seriousness of the charges, he should stand down, in the same way (Federal MP) Peter Slipper stepped down from the Speaker’s role.

“It’s obviously up to the councillors to make that decision and ask him to step aside until the end of the proceedings.”

Mr Donnellan said the council should not use ratepayers funds to defend Mr Tyler in court.

The case against Mr Slipper was thrown out of court in December

Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said Mr Tyler had not been stood down and the council would not take action until the court had made its decision.

"Council will consider the outcomes of the court process before deciding on future action in relation to this matter," Ms Stapledon said.

“Mr Tyler is entitled to due process, and until the matter concludes, it is inappropriate for Council to make any further comment,” Ms Stapledon said in a statement.

“Council will not be funding Mr Tyler’s defence. Once the matter is finalised, Council will advise residents of the outcome.”

The charges stem from a secret out-of-court settlement with a single mother of two who had sued the council for sexual harassment.

The woman claimed Mr Tyler had bombarded her with "unwanted attention", causing "high levels of anxiety and stress", which resulted in her requiring medical treatment.

The July 2010 claim lodged in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal alleged Mr Tyler had harassed the woman with text messages and late-night phone calls, and turned up uninvited at her house.

The council has refused to detail what amount of ratepayers' money was used in the settlement of the claim.
Casey Councillor Wayne Smith said Mr Tyler should not be stood down during the court case.

“We’ve known about it all along that it (Mr Tyler facing charges) was likely to happen,” Cr Smith said.

 heraldsun.com.au 28 Mar 2013

More corruption and fraud from 'government'.

In Australia, governments are literally the most corrupt organisations.

It is a system where a joint brotherhood takes control of public finances and distributes the wealth exclusively amongst themselves.

Kids need 10 hours of sleep to avoid weight gain

PARENTS not ensuring their children get at least ten hours sleep during the week are contributing to their kids' bulging waistlines. 
Researchers believe many sleep-deprived youngsters are simply too tired to bother exercising and have more hours in the day to eat than other children. Hormonal imbalances caused by a lack of bed rest can also trick kids into thinking they are hungrier than they really are.

Kids aged between 10 and 12 who sleep for less than seven hours during school nights have 1.99cm wider waistlines and consistently higher body mass indexes than those who sleep more than ten hours, the research shows.

Author Dr Teatske Altenburg, from the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in The Netherlands, said playing catch-up with sleep on the weekend was not the best thing for growing bodies.

"We found that weekday sleep duration seems more important in decreasing their risk of being overweight and obese than weekend sleep duration," she said.

"Our results also suggest that longer sleep durations during the weekend might not be suitable to compensate for shortened sleep during the week."

Other research cited in the study found 10-15-year-olds are getting about 30 minutes less sleep than what they were two decades ago.

Woolcock Institute clinical psychologist Dr Amanda Gamble treats underage sleep disorders and said a growing number of cases are caused by technological overload and schoolwork stress.

"Parents can have children switch off their electronic devices an hour before bed and ensure they can't have them in their rooms during bedtime," she said.

"The light emitted from the devices delays the production of sleep hormone melatonin. Lots of primary and high school students are also having disturbed sleep because they are stressed about school work."

Dr Gamble said parents need to determine their child's natural wake up time and subtract up to 11 hours from that to mark the time for lights out.

She says a continuity between school night and weekend sleep times, wherever possible, will help the child's body clock stabilise.The new peer-reviewed research involved 5757 kids across Europe.

It comes as diminishing sleep in adolescents has coincided with ballooning rates of obesity.

In 2008, one in four Australians aged 5-17, or around 600,000 children, were overweight or obese, up four percentage points from 1995.

The obesity rate for children increased from 5-8 per cent during the same period, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

Inconsistent sleep patterns in children and adolescents has also been linked to physical illness, anxiety and depression later in life.


- Start a relaxation routine 30 minutes before bed. For example: bath, pyjamas, teeth cleaning, book and bed.

- Avoid high-protein snacks right before bed, such as meat and nuts.

- Avoid caffeine.

 - Offer a high-carbohydrate snack, such as a piece of toast or some rice.

 - Have a one-hour buffer zone between homework and bed.

 - No computers, smartphones, tablets or TVs in bedrooms after bedtime.

 - Try to make weekday and weekend wake up times similar.

news.com.au 30 Mar 2013

Trailer Park Trash parents from all walks of life, inflict injury onto their children from quite simply put, bad parenting.

Another common staple diet of low class parents is pizza, chicken 'n' chips or fish and chips junk food, followed by a day of activity of game console in hand in from of a huge LCD TV.

Parents contributing to a sick society, in which future tax payers foot the bill.

28 March 2013

Former Yarra Ranges mayor Graham Colling fined $2000 for taking more than $20,000 from his brother-in-law

FORMER Yarra Ranges mayor Graham Colling has been fined $2000 for taking more than $20,000 from his brother-in-law.

Graham Colling, who was a Shire of Lillydale mayor from 1984 to 1985 was charged with four counts of obtaining property by deception in 2011.

A charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice was dropped.

Mr Colling, who pleaded guilty to the charges of deception, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Monday, March 18, and was fined without conviction.

Sentencing was delayed to allow Mr Colling to pay back $22,300 to his Yarra Ranges-based brother-in-law.

Magistrate Michelle Ehrlich said Colling would have received a suspended sentence had he not paid the money back.

Mr Colling told the court that he had two Benalla properties up for sale so that he could pay his debts, including $15,000 legal fees.

Mr Colling must pay the fine by September 18, 2013.

Ms Ehrlich said the fine could be converted to community service should Mr Colling be unable to pay the money. Mr Colling was a shire councillor from 1983 to 1986.

heraldsun.com.au 28 Mar 2013

This is how the corrupt legal system work in your favour, only if you're part of the 'boys club':
"A charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice was dropped".

 "Mr Colling, who pleaded guilty to the charges of deception, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Monday, March 18, and was fined without conviction."

Packer’s $11 tax contribution

In the corporate world, far out of reach of the commoner, lies a world of secret deals, golden handshakes and a group of people that liaise with one another to make the shadiest business partnerships the country has ever seen.

Business heavy weights tell the politicians what laws to make, in order to have a favourable outcome for them. One must also remember that the politicians are also people of power before they become involved in politics, and therefore also conducive to pass such favourable laws.

Many of Australia’s most famous names, well known brands and ‘Aussie’ businesses are registered as companies or even better ‘shelf’ companies in well known tax havens, for the sole purpose to avoid tax.

Tax avoidance in Australia is illegal and therefore a criminal offence.

 In current news in the European Union, Greece is in the spotlight under financial pressure. Many an article has been written in the corporate media, as to why Greece is in financial woe, but the most common (plausible?) reason given is that the populous is lazy, and did not pay the taxes. This is one of the biggest lies perpetuated by the corporate media.

Taxes are paid by the general populous to support huge tax concessions given mainly to corporations and (favoured) businesses can benefit as well.

The general population in Australia pays anything from 30% to 50% on their earnings, where companies (or corporation) can deduct anything from a paperclip, telephone call to a Lamborghini as an operating expense, to be mopped up by the hard working Aussie tax payer.

Allegedly Kerry Packer inherited a fortune worth $100m in the mid 70’sfrom his father Frank, which is worth an approximate $7 billion today. According to some financial analysts if the monies were invested in financial portfolios it would be worth $11 billion today, or approximately 50% more.

Shady deals done behind closed doors are not new in business or politics. Packer set up of Australia’s largest casino, Crown Casino located in Melbourne which the land’s alleged leased value was $1 per year.

Crown Casino also allegedly attracts 25 million people per year and employs over 13,800 staff according to one of their advertisements.

Crown is also known to the high rollers for its access to escort services and designer drugs as well as money laundering facilities.

As a thank you note for such wonderful services, a tax contribution of $11 will suffice according tot he tax office, with no inquiry in sight.

Australia’s Masonic forefathers set up a tight legal and financial system for the sole benefit of their ‘brethren’ to the financial detriment of the ‘commoner’.

27 March 2013

Julia Gillard makes no promises to leave superannuation untouched

JULIA Gillard has failed to rule out if Labor will raid superannuation funds in the May budget, saying any decisions made for the sector will be in Australia's long term interest. 

It comes after Tony Abbott declared the Coalition will make ''no adverse unexpected changes'' to superannuation in its first term of government.

Asked directly if superannuation funds would be used to supplement the tax revenue base, Ms Gillard would not give a clear answer.

''Any decisions we make will be about the long term interest of the superannuation system,'' Ms Gillard told ABC radio.

''When we think about superannuation we think about what is in the interest of decent working people … and what is in the interest of the long term sustainability of the system.''

She said superannuation had been brought in by Labor and it would always be a ''Labor creature''.

''I can assure people superannuation is a Labor creature and we will always nurture it well,'' Ms Gillard said.

Earlier today, Mr Abbott said there had been ''far too much fiddling'' with superannuation from Labor and if elected as Prime Minister on September 14 he would put a stop to it.

''There have been at least five significant changes to superannuation from this government,'' Mr Abbott said.
''I want to say to people that super is safe under the Coalition.

''We will make no adverse unexpected changes to superannuation in our first term.''

The Liberal party has previously confirmed it is their policy to reintroduce the 15 per cent tax on superannuation for 3.6 million Australians earning $37,000 and under, which was cut by Labor.

It could mean a tax slug of up to $500 per year for one in three Australian workers under an Abbott government.

Meanwhile Kevin Rudd backer Joel Fitzgibbon - who resigned from his role as chief government whip last week, said he believed superannuation for higher income earners needed to be looked at in the context of finding savings in the budget.

But he said he would ''not support'' any changes that adversely impacted ordinary people.

''I don’t mind us having a look at the very top end but I will not support, will not support, changes that affect ordinary people,'' Mr Fitzgibbon told the Breaking Politics program.

''For example, coal miners in my electorate earning, you know, 100, 120, 130, $140,000 a year are not wealthy – that’s the sort of money you need these days with property prices etc as they are.

''In Sydney’s west you can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you’re still struggling, particularly given property prices again.''

The comments come as Finance Minister Penny Wong this morning attempted to brush off speculation superannuation would face the budget razor on May 14 in line with Treasury’s stance raiding funds would help sustain the tax revenue base as the population ages.

Senator Wong called for calm over the issue and said Labor was the only party committed to ''building on superannuation''.

''I don’t get into hypotheticals and I don’t get into any gossip about what might and might not have been discussed in the Cabinet committee,'' Senator Wong told Sky News.

''What I would say to people is don’t believe everything you read. Budget speculation is always abounds at this time and I would say to people look at our record and look at support for superannuation.''
Liberal MP Jamie Briggs said Labor was ''desperate to find revenue to plug their ever increasing budget deficits''.

''It is a farce and it’s little wonder the Australian people are over this government,'' Mr Briggs told Sky News.

Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson last year urged the government to cut superannuation tax concessions in the May 14 budget in order to secure its revenue base as the population ages.

''With the Commonwealth budget coming under increasing pressure over the next few decades, the fiscal sustainability of all policies, including superannuation, will demand greater public scrutiny,'' Dr Parkinson told an Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia conference.

On Tuesday Julia Gillard said while Labor would ''safeguard superannuation'', revenue also needed to be sustainable.

''We've always got to make sure that the system is sustainable and is meeting the nation's needs and the needs of individuals,'' she said.

The stoush over superannuation comes as News Limited revealed today that government debt levels were forecast to blow out by 80 per cent to $165 billion, equal to $14,000 for every Australian.

Analysis of Budget documents revealed that between the 2010 election and Federal Treasury's update in October last year, the 2012-13 net debt estimate rose $54 billion to $144 billion.

news.com.au 27 Mar 2013

The government has an enormous cash cow in the form of the peasants superannuation, in which it operates the funds to draw interest, worth as staggering amount every year.

This kind of operation is classified as fraud, but the Anglo-Masonic legal  system, being an official arm of the government, will not pursue this avenue, and the corporate media is staying well clear of this topic.

Superannuation is pushed to the peasants via commercials, in reality which should be banned, as false advertising / enticing the public, both of which are illegal acts under Australian advertising laws.

Superannuation is only for the benefit of the corporations, and not its members (i.e. the policy holder), and is widely regarded by the financial community as the worst place to invest ones finances in.

It is very doubtful that the 'sheeple' will ever wake up to the government fraud.

Julia Gillard to leave Australians in $165 billion dollars worth of debt this term alone

GILLARD Government debt levels are forecast to blow out by 80 per cent to $165 billion in this term alone - equal to more than $14,000 for every working Australian. 

Analysis of Budget documents reveals that between the 2010 election and Federal Treasury's update in October last year, the 2012-13 net debt estimate rose $54 billion to $144 billion.

With Wayne Swan having junked the Government's commitment to a surplus this financial year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch now forecasts Treasury will raise the estimate by a further $21 billion in the May budget.

"The government is starting to develop some form when it comes to over-estimating the improvement in its budget balance," Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist Saul Eslake said yesterday.

Ahead of the budget, the Coalition is honing in on a number even larger than net debt - the total value of bonds and other securities issued by the Government, or gross debt, which has ballooned from $151 billion at the 2010 poll to $267 billion now. In the last budget the Government raised the gross "debt ceiling" from $250 billion to $300 billion.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott believes Mr Swan will increase it again in May.

Mr Abbott told News Limited yesterday: "If Labor is determined to increase the cap on gross debt above $300 billion, if they cannot show a credible and speedy path back to surplus, if they cannot show a plan to start seriously paying off the debt, it will add further weight to our planned No Confidence motion in the Gillard Government.''

Mr Swan's spokesman said the Government had no plans to raise the gross debt limit. Merrills' Mr Eslake said the increase that had already occurred was "troubling".

"If the trends that look increasingly obvious aren't addressed at some point we might cross that threshold from safe territory to dangerous territory very, very quickly," he said.Monash University Professor of Business and Economics Jakob Madsen said the gross debt rise was "disturbing".

"It's a dangerous trend and it's at the wrong time. It's completely unnecessary to hand out left, right and centre and the way they do it is not very clever," Professor Madsen said.

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said spending had grown "out of step" with revenue.

"If that doesn't change we are going to have serious public debt problem," Ms Westacott said.

Mr Eslake, Professor Madsen and Ms Westacott all said Australia did not currently have a debt crisis.

But, Ms Westacott said, "we do have a budget management crisis".

In that context, the Coalition is intensifying pressure on the cross-benchers, seeking support for a No Confidence motion.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott invited Mr Abbott to call him or come to his electorate if he wanted to discuss a no confidence motion.

"Let's have a bike ride, or a surf," he said.

However, Mr Oakeshott added that he was opposed to a no confidence motion in budget week. It would reflect badly on Australia internationally, he said.Between the 2011-12 Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook and the 2012-13 Myefo, Treasury's estimate for this financial year's interest payments on government net debt soared by 20 per cent from $5.9 billion to $7.1 billion.

The Merrills forecast suggest a further increase in interest payments of as much as $1.1 billion.

Government net debt of $165 billion equates to $14,238 for each of Australia's 11.6 million workers, up from $8001 per worker at the last election, an increase of $6237.

Mr Swan's spokesman said Australia's net debt levels were "dramatically lower" than those of every single major advanced economy: "Our current net debt is 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, compared to around 80 per cent for the US and UK and around 35 per cent for Canada.

"The Government will reduce net debt in a sustainable way that ensures our economy remains one of the strongest in the world and protects Australian jobs and economic growth,'' the spokesman said.

To repay the debt, cuts were required "almost everywhere", Professor Madsen said, and the GST rate could need to be raised.

Mr Eslake said not only would spending have to be reined in, but the current $111 billion a year in tax concessions could have to be wound back.

Ms Westacott advocated reducing the current number of government agencies from 932 and making "health dollars work harder".

heraldsun.com.au 27 Mar 2013

More corporate fraud in the hands of the governing 'authority', where the 'peasants' at the end of the day have to fork out the tax dollars.

Saudi Arabia top cleric criticises Twitter

SAUDI Arabia's top religious cleric has criticised the social media website Twitter, calling it "a council for jokesters" and a place for unjust, incorrect messages. 
Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik made his remarks late on Friday during a speech to other Saudi clerics.

Twitter has been used by youth activists to galvanise protests in the Arab Spring uprisings, as well as by regional governments seeking to communicate with the public.

The mufti's remarks come on the same day that the imam at Mecca's Grand Mosque said people have the right to express themselves, but must do so cautiously in order to protect the country's prestige and unity.

news.com.au 24 Mar 2013

An example of a typical view by authorities, that being the authorities are displeased that the herd population has the right to communicate and publish information without government censorship.

Australia is in the forefront of gagging the herd population with its communist dictatorial policies towards free speech.

In Australia not that long ago (in the 1970's) it was illegal to use CB (Citizen Band) radios, where the general populous could use the device to communicate between vehicles, as an example, 'possibly' informing other drivers of police 'speed traps'.

Similarly today internet censorship is a priority in Australian government politics, as well as the (widely published) gagging of the corporate media, which failed on its first public attempt.

Consultant close to IBM, Qld inquiry hears

AN independent consultant involved in hiring IBM to overhaul the Queensland government's IT systems identified himself as a "long-time IBMer", an inquiry into the health department's payroll debacle has been told. 
The Queensland Health Payroll System Commission of Inquiry is looking into whether IBM had an unfair advantage in winning a bid to supply a computer system for the state government, which included Queensland Health.

An email by IBM's public-sector expert Lochlan Bloomfield to fellow IBM workers was presented to the inquiry on Monday.

Mr Bloomfield's email said Terry Burns, the man contracted by the government to oversee the tender process, was impressed with IBM and was encouraging IBM to "push the boundaries on this - it will be very well received by him".

"Terry is almost at a stage that he is coaching us and is already 'strongly recommending' the position we should take in some areas," Mr Bloomfield's email says.

"To give some further context, Terry admitted today with a grin that he was once a 'long-time IBMer'."

Gary Uhlmann, a contractor who hired Mr Burns to conduct reviews of the government's computer system, told the inquiry he wasn't sure what Mr Bloomfield meant by coaching.

"If Terry had some particular things he wanted from the vendors, he would be saying, 'This is the sort of thing I'm looking for,'" Mr Uhlmann said.

"Because there may be some things they could bring to the party, particular approaches, experience or expertise or other things that if that comes in, it would really help ... speed up the activity."

IBM had stated during the tendering process that Mr Bloomfield said he had a "strong working relationship" with Mr Uhlmann.

But Mr Uhlmann told the inquiry he had never worked with Mr Bloomfield or known of him before reviewing the government's IT services in 2005 and 2007.

He said he would not say that he had a strong working relationship with Mr Bloomfield or IBM.

His written submission said Mr Bloomfield might have used his name "in case it might have had some positive impact in the decisions making process".

Mr Burns had offered to work for free on the review team assessing the government's IT services, which found serious problems with the management of those services, Mr Uhlmann told the inquiry.

The 2005 review of the government's Shared Services Initiative, managed by IT agency CorpTech, found staff at various levels and stakeholders did not understand their responsibilities.

Mr Uhlmann said he reviewed the initiative again in 2007 and found the system had reached a "point of critical vulnerability".

"Inaction now will result in program failure," his review said.

Mr Burns had recommended the management of the system be given to a contractor.

The government adopted his suggestion to move to the prime-contract model, followed by a closed tender process which was won by IBM.

Thousands of Queensland Health public servants were underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all after the flawed IBM computer system was rolled out in March 2010 under the former Labor government.

The bungle is expected ultimately to cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.

The inquiry will continue on Tuesday.

news.com.au 18 Mar 2013

Another typical example of corruption in government with respect to tendering.
The expense of corruption is always mopped up by the tax payer.
Corporate crime in Australia, really does pay, but only if you're part of the party.

Innocent bystander king-hit by thug outside nightclub

A MAN minding his own business outside a nightclub was king-hit by a stranger "stewing" over an argument he'd had with his dad. 
The  innocent bystander, who has not been named, was knocked unconscious and left with facial fractures after a vicious punch from Warren Dix.

Dix has been jailed for eight months for the unprovoked attack, The Geelong Advertiser reports.

See video of the sickening king-hit at The Geelong Advertiser.

Geelong Magistrates' Court was told Dix, who has prior convictions for violence, had earlier been ejected from the Titanium nightclub for assaulting another patron.

The victim of the street attack suffered a fractured eye socket and cheekbone, broken nose and broken tooth. He also suffered severe bruising and swelling to his eye and head, cuts to the inside of his mouth and a punctured bottom lip.

Dix, 20, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of recklessly causing injury and recklessly causing serious injury.
The prosecutor said that while a discussion was going on outside the club the victim was standing at the back of the group, not saying anything.

"Suddenly Dix leapt forward and king-hit the victim to the face, knocking him unconscious to the ground,'' Sen-Constable Jackson said.

Duncan Ferguson, for Dix, said his client was remorseful and conceded there were no excuses for his actions.

"He was not drunk but had argued with his father earlier that day and was still stewing over it,'' Mr Ferguson said.
Dix was convicted on both counts and sentenced to eight months jail with four months to serve and the remainder suspended for 18 months. He was also fined $1000.

news.com.au 22 Mar 2013

The well known element of the 'loser' is becoming disproportionately high compared to the rest of the general population.

Together with (deliberately) lax laws, and petty fines (the courts are businesses interested in revenue, not in incarceration) send out a clear message to future offenders, that it's worth it!

No law cares if a member of the herd population has been assaulted, but if it were a law maker's son, well the outcome would be different.

Police allow outlaw 40 years on the run

There is a long association of police co-operation with ‘bikie’ gangs, and in many instances the police are on the bikies’ payroll, a fact that the authorities would like you to believe otherwise.

It just does not stop at the police either. Corrupt authorities including, lawyers, barristers, magistrates, high court judges, and the tax office are also on the payroll of the criminal bikie element, but they are part of the ‘untouchables’.

Today, Australia’s illegal drug trade is worth approximately $1.2 billion per month, most of which is controlled by the well known (to authorities) established crime families.

The drug distribution network also involves many corrupt customs officers with the help of police if there is a hint of exposure.

The police allowed a known outlaw (read criminal) to be on the ‘run’ for 40 years.

Hell Angels Australian founding member Christopher “Ball Bearing” Coelho (illustrated with wife Dee) has ‘alluded?’ police capture for 40 years, an astonishing feat by anyone’s standards.

The (well) known (to police) Hells Angels Melbourne chapter club house is located in the northern suburb of Fairfield, with Bearing’s, as he is known, place of residence, next door.

Police allow (certain) criminals to operate whilst others are eliminated.

The current public display of a ‘bikie crackdown’, is a government sponsored PR exercise to show the general population that something is done about the escalating drug wars that are spilling out into the streets, and therefore the public eye.

The so called caught criminals are processed, and literally let go the next day. 

This farce is designed to subdue the general population into a false sense of security, as they must be ‘told’ what reality is.

The truth is the drug syndicates have been in control of the authorities for quite some time.

26 March 2013

Humiliating Monica Lewinsky

Bill Clinton hugs Monica Lewinsky at the Democratic Fundraiser in Washington, DC, October 23, 1996. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Liaison Agency)


Never mind 1998's impeachment vote for perjury and obstruction of justice, he's spent the past decade or more rescuing damsels in distress in North Korea, calling for equality, headlining the Democratic National Convention and magnanimously supporting his wife's career from the wings.

And then there's "‘that woman". Not to put too fine a point on it, 2013's Father of The Year left a stain on more than just Monica Lewinsky's dress.

I really don't care who Slick Willy has had sex with — or non-sex, or whatever we decided the  meaning of "is" is. Those are private matters between the people involved — and no, that doesn't include Linda Tripp and Ken Starr.

What's more damning is how this perennial Comeback Kid, as Clinton was known in the presidential nomination process, has risen from the ashes of Monica Lewinsky's trashed reputation and stunted life.

Somebody had to pay. And just like  Christine KeelerJunie Morosi, and Cheryl Kernot, Monica took the fall for a man's undoing, thereby excusing Bill of all responsibility for keeping his dick in his pants. Like a naughty schoolboy, it wasn't his fault, she made him do it.

While Bill's been riding high, Lewinsky's fall from grace was so hard that she's never recovered. She has barely worked since the Clinton administration. Other than a brief foray into the handbag business and earning a masters of science in social psychology at the London School of Economics, she has remained virtually unemployable for anything other than a punch line.

She was even dumped as a Jenny Craig spokesperson after only three months, following criticism that she wasn't a good role model.

The life-long punishment for her affair is staggeringly unjust, especially when you consider that she was only 22 years old at the time. Who hasn't done something dumb at 22?

Lewinsky was out-classed and out-manipulated from beginning to end. Conservatives treated her as nothing more than a weapon to derail the Clinton presidency. And many US liberals lined up to make excuses for Clinton. Author Toni Morrison christened him the "first black President", claiming "he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp".

All of which might work, except for the fact that he ain't black. And he doesn't even embody the tropes of blackness as Morrison was suggesting. There's also the small matter of power. I'm pretty sure that in the White House org chart, commander in chief outranks intern.

Clinton was also the one who was married, and therefore had the responsibility to be faithful. But even Lewinsky's "friends" hung her out to dry, with Linda Tripp secretly recording their conversations and leaking the tapes to the press. And how we all salivated over the salacious – and private – details.

Fox’s 2004 reality show, <i>The Swan<i>.
Now, 15 years later, comes news that Lewinsky is about to be manipulated and humiliated all over again for our entertainment. The  The New York Post reports that Lewinsky is rumoured to be participating in Fox's new reality show, Celebrity Swan — the celebrity version of the 2004 series The Swan that wins the prize for being the most sadistic reality series of the decade.

(Fox’s 2004 reality show, The Swan.)

Drawing from the already awful fairytale The Ugly Duckling – about a chick who is a total loser until she obtains physical beauty by transforming into a swan – the producers at Fox thought it would be a good idea to cut up "ugly" celebrity women on TV and then have them compete in a beauty pageant.

Monica Lewinsky.What could go wrong for Lewinsky?

Plenty. Former Swan contestant Lorrie Arias, whose make-over included a face lift, nose job, brow lift, upper lip lift with fat transfer, upper/lower eye lift, full body lift, breast implants, tummy tuck and liposuction on her knees, blames the show for ruining her life.

"I had the most surgeries of any Swan in the history of the show and it has all gone to absolute shit," Arias said. "I am a 300-pound mess of a person who is afraid to go outside."

While Fox hasn't officially confirmed Lewinsky's involvement, her participation is sadly entirely consistent with her life narrative and how the world treats fallen women: as a laughing stock who should be grateful for being given a shot at redemption by becoming less ugly.

dailylife.com.au 27 Feb 2013

The corporate media is all about trash entertainment, with falsehoods portrayed as 'reality'.

Making money from the destruction of peoples (the cannon fodder) lives is the ticket.