24 December 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.


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.

21 December 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.


Source Supplied.

20 December 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.