GAINING PERSONAL COLLECTIVE POLITICAL POWER THROUGH NETWORKING
Compulsory superannuation winner or loser for the Australian people?
Did the employers add the 9% super out of their own pockets or did they , within a few years, embrace it within the same pay scales as before? Is that one reason wage rates have remained flat for most employees while the executives have enjoyed extremely high pay and corporate profits have skyrocketed. Did employers just quietly ease their pay rates down in real money terms so that they ended up paying the same inflation adjusted pay rates with superannuation included that they had previously paid without superannuation at all?
Banks benefit most
What is far from understood by most Australians is that the banks benefitted most from compulsory super. They won a triple whammy jackpot. Not only were they the most skilled people in Australia at money management and so able to run superannuation companies. They were then able to invest superannuation money in their own shares boosting the price to give senior executives on share bonus schemes an extra benefit as well as making it easier to raise capital and loan funds to re-lend. But it was the third leg that was the winner. By depriving young people of 9% of their pay and having it directed into superannuation funds controlled by banks or companies the banks controlled, those young people were deprived of money that would otherwise have been used to pay off their home loans.
Home buyers deeper in debt
Superannuation has forced many young people into much larger debt than they would otherwise have had and enabled the bank to virtually lend their own money back to them at a much better rate of interest when discounted cash flow is taken into account, than their superannuation earned.
The stock exchange
Another beneficiary of compulsory superannuation has been the stock exchange where the value of listed shares has risen dramatically because there is so much superannuation money available to buy them. Whether in the end those shares are actually worth what has been paid for them by the superannuation funds will probably only be known when those shares are sold. What is obvious is that a serious correction of the stock market could make a very big difference to the superannuation money available to anyone needing to draw out that money during the time of any such correction.
The value when needed
But how much money will be in the superannuation pot of gold at the end of the lifetime rainbow when people need it most. That depends entirely on whether the superannuation managers have invested well or badly and on how well or badly the Australian and global economies have gone over the years in which the superannuation money has been contributed. Most of the money is invested in listed shares, real estate, or business ventures. A global depression or even recession could substantially reduce the value of any person’s superannuation. In addition to that the recent Royal commission into the banking and financial services industry has revealed that it is run by many people whose honesty is questionable. So the opportunity for money to simply be stolen or frittered away is substantial.
Safe as houses
It is my view that the very best superannuation any person can have is their own home thus ensuring that they at least have somewhere to live. If they can avoid the bureaucrats and politicians who seek to have them living in high-rise units like battery hens, then with any sort of luck they will have a backyard in which they can at least grow fruit and vegetables at fairly reasonable cost. Of course it is important to have other investments and cash if possible but to own a house in an Australian city is a great advantage because over time homes usually hold their value and frequently increase even after inflation adjustment. But it at least avoids homelessness.
The real question
The real question therefore on superannuation is why governments did not allow employees to lock their superannuation into homes before putting it with superannuation managers? The answer I would suggest is that the present system of compulsory superannuation has provided massive profits for the banking and finance industry.
Australians should think through the facts and decide for themselves what they think is happening. Should they feel at any time that changes are necessary to the superannuation laws then they should approach FairGO or join Voters Network for a concerted campaign to change the laws and allow them to direct their superannuation. After the present housing boom has settled down and politicians have become smart enough to develop inland cities, it may well be prudent to have the laws changed so that after five years of paying off a home loan the owners can withdraw enough superannuation money out of their fund to pay off part of that loan with a strict proviso that any money coming from a sale of the home will either go into another home or back into the superannuation fund from which the money came.
Using your own vote
Voters Network members in NSW greatly valued the DIY how-to-vote form we made available to them for the recent state election. This innovation lets you give your preferences where you want them to go rather than letting others effectively cast your vote. Your vote is your only bargaining chip for good government. Use it wisely!
There is much talk about political parties giving their preferences to One Nation but for the Federal election in May we expect to give all Voters Network members their own form again to ensure they have an easy way to allocate their own preferences.
Using a political party’s how-to-vote card gives the party the right to decide who you elect.
Of course you can influence government
People often say they have given up trying to influence governments. None of those people have used the Votergram service I established after people said it to me in the 1980’s. Of course you can influence government. Politicians are just as happy to help you as hinder you. Why wouldn’t they be? It is not their money, what you want probably will not affect them personally and getting your vote is what they really want. Any time you want to know how to influence government, ask me firstname.lastname@example.org . You can shape society via elected politicians first by strategic use of your voice and then by your vote, provided you do it strategically which is what Voters Network helps you with.
The One Nation NRA exposure is certainly revealing. I wonder who conceived the sting??
Funding helps Voters Network help you
Thank you to those who have upgraded to Advanced Membership recently. Each $40 (after gst) makes a difference to what Voters Network can do as the main unaligned multi-issue voter support group in Australia.
Set the Agenda -
NSW network members - Tell your freshly elected local MP NOW what you want from them over the next 4 years. Make a list. Head it “Please, as my local representative, attend to the following during this term of office”. Number each request. Be brief, 1 line per request if possible. Between 1 and 10 items, no more. Deliver, mail or email it direct to your state MP or send it to us and we will send it by Votergram free for you. Keep a copy somewhere safe and each month, before you rate how well your representative is representing you, look at your list and see what you can tick off as being done. Phone, visit or email your MP to ask if necessary.
Do this and you will find you get better results because you will be working with and encouraging your local MP to do what you want and giving them feedback by your rating. It will make a difference that’s for sure, but don’t expect miracles yet. Be patient because it will take time for your MP to adjust.
22 March 2019
Debt Agreements – home, business, farm
Debt agreements have become popular as an alternative to bankruptcy. So we are told.
Farmers & first home buyers are among those most stressed by debt following the drought, floods, fires and housing price collapse.
However there is another matter that often arises in debt issues. That is whether the debt has been properly created in the first place.
Has the builder made the roof waterproof as promised; did the wealth manager or professional perform as promised; did the bank adhere to the law and code of practice; were the goods fit for purpose.
Some people feel that they would have to go to court to fight a debt on such issues. Others go to the government run Department of Fair Trading or a financial counsellor.
All these can be effective remedies.
However, FairGO and GBAC are expert at examining debt to see whether there are extenuating circumstances that need to be negotiated between the parties before any payments are made.
This particularly applies to credit cards and business, home or farm loans, where the bankers are often happy to write off substantial amounts of money in order to resolve an ongoing dispute.
It is hard to generalise, but clients achieve a saving of up to ten times what they pay to achieve it. Anyone is welcome to find out what can be done by emailing email@example.com or phoning 0428 417 496. FairGO & GBAC have decades of experience and successful negotiations.
14th March 2019
Voters Network and FairGO help you turn government problems into society solutions
If we want to enjoy our lives and society better than we are at present then we can do something about it this year:
Look back over your Voters Network rating history to give you an idea of how well you have thought your MPs have been representing you over the long term. Vote accordingly.
Tell your local MPs by the way you vote, what you think of the way they have acted to date as your representatives in parliament. Unless you are in a marginal seat your vote will only do that. The MP will be re-elected anyway in a safe seat. If unsure check Anthony Green’s electoral pendulum.
Consider standing for parliament in the future yourself, either for a political party or as an independent. Pay and conditions are good. Voters Network is a good wayfor candidates to engage with voters.
Send a message to your MPs, your elected representatives, saying what you would like them to achieve this year or in this new term of parliament for you. Start behaving like they are your elected and paid representatives & tell them what you want done. If you don’t tell them they cannot know & someone else will.
Remembers to support and thank them when they do what you want. "Thank you" will be the most important and useful phrase you use if you want results.
For best results send a 100 word Votergram to every MP in the parliament. That is much more effective and then when your local MP stands to speak on your wish list all the other MPs will have heard it from you without any "party" connotations and so might be more likely to support it.
Join Voters Network free and learn how to get society working the way you want it to. Then you can upgrade for more benefits.
Pick a few areas of our society important to you that government could improve or could have others improve. Join or form a Voters Network taskforce on one of those subjects and work together on getting changes made. Taskforces already exist on Domestic, family and sexual violence, immigration & population, Murray Darling Basin. Ask your Hub Leader for details.
Check in the first week of every month what your local state and federal members have been doing – Parliament house website & Hansard give a mass of information. Google to find them. Read the papers, listen to radio, watch TV news and current affairs. You pay them so it is good to know what they are doing for you.
In that same week go to the ratings page on voters network website and rate each of your local MPs and any other MPs who you think represents you and your goals either well or badly. That gives them feedback and gives you a record to look back over when deciding how to vote at the next election. Feedback is essential for performance.
Find out the department head of the division of government working against you and with others start investigating how good that person is for the job and our community. On our own each of us is weak but together as voters working at those matters on which we mostly agree, we become very strong.
In this next term of office any time you want something done, achieved or stopped, remember that FairGO exists to give you the power of political persuasion to influence your life and society.
FairGO does not make a big fuss about it and has no political party favourites. They are the perfect political persuaders to give power to the Australian people, this year as they have for the past 31 years. They mostly serve the vast majority of Australians who avoid the extreme left and right of politics.
FairGO also helps students. There is no need to go on strike from school. It is better to persuade politicians to do what students want. FairGO will provide very inexpensive Votergrams and free support for students. They have most to gain by shaping society and we know from experience that politicians take a lot of notice of students who send Votergrams. FairGO can do it with you or for you, as quiet achievers. Voters Network adds the strength of numbers and taskforce facility.
FairGO and Voters Network are 100% Australian owned and member funded.
5th March 2019
Changing government minister and promising the world prior to the elections.
Is this a tragedy or an opportunity for voters?
The media are having a field day as federal government ministers leave office before the next election. The most obvious reason is that they fear having to spend a term on the backbench in opposition which is not nearly as much fun as being a minister in government. Some have contributed everything they can and realised that they are not likely to be given an opportunity for promotion. Others will see great opportunities in private enterprise that flow as a former minister but would diminish after a few years on the backbench or in opposition.
At the same time politicians are showering voters with promises as if there was no tomorrow. Perhaps the reality is that they have done very little during their time in office and saved up the good projects to announce as promises in order to attract votes pre-election. On the other side of the fence many voter organisations are applying heavy pressure to politicians and political parties to give them benefits from the public purse in exchange for votes. Is it any wonder that politicians make what we take to be promises that they cannot possibly honour in order to satisfy the baying mobs that demand benefits?
We voters might ask whether all of this forebodes tragedy or provides opportunity. The lack of experienced ministers to the extent that ministers have any experience at all in their portfolio, may in fact give the voters a great advantage. It is possible that many of the bad policies under which we suffer are not in fact the concepts of our elected representatives at all but rather the self serving manipulations of bureaucrats to further their own careers or endear themselves to private enterprise bodies seeking profits from public policy.
If that is the case we voters, by getting alongside our elected representatives who are given new ministerial office, may together out-shuffle the bureaucrats who have been making our lives a misery. The one thing government ministers and members of Parliament can do is remove department heads who are not performing properly. A declaration of "no faith" from voters would be a good start. We have already seen off one department head that way.
Those who see an opportunity in this current situation are urged to join Voters Network and help to work with new government ministers to see that their departments actually do what the Australian voters employ them to do.
20 February 2019
Harassment of women by police
Domestic and family violence has grown in Australia partly through the support of police who believed that it was good sport. We have a long way to go before we overcome criminal attitudes within the police force.
Reading today’s paper one might wonder how anybody could have faith in the New South Wales police force or the court system after a policeman using his authority to confiscate a woman’s phone posted personal photos of her naked body and that of her boyfriend from it onto Facebook. What sort of nasty police do we employ? He has now resigned. There is no reason to believe he is the only one like that in the force.
Lenient sentences encourage crime
What is far more worrying in this case is that a magistrate let him off with a 2 year good behaviour bond and a $1,000 fine. He only has to be good for 2 years. Why not the next 20? How can we stamp out domestic, family and sexual violence when magistrates give a slap on the wrist for such abusive behaviour.
In the end those at fault sit in the NSW parliament, most of them men, many probably believing that it is a man’s right to treat women any way they like.
Prison, fine or compensation
How suitable is prison when it costs us $100,000 a year to keep a person like this there?
What is the point of fines if governments become so dependent on that they let crimes continue in order to earn the fine money?
Why should we not have instead a penalty of compulsory compensation from the offender to the victim paid through the ATO or OSR to avoid offender contact with the victim. Surely it is the victim who needs to be compensated, not the state.
What if the compensation in this case was $100 per week for 5 years?
What if for sexual intercourse without written consent, it was $200 per week until the offender was 70 payable to the victim’s estate if she died first?
What if for rape with violence it was $400 a week for life.?
Loss of money is a powerful deterrent for crime.
It does not matter what illness men who violently abuse women suffer from, or how nice a reference they get from their mates. What matters is the suffering they cause to women they abuse. Until we get that straight, the violence will continue supported by politicians, judges, magistrates and police.
If you have a different view or feel that I am wrong then please use the Voters Network forum on domestic, family and sexual violence to say so. FairGO exist so that governments will take heed of voters’ views, not just mine. I am opening this up because when we cannot trust the police to behave decently then the voters need to get involved and have our politicians clean up the police force.
Let’s get it solved
Over 1 million women in Australia are not getting a fair go from their men. How can we help them? Voters Network is working hard to have governments fix this problem by eliminating the violence. Both women and men will have to be part of this solution. It is not just a man’s problem. Women must demand equality, avoid dangerous situations and learn to defend themselves just as men do. Men need to control their anger and feelings generally, recognise what cowards they are to pick on physically weaker women and if they do not stop, be physically restrained to protect the community at a time the abused women feel is appropriate. Governments need to ban discrimination and put more wealth in women’s hands. Many women are doing that themselves now.
Voters Network is working hard to find a confidential place where a record can be made of any violent incident backed by medical evidence, nowhere near police, which a woman can use to activate a prosecution many years later when she and her children are no longer in fear of their lives. Violent men should then be made aware, by government advertisements, that there may be a time-bomb awaiting them years later, if they are abusive now.
7 February 2019
CHANGING THE BANKS OR CHANGING HOW YOU BANK
The banking, insurance and financial services Royal Commission is a prime example of how voter pressure eventually forces the corrupt, incompetent and negligent politicians to go with the honest conscientious ones, to do what voters want.
For years FairGO has told all politicians by Votergram what the major banks were doing to customers and sought changes. We will never change the banks. Some are very good and some are very bad. Now customers & voters have to take charge and control their banking into the future. That way all banking experiences will be good if we do it properly.
From all over Australia bank customers have come to us for assistance in preventing banks from taking their life savings, their enjoyment of life and their homes, businesses or farms. They have seen family, friends and neighbours lose everything and sometimes take their own lives. Some dishonest bankers have done terrible things to enrich themselves, earn billions of dollars for their bank and satisfy the demands of wealth manager shareholders who have control of bank shares on behalf of superannuants.
Banks will always be happy to lend people into trouble so that they are hooked on debt for years, paying ever higher interest rates and charges as their debt accumulates, until they are sold up.
Superannuation managers will always use superannuants’ money to advantage themselves.
Insurance companies will always pay high-powered sales people to sell policies that do not cover the risks as they pretend. They will always pay tough lawyers to help them avoid paying claims for as long as possible or at all.
Regulation does not work. We have proved that!
Regulation does not work because government which controls it does not work well itself and:
many politicians do not want it to work
many powerful bank, insurance and wealth management directors do not want it to work
many regulators do not care and are not held accountable by politicians or voters.
There is no easy way for bank customers. They must look after themselves if they want to be treated fairly. We have established Australia-wide facilities to help them do that. Brokers, bank staff or financial counsellors funded by banks or government are not really the answer. Why? They often have a closer relationship with any given bank than they do with any given customer and they mostly do not want to offend any bank. A consultant cannot serve two opposing interests. Either it serves the bank or it serves the customer. We serve the customer every time and the bank never. Offending the bank to protect the customer is what we do best!
Within a year of launching its Votergram service in 1986 and in the face of bank de-regulation, FairGO’s founder converted his Chartered Accountancy practice into a banking consultancy to give bank customers a fair go, just as his Votergram service had done for voters. He was able to help people who were being cheated out of their businesses, homes and farms by greedy, ruthless and unprincipled bankers and insurance company executives. He showed people how to get cheaper, better loans.
Just as democracy will never work well until it is driven by voters, banking, insurance and superannuation will never work well until it is controlled by customers.
GBAC Advisory has been formed specifically to assist Australian bank customers and in fact customers anywhere in the world to do just that. Its tie with the Better Banking Network will also help spread information to customers.
Competition brings care and compassion
One guiding principle is to inject a measure of competition into a person’s dealing with banks. GBAC Advisory has developed a system called BankBids so that any bank customer can quickly see how to get the best treatment from the banking industry. It gets banks bidding for a customer’s business! When depositing money in an interest-bearing account, BankBids will enable any customer to obtain competitive quotes from other banks. That is the only way of enjoying the best interest rate available. In a similar way when seeking a loan BankBids will enable the customer to find out what is offering from other banks. It will then help customers negotiate the best rates possible.
The variables in a loan are the rate of interest, the charges imposed, the contract terms and the degree of care and interest in the customer provided by the bank’s senior staff. There are thousands of really good bank staff around. It is just that they sometimes work for corporate criminals and fraudsters in their boardrooms. GBAC Advisory helps customers negotiate for the best deal that those banks can offer in competition with one another. GBAC Advisory has spent years helping bank customers all over Australia get a fair go from their banks. It does for banking and insurance what FairGO does for democracy.
Voters Network members and FairGO campaigners will always receive extra-special treatment when seeking assistance from FairGO or GBAC Advisory.
The Laugh is on Loyalty
A second guiding principle that applies in the current era when bank loyalty counts for nothing, is to change banks readily in order to obtain the best services.
Customers who remain with the one bank out of loyalty simply invite the bank to exploit that loyalty to increase its own wealth at the expense of those customers. Bankers joke about how easy it is to rip off a loyal customer who just trusts a bank. An elderly client of ours saddled with a debt of over $500,000 for which he did not apply or gain any benefit said when I queried him “When I get a document to sign from a reputable bank like ... I just sign it.” The bank did not even have the decency to invite him into their offices when they asked him to sign this guarantee. He did not know what the bank knew about the borrower’s financial situation.
Loyalty is now punished not rewarded by banks. Many senior bankers live by the motto “Never give a sucker (trusting customer) an even break.”
Holding accounts with a number of banks is the best protection any customer can have. It provides options to handle any particular transaction with the bank that will provide the customer with the best service.
Survival of the strongest
In this age of unprincipled greed by the financial services industry, supremacy of the strongest has replaced the concept of a fair go. No longer do our bastions of industry “Advance Australia Fair” but they “Advance their profits regardless”. Like voters, bank and insurance customers benefit by taking an aggressive/defensive position in all financial dealings. Customers who approach a bank from a position of strength do best.
It just happens that those who run FairGO and GBAC Advisory are well qualified and experienced accountants, business people and farmers. They know just how to advance the interests of customers in the financial services industry, as they do with government.
Governments, banks, insurance companies and wealth managers will work primarily for their customers if their customers demand that they do so in exchange for their votes or business. Australians in their roles as voters and finance industry customers can control the way in which they are treated. They gain additional strength from services like FairGO, Votergrams and GBAC Advisory rather than relying on very corruptible regulators. We help them use their votes as bargaining chips with politicians and their custom as bargaining chips with the banks, insurers and wealth managers.
As the song goes “You don’t have to suffer in silence” but you do have to act aggressively in your own defence. Let us give you a hand to get the best from the banks.
1 February 2019
WHY IS THE RIVER DRY? IT WOULD MAKE AN AUSSIE CRY!!
The fish kill in the Murray Darling is similar to the problems presented to me by three southern Queensland farmers on the Balonne river below Cubbie Station years ago. It flows into the Darling. Using FairGO's Votergrams we helped them persuade the Queensland government to restore the water to the river. It was a typical FairGO success story which we have replicated over and over for 30 years.
HOW TO RESCUE A RIVER
But since then no-one on the river has approached us for assistance to make government do the challenging job of sharing the water with many users in 4 states.
When rescuing a drowning person it is important to keep yourself safe first, for if you drown you cannot rescue anyone. In the case of Murray Darling, the first need is to have the river healthy and flowing well. Only then can it provide water for those along its reaches. But everybody must be sensible and only take out enough water for the river to keep flowing at full capacity. That means recognising the finite nature of the water in this river system. It is not the mighty Mississippi!
VOTERS DRIVE DEMOCRACY BY GUIDING GOVERNMENTS
Only voters have the influence to save the river and those who rely on it. Obviously governments cannot or will not. Money cannot buy favours when voters demand a fair go and back that demand with their votes, free of any party-political preferences.
Together we can solve this. Divided we will all suffer and the river will dry up.
In the end it is up to you and me. If we don't care, why would governments who represent us care?
Governments constantly talk about how complex issues are when frequently they are not. However, in this case the complexity is that the matter involves 5 governments; sporting, commercial and farming interests and the river system itself. It also involves a question as to how one should fairly allocate whatever water is available to be taken out of the river.
Is each person who irrigates from it to some extent, entitled to take the same amount out each year? Or should the irrigation rights be allocated according to acres owned/leased, weight or money value of product produced or capital invested in using the water? Should it be allocated on annual rainfall in the area or allocated to those who can pay the most? What is the order of priority?
Who should decide? Government, water users, environmentalists, voters in the states affected, all Australians, farmers on the river system, Australian farmers or foreign owners of properties using the water?
THE DEMOCRATIC TUG-O-WAR
As a committed Christian, Chartered Accountant, business owner, farmer and community group leader, the first lesson I learned about democracy was that it has nothing to do with fairness or justice. It has everything to do with the person who pays the most, works the hardest, knows the most powerful people, is most determined and produces the most effective campaign strategies. It burst my bubble of belief early. Then I remembered my widowed mother telling me once “Life itself isn’t fair Greg. Get used to it.”
So I did and I decided that I would work to help Australians get a fair go from government, banks and other self-centred organisations. Votergrams came into being to allow any voter, community organisation, family business, farmer or peak body to gain support from some of the most powerful people in the land. Our politicians. There were plenty of MPs (about 70%) who never cared much about helping voters, but the other 30% were just marvellous in helping anybody, no matter what electorate they lived in.
We formed FairGO and decided we would not pay anyone for favours. We had no money anyway. We set about developing the most effective strategies based on research, determination and information to persuade politicians to help the voters in need. We gave the credit to the politicians who so kindly enabled us to win about 90% of the campaigns we ran.
Democracy is like a tug of war played by many teams across the diameter of a huge circle, all pulling in different directions. We knew that the winner was the one who pulled hardest on the rope. We formed Voters Network to get teams working with each other rather than pulling in essentially the same direction but on a slightly different paths.
SO WHO IS TO BLAME
In a monarchy it is the king or queen. In a dictatorship the dictator. They all have absolute power.
In our Australian democracy it is, surprisingly, us, the voters who are to blame.
We have passed government over to a tiny minority in the major political parties.
We have elected to represent us in government, people we do not know and whose ability to govern we do not know.
Our constant criticism, lack of support and ridicule of politicians discourages many wise, competent community members from going into politics.
We have failed to tell our representatives what we want done or to monitor what they do for their $200,000 + salaries we pay them.
We have failed to back our requests, suggestions or demands with our votes, frequently rewarding with our votes the very parties who have done just what we do not want, for fear that others would be worse.
WHAT ABOUT THE RIVERFLOWS
We have, by and large, taken absolutely no interest in what was happening to the water in the Murray Darling basin because we were not interested, too busy or did not see that it was any of our business. That is possibly how the German people felt when they handed control of their country to the personable, sensible and competent Adolf Hitler. Perhaps the people of Venezuela, Syria, Zimbabwe and others felt the same.
If we voters put our wishes on the table, add the opinions of experts and those most affected, digest those views and tell all of our politicians what we want done, those politicians will almost certainly do it. It is a big job but not if we all do our own little bit.
But it is no good telling one local MP or the minister. We must all share our good ideas with all MPs, for parliament is a voting forum like a community meeting, where the majority rules. If we only tell our local MP, our idea goes into parliament with that MP’s party tag. When we send our message by Votergram to all MPs it carries no tag except that of “voter”.
For this vital “Riverflows” campaign, Fairgo will offer a special 20% discount for people who send their personal 100 word solution by Votergram to every MP in the Federal, Qld, NSW, SA & Vic parliaments - over 600 MPs. The normal cost to send the message to all those MPs of $119 will be cut to $95. Voters can send their message to FairGO from a laptop or email their message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The website form is not yet mobile friendly.
If we don't care enough to do something, they (government ) won't care enough to do anything either. Voters always guide what governments do, frequently by their disinterest.
27 January 2019
A New National Anthem
For Australia Day my cousin kindly forwarded me a copy of a satirical new national anthem being circulated complete with the Australian flag. One of its complaints was that we export so much of what we produce and then import so much of what we need. This reminded me of two jobs we did through FairGO and its Votergram service some years ago.
The first was an approach by the Apple and Pear growers Association wishing to ensure the continuation of the Australian apple and pear industry and concerned that it might be threatened by foreign imports. We ran a small campaign over a couple of months to alert all politicians in the Federal Parliament to the danger to Australian food production being exposed to products coming into Australia which could easily bring disease with them. As a result the growers Association was able to convince federal politicians that there was a genuine need to protect the industry and that is exactly what the parliament did. This small campaign gave apple and pear produces security for their lives and livelihoods in their industry.
The second was an approach from the chicken growers who were greatly concerned that chicken products would be brought in from countries like Thailand without anything like the protection against bacteria or disease that was applied in Australia. Again we ran a small campaign through FairGO with Votergrams and were successful in preventing those chicken imports into Australia.
As in all matters to do with democracy it is important to keep on top of the government and ensure that the gains made are retained. I am not sure whether those two industries have managed to retain the gains we obtained for them but certainly at the time it was achieved it made a big difference to the lives of the people involved in those industries.
The satirical anthem made reference to sending our iron or overseas and receiving back substandard materials. We have already seen in Australia in recent times that many high-rise residential buildings have been constructed with dangerously flammable material and that there may be serious structural flaws in the buildings themselves. We already know that there is a serious risk that gas taken from the Australian gas fields by foreign operators and perhaps even local operators is being sold overseas and may then be sold back to Australia because we do not have sufficient left for our own use. In Sydney recently a desalination plant is proposed to be turned on despite the fact that we have just endured a year of drought and our politicians have not thought to impose any water restrictions so that we could use the water in our available river dams. It is hard to avoid believing that this is a deliberate strategy designed to increase the price of water to Sydney residents through the use of the desalination plant with those higher prices continuing long after the plant has ceased to be used.
Whilst a great deal of blame is placed on our politicians the fact of the matter is that voters are primarily in control of what gets done. Our politicians are just ordinary people attempting to do an extraordinarily difficult job. Like the rest of us they are primarily interested in looking after themselves and their own families and earning a decent income. Democracy works like this:
a business organisation or some public servants tell politicians that a certain thing is "wanted by, and good for, the vast majority of the population".
That certain thing will provide the business organisation with profits or the public servants with salaries and there is no way that the politicians can check whether the vast majority of the population does or does not want that particular thing. This is why there are over 1000 lobbyists in Canberra. How could the politicians possibly work out whether what is being promoted to them is actually for the benefit of the Australian people? They cannot unless we the people tell them.
In recent weeks tens of thousands of fish have died in the Darling River and the Murray Darling catchment area. Many years ago a couple of ladies from the St George area in Southern Queensland phoned me to say that they were very concerned that water was being taken from their river by large farming enterprises upstream and they had been unable to enforce their riparian rights. That is their right to the water in their river the Balonne. It took us only a few Votergrams to the Queensland Parliament to have legislation gazetted and get the water flowing down the Balonne again. It is difficult to describe how much that improved the lives of those ladies and their farming neighbours.
Should it be that people in the Murray Darling Basin wish to see their river system working properly they will be most welcome to contact FairGO and I am sure that with the help of the people along the river we will be able to ensure its future in a way that is simply not possible with public servants, committees and wealthy private interests with considerable political clout arguing about it now.
The good news is that for many Australians they have for the past 30 years been able to send Votergrams through FairGO to let their views be known to all politicians. A good 90% of those Australians have achieved what they wanted. To make that system work well before each election such as is to be held in a few months for the Federal and New South Wales parliaments, FairGO releases ratings to show how well or badly individual members of Parliament have responded to Votergrams.
In order to expand that process FairGO has established the Australian Voters Network through which all Australians are able to express their views and decide what they would like done. Membership of the network is free. In addition to that, each Australian is able to rate on a monthly basis their local members of Parliament. This facility only began in 2018 but already politicians in about 40% of electorates are being rated by their constituents.
Voters rule in democracy but they only rule if they work together to decide what they want done, tell the members of Parliament what that is, then re-elect those politicians who do what is wanted and replace those who don’t. In the end Australia’s future is completely and utterly in the hands of its voters. If they do not take an active role, the profiteers will do so and ruin Australia for their own enrichment. Strong leaders are no solution as they will always work in their own interests first and big business pays big bribes by way of "political donations".
23rd January 2019
Who controls Australia, how and why?
Big business controls Australia right now, but how and why?
The how is easy. Money! It funds political parties, provides jobs, goods, services and taxes. It bribes political parties, politicians and public servants with donations and outrageous ticket prices for the right to sit alongside the ministers we voters pay. It threatens them by being able to run media campaigns against political parties that don’t do as they are told with ads to convince voters to vote against those parties.
The why is easy too. It is to make the very highest profits they can, pay their executives and directors the largest pay packets possible, increase their share prices and pay as little tax in Australia as possible. They have the laws written to suit them and enforcement authorities under their thumbs. Senior tax office officials move to or from the largest tax avoidance advisers in the country, having laws and regulations written then advising big business operators how to get around them. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald carries a story that government regulators are being wined, dined, entertained and given gifts by the very bodies they regulate. These are bribes pure and simple, designed to get the regulators on side. No wonder we could not get regulators to do anything about dishonest, lying, cheating and fraudulent banks and insurance companies. Corruption rules supreme in Australian government. No wonder the highest earners pay little tax. A corporate tax on turnover in any country at all should be imposed on Australian registered, trading or based companies. That cannot be avoided. Negative gearing, dividend imputation and capital gains concessions are simply clever tax avoidance laws for the richest Australians.
Politicians who have allowed this corruption to flourish do not deserve to be re-elected. Voters should push for legislation to ban government employees from receiving any benefit of any kind or having any social contact with any person who is employed by, a director of or shareholder in a company or other body with which the government deals in any way, including regulating and granting contracts or legislation favourable to that entity.
Right now, big business, the banks and the government are working out how to keep home prices artificially high, by making borrowing easier and cheaper and increasing demand through high immigration and promoting foreign investment in homes.
This is great for those wanting to sell a home and terrible for young Australians wanting to buy homes. For those just living in their home and perhaps paying off a mortgage, it should not make any difference as long as the ruthless moneylenders can be stopped from selling people up simply because the value of the home has dropped.
But for young people there is a magic bullet – Inland Australia. Go for a camping, caravan or car trip in autumn or spring and see for yourself how beautiful and inexpensive it is. With the internet providing work-at-home options and homes costing about a quarter of Sydney or Melbourne prices you can’t miss. The kids would live a life that you just cannot get 20 storeys off the ground, with the risk of building collapse or fire with little chance of escape.
For years I ran a Chartered Accountancy practice just a bit north of Sydney CBD with clients all around Sydney. Today I help voters and bank loan borrowers get a fair go from governments and banks. I do it all from home assisting people who are spread over every state and territory in Australia.
We don’t all need to work side by side anymore, with Skype, phone, internet, email and cloud storage, to say nothing of social networks. We can mostly work from anywhere and deal with all of Australia or overseas.
For voters, including young home buyers, there is a magic bullet too. It is their vote – provided it is used strategically to achieve their goals. Mostly it isn’t. Voters can achieve great things simply by asking all MPs in the right way. That is what voters have done by Votergram for the past 30 years. But I have learned that the more people we have, the faster we can achieve their goals with the help of politicians. It is mostly a matter of strategy. Australians need to get over their dislike of politicians and get alongside them. Voters Network helps them do that in a way that builds strength through numbers.
We don’t need strong leaders. The stronger the leader the more corrupt they are likely to be. We need active voters, because the mass of voters can kill corruption stone dead. Only active voters can make democracy work better. They join Voters Network and use FairGO's services to persuade politicians on what is right.
Are Governments Failing the People?
What is happening in the democracies of the United Kingdom the United States, France, Germany and Syria?
How are we feeling back home? Every day the media carries stories criticising what the government is doing. Every day we see some sort of tragedy unfolding somewhere in Australia. Is this indicative of government failing the people or is it simply media designed to attract attention and earn income?
Are our politicians failing us on our finances?
In recent days a Citigroup analyst said “franking credits made up a large proportion of the value of the major banks.”
It is enlightening to realise that the tax scheme which allows people to earn money from dividends without paying any or very much tax on them is really designed to benefit our major banks and the stock market in general.
It is very much the same with negative gearing. It is not so much the investor who deliberately sets out to lose money on property development in the knowledge that 100% of expenses will be deductible against other income whilst when the property is sold tax will only be payable on half of the profit. The real benefit of negative gearing is that it delivers huge profits to our major banks and other property lenders.
Superannuation is similar. The very best superannuation anyone can have is to own their own. At least then they have somewhere to live without having to pay rent or depend on charity. The long term capital gain can be enormous over time. The government introduced compulsory superannuation which directs about 10% of everyone’s earnings to the financial services industry largely controlled by the banks. Instead of most Australian being able to buy their home, the net result is that many will never own a home while the gurus of the financial services industry will be able to earn enough out of the money they are managing for them, to buy mansions.
The failure to tax gambling winnings and allow losses as a deduction against winnings only, not only allows a sizeable portion of the population to earn money without paying tax on it, but also facilitates the laundering of money by organised crime.
Rectifying failure by Community lobbying
Members of Voters Network have been helping interested Australians to influence governments for decades with outstanding results. Government action since we started our consideration of how to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence has been most rewarding.
Voters Network provides every Australian with an opportunity to become involved in the processes of our democratic government without taking partisan sides. They can just look at what might be good for themselves & their friends for a start. There is every chance that it will be equally good for many of their fellow Aussies.
We voters have every chance to ensure that government does not fail us.
7 January 2019
Politics and education
This morning’s media contained two interesting stories. One referred to access to teaching degrees at University and the other referred to special needs classes in lower wealth areas.
Of course there is much more to teaching than academic knowledge but it does seem sensible that those who teach should also know how to do what they are teaching.
There has always been a serious question about pay rates for teachers. This gets mixed with questions of how many hours or weeks they work in the year when schools or universities have such long holidays. Perhaps there is a need for reasonable estimates to be made on the normal amount of time an average teacher would spend at home on various tasks during a year. Then a pay rate for those hours could probably be calculated at somewhat less than the rate charged when they have to go to school or university to do their work.
There is no reason why teachers should be working unpaid. Nor is there any reason why they should be paid for time they are not working. Given past performance it is unlikely that education authorities are going to work this out to the satisfaction of parents, teachers and taxpayers. I suggest that it is a topic to be considered by voters who can then make submissions to government on it.
The other story related to special needs classes being clustered in the Western Sydney area in which residents may not have as much available money as in some of the more long established suburbs of Sydney. It pointed out that there was a much higher rate of special needs classes in public schools in that area than exists in more wealthy suburbs. The suggestion was that funds should perhaps be spent on preschool special needs education so that students are more able to fit into mainstream classes in primary school. This topic too is one that is more likely to be effectively handled by the voters themselves including parents, teachers and special-needs experts.
Anyone wishing to have those topics raised can easily do so through Voters Network forum.
There are about 100,000 voters to every politician. That certainly gives voters the advantage of numbers. Voters are able to choose the politician who represents them in Parliament and tell that politician what they would like him or her to do in order to represent them well.
Would you pay some $250,000 a year to represent you but then not tell them what you want them to do, supervise them doing it or check to see how it has been done?
That is what many voters do at election time when they elect to parliament representatives who they do not know and to whom they never give any instructions. For those representatives it must be disappointing and frustrating to be paid so little attention by those who they represent.
What will the state territory and federal members of parliament who represent you be doing for you in the year ahead?
If you think that it is important to find out, then your best course of action would be to join Voters Network. That way you can discuss with other voters what you would like done by those who represent you, rate how well they represent you and vote on proposals to be put to them so that they will represent you and your community in Parliament on those issues in future. Then you can decide at the next election time whether they are the best ones to represent you again.
That is the foundation of good government.
3 January 2019
What to do if a lender gets “heavy” as home values fall.
If your home loan lender gets heavy, call FairGO on 02 9988 3312 or 0428 471 496 for assistance or email email@example.com.
Home prices increase steadily with ups and downs along the way. Media reports suggest that worst affected areas are Melbourne’s inner East and south, Sydney’s Ryde, inner South West, Sutherland, Hills and Hawkesbury, Parramatta, South West, Blacktown and inner West.
For months, years, we have heard media complaints that young people could not enter the home market in cities like Sydney and Melbourne and were doomed to rent for life.
That was never true because there are plenty of nicer places in Australia to buy a home, many at a quarter the price which justifies lower wages. The current reversal however provides a great opportunity for young people to buy in at more affordable prices.
But now the media is full of doom and gloom because home prices have come back about 9% this year. They will probably fall further. If you own the home and don’t intend to sell, it does not matter what its price does. It is academic.
The exception is if your lender says that the “Loan to value ratio” is now unsatisfactory and wants you to do the impossible – make a lump sum reduction in the debt.
Historically home prices have bounced back eventually, even in the great depression of the 1930’s it only took about 6 years. In 1987 some values fell 20%. They are probably double now. Lenders need to sit tight as long as the home owner makes the repayments as usual.
Under no circumstances should we allow lenders to foreclose and throw the occupants out on the street. Lenders who loaned too high a percentage of the purchase price should just not panic and sit the slump out. My wife and I could not have bought a home without a loan of 95% from AMP. We never missed a payment, though we could not afford the cars and entertainments that our friends did. We entertained at home and learned that we could buy very nice used cars for a small fraction of the new price.
If any homebuyers are threatened by lenders and they come to us for assistance, their lenders will quickly be named and shamed in state and federal parliaments. For lenders the goal is to earn interest and get the loan repaid without expensive recovery action. In most cases that will be achieved by riding out the property slump that any lender with half a brain would know follows every boom.
Voters should not tolerate the disgraceful behaviour of NSW government politicians in the 1990's who failed to support the Homefund borrowers, caught in a property slump which dropped home values way below where they subsequently climbed to and provided moneylenders with exhorbitant interest rates of up to 15% and lawyers with huge fees in subsequent court actions.
These politicians should be ranked as some of the most corrupt and incompetent in our history. A repeat would result in their names being recorded and serious electoral action taken to remove them from parliament for good at the next election. All that was needed was a "stay of execution" until the home values returned to where they had been and variable interest rates which matched what borrowers paid with what the lending institutions had to pay to get the money.
The scheme was a wise one. It's management was a disgrace for politicians and bureaucrats alike. I attended the parliamentary inquiry called by NSW Independent John Hatton and heard of the massive incompetence of those involved. It was early days for FairGO. Today we would not tolerate that political and lender abuse of voters. What it did show was how much more good local MPs served the people than the major parties did. The parties seemed to be "owned" by the moneylenders. That is much the same as what the current Royal Commission has shown.
1 January 2019
Make your New Year’s resolution one that will work for you and fellow Australians.
“I will get more involved in government to shape Australia’s future for me and my community.”
21st December 2018
VOTERS GET THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFE-TIME – TO PLAN AUSTRALIA
2018 A YEAR OF DISASTERS
Banks have ripped off customers thanks to collusion between politicians, bureaucrats, regulators, bank directors and executives and thanks to de-regulation in the 1980’s.
Power prices have sky-rocketed because private enterprise owners have to recover the price they paid government to take control of our power, as well as charging a high-enough price for power to deliver hansom corporate profits after generous executive pays. Politicians sold the people out in order to reward friends and get cash without taxes.
Politicians have welcomed into Australia in the last year 1.65 times as many immigrants as our natural increase. Whereas our natural increase comes mostly as babies, immigrants come ready to raise babies of their own. Thus our Australianism can be rapidly diluted with voting power moving from established Australians to new citizens who sometimes have very different ways of treating others to those we have been used to. Of course we welcome migrants, but we would like them to fit into our culture without overwhelming us.
At the same time our politicians have largely ignored the vast open spaces of inland Australia, lining the pockets of those who fund their parties by forcing huge amounts of unwelcome development into two major cities, Sydney and Melbourne. The loss of personal productivity, time to enjoy ourselves, in our daily commute to work, is staggering. Bureaucrats do not measure this cost to the people of overcrowded cities. As was foretold in the 1960s with rats who reacted to overcrowding by attacking each other, residents of overcrowded cities are becoming more openly aggressive to one another and their mental health is suffering. Suicide has become a major problem long with domestic, family and sexual violence.
Politicians have allowed the corporate world to rule and enrich its players beyond the wildest dreams of the men and women who fought wars to keep us free. At the same time the politicians have firmly sat on individual wages by fostering the importation of workers and export of jobs. Many multi-millionaires gained their wealth by fraud, deception, exploitation, ruthless and smart wheeling and dealing or providing goods and services to their friends in government. Tax laws have been manipulated to benefit the richest 10% to the detriment of the other 90%.
Alcohol and drugs have had an unprecedented negative impact on our society and fattening foods and drinks rob us of vast amounts of money to educate our children and care for their health.
WHY WAS IT SO?
There is more, much more.... but why? It is because those who represent us in parliament and serve us in the bureaucracy are, just like the rest of us, primarily interested in looking after themselves. Nothing really wrong with that .....except....
We elect and pay via taxes, politicians to represent us in parliament to govern for us. We pay bureaucrats through our taxes to run our government departments, not for their own benefit or the benefit of private enterprises that lobby them, but for our benefit. But it just is not working for us.
What is the solution? Every parent knows they must supervise, support, reward and discipline their children. Every employer knows they must guide, reward and supervise their staff. Every teacher knows they must, respect, guide, support, reward and discipline their students.
“BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE”
We voters must surely guide, support, reward and discipline (by withdrawal of votes), the politicians we elect to parliament to represent us in overseeing the government of our state, territory or country.
“No way!” you say, but stop to think.
Think of the sheer enormity of running any of our governments, providing health and education, child care and aged care, public transport and road building, road safety and crime, a court system and planning regime, gaols and defence services, airports, railways, and internet services. These representatives of ours, our politicians, are perfectly normal everyday Australians elected by us mostly sight-unseen with no background checks, to represent us Aussies who they hardly even know.
How can they know what we want done if we do not decide amongst ourselves and tell them. They are not psychic.
What knowledge or experience do 600 MPs around Australia have to oversee government departments, think up laws and policies, supervise bureaucrats with little interest in the public welfare. We, the other 26 million of us, 16 million of whom are voters, have huge collective knowledge, experience and wisdom to share with them and help them do the job we ask of them. We also have a big stick in our combined votes.
We have developed a national sport of lampooning, ridiculing, criticising and belittling our own elected representatives, the people we have chosen to run government for us. Who are the turkeys? Us or them? Are we shooting ourselves in our feet?
Would it not be better if we took a little more time to work out who we would like to represent us in parliament from our own electorate? Would we like people with the same values as us demonstrated by what they have done in our community in the past, rather than what they promise for the future? Often the candidates don’t even live in the electorate they are going to represent. We frequently focus on political parties and leaders, which would be okay if we were electing a dictator or monarch, but in parliament every local MP has one vote, just like the party leader. Political party candidates are very much beholden to their party members and financial donors. They would be beholden to us voters if we took the trouble to get to know them, talk to them, give them our support and guidance.
The ones who are most interested in the well-being of the Australian people are the Australian people themselves – you and me.
PLAN AUSTRALIA 2019
Voters Network has been established to provide an opportunity for those who want to help build an even better Australia than we already enjoy, without being involved in the constant bickering, prejudice and vicious rivalry of party politics. It is a great country, but we can always make it better and who knows what we want, better than we do? Nobody!
2018 has been a bit of a disaster as another PM bit the dust; people abused by some of our previously most respected institutions sought recompense for lives destroyed; the banking industry was shown to be run by shyster directors and executives for their own benefit and the benefit of greedy institutionalised shareholders; housing prices moved out of reach for our young and capital city traffic ground to a halt as a matter of course every day in off-peak hours too.
Voters Network invites you to help plan Australia through 2019. Join our “Plan Australia 2019” forum and tell us what you would like to see done. It might affect you personally, your suburb, town or city, a farming district, river or mountain, your state or territory or all of Australia.
It could be about health, education, justice, safety, transport, welfare, equity, jobs, regulation or housing, or anything else that you want fixed. From the discussions we will extract proposals to be put to a vote from time to time. Proposals that get over 75% will be considered and those with over 80% given priority.
Then we voters will set about working with our elected representatives to turn those proposals into reality. We are unlikely to succeed with them all, but 30 years experience tells us that we will probably succeed with 80% to 90% of them. If we Australians can do that through working with our elected politicians, we will have set a great example for the democratic world.
If you have not already done so please join Voters Network. It is free.
If you have any questions please ask and we will be pleased to answer them.
20th December 2018
Good year! Bad year!
Don't be discouraged by the bad bits and try to enjoy the good bits to the MAX.
To be fair, the banking and political disasters that have unfolded this year in Australia are to some extent our own fault. That is not bad. It is good! It means we can fix them.
Here is a story from one person who has been treated very well by both bankers and politicians. So, given what I know has happened, I ask myself why that is. Why do bankers treat him so well and some of the people who come to me for help, so badly?
Well, it is because he does not accept second best treatment from any bank. He puts a little of his business with each one, sometimes just a few dollars. When he and his companies have needed to borrow he has asked all the banks what they could offer him then he played them off against one another until one bank gave him a very good deal. He would accept that offer and make sure that he paid it back exactly in accordance with the loan contract. If circumstances made that impossible he would quickly contact the bank and arrange for an extension of time. No bank has ever refused to assist him in that way.
Banks that treat him badly, he just closes his accounts immediately for a year of so and moves those accounts to the bank that treats him best.
Same with politicians. As soon as he sees something being done that he doesn't like, he tells all the MPs what he would like done and explains why. Those who help him, he supports with his vote and he supports their party colleagues too. Those who do what he does not want and ignore his communications, he votes against and he votes against their colleagues too.
By giving feedback to all Members of Parliament and explaining his reasons,using our Votergram service, he finds that they are mostly happy to do what he wants. Sometimes they are kind enough to explain to him why they do the opposite and often they convince him that he was wrong.
He deals with some very good bankers and some very good politicians, but says that he will never give his business to a banker who lets him down nor will he vote for a politician who lets him down. In banking he looks for what is good for him and his companies as well as general good treatment. In politics he says he looks for what is good for his family, community and the country.
He never trust bankers or politicians to the extent of expecting them to look after his interests by themselves. He says that would not be sensible. He reckons they will look after their own interests a long way before they look after his. Looking after his interests is, he emphasises, his job alone.
In that way he teaches bankers and politicians what will make him support them. Each of us can do the same. I think he has found the answer. It makes life so much more enjoyable to have the powers-that-be working for us rather than against us.
19th November 2018
Fixing the Future
Have you read the SMH story “The future Fix” – “Democracy Blues”? Jessica Irvine is a very well respected journalist. Big trouble lies ahead for Australia unless we do fix the way our politicians behave! That is the heart of the story. There is a Quick-Fix answer with long-term benefits. It is “More voter involvement with government”. That is exactly what Voters Network gives you- free. The quick bit is joining the network. The long-term benefit bit is putting in a few minutes every month to think about, discuss and decide what you would like done for yourself or Australia and then helping politicians to get it done. If millions of us work together in hubs around our major interests, we can add the view of the taxpayers who fund everything and the consumers who use everything that government does, to the views of our politicians and bureaucrats. Agreed answers will be based on our combined wisdom. It is more sensible than thinking that 600 politicians can hold all the wisdom in Australia and solve all its challenges while the other 25 million enjoy themselves at the beach, the footie or the pub.
What are the “Democracy Blues”.
In the decade from 2007 to 2017 the % of Australians satisfied with democracy fell from 86% to 60%. Only 40% thought government used our tax money effectively.
The story gives excuses, but the truth is that the politicians themselves have by and large been performing aggressively but pathetically, fighting each other for power. Why? Because we let them! How do we let them? By failing to supervise them and re-electing them when they fail us. Those voters who get involved, engage with MPs and demand performance usually get it willingly and generously provided. But only a few thousand out of 16 million voters do that.
A former bureaucrat complains that institutions have become politicised and that political advisers play too great a role in governance. The blame lies fairly with the bureaucrats and public servants who so often treat voters like dirt and regard our elected representatives as a “Yes Minister” obstacle to be overcome. Whilst the public service has the knowledge, experience and expertise to run government, it frequently runs it more for its own benefit than that of the ordinary voters. Some would say in return for favours from vested interests.
It is not that the value of skilled public administration trained in looking at all sides of a political proposition is no longer regarded as a civic virtue. Rather, the voting public feels that the government bureaucrats and public servants look far too ready to deliver benefits to big business regardless of what it costs the Australian community. Bureaucrats seem to forget that they work for us. It is not the other way around. Their attitude has certainly changed as greed gradually took over from the generosity that flowed during the second world war. Many bureaucrats are regarded by the public as primarily looking after their own careers.
A political scientist explains that voters disapprove of the changes in Prime Ministers by both Liberal and Labor parties over the last decade. And why not? What these leadership battles show to the people is that many senior politicians are not even vaguely interested in the well being of the people of Australia. What they are primarily interested in is their own grip on power to deal with the nation’s assets and reward friends with lucrative government contracts, infrastructure or services. These politicians are not advancing Australia fair. They are advancing themselves and their mates quite unfairly. They are not fighting for fairness and justice. They are fighting for the spoils of war – our laws, our land, our infrastructure, our taxes, our cities and farms. Voters would have to believe in fairies to think these politicians were looking after the public when they behave in such a predatory fashion against one another.
But we should be slow to criticise them, for are we not to blame? We the people, 50,000 voters to 1 MP, do not care enough about them. Having elected them to parliament we do not even care what those MPs want; to thank them for what they do right; to tell them what we want; to support them when they stick their necks out to help us. The ball is in our court.
Democracy or dictatorship
If less than 45% of Australians agreed in a poll last year that “democracy is preferable to any other kind of government”, the other 55% should carefully reflect on Hitler’s Germany; Mussolini’s Italy, Marcos’ Philippines, Mao’s China and Henry VIII’s England and some of the Asian and Middle Eastern governments we read about every week. How fortunate we are. Democracy is a superb system of government. The people can remove the rulers every few years. What is lacking in democracies around the world is the people telling their representatives what they want done. How could any politicians representing 50,000 voters and their families, possibly know what the people they represent want done, unless those people actually confer and tell their MP what it is?
The flaw in our democracy is that we want “government for the people” but we do not make the effort to provide “government by the people”. We let political parties control our representatives and then are surprised if the MPs work primarily for the benefit of those political parties. To enjoy “government for the people” Australians must provide “Government by the people”. That is to say they must take an active role by assisting their elected representatives to do their job a lot better.
Big Business has gained Big Time
We Aussies are not as silly as some would portray us. Only 5% of those surveyed believe they have gained a lot from our decade-long economic run fuelled by the mega-profitable moneylenders. 74% believe large corporations have gained a lot. We only have to look at the multi-billion dollar profits being posted by big corporations like the banks. If 4 banks earned $30 billion between them in 2017 it probably means that their customers have lost $30 billion in the same year. By that I mean customers have paid $30 billion more for banking services than those services actually cost the banks to provide. That is, on average each person has been charged an extra $1,000 over cost for banking services. Those using the Better Banking Network services would probably keep most of that $1,000 for themselves by bargaining for the best services at the lowest costs from competing banks. That is what we have been doing for bank customers since de-regulation before 1987.
But that is just 4 banks. Think of all the huge global companies operating in Australia – financial services being one area, the law another and hospitality, fuel and supermarkets more. That $30 billion is chicken-feed compared to what all the big businesses are making out of us
When evaluating the intentions of politicians it is important to remember how determined to prevent the banking royal commission most Liberal MPs were. Big business has ripped of their employees and customers for the benefit of professional wealth managers and company executives. Big business is the primary driver of government policy and so when businesses overcharge customers and underpay staff in order to maximise executive pay and corporate profits, it is no wonder that the public deplore the pro-big-business policies that government forces on them.
Australians realise that privatisation has been a complete and utter disaster for them. Sale of government banks has allowed the private profiteers to charge what they like free of any real competition. Privatisation of electricity assets immediately sent prices skyrocketing. Politicians had delivered big profits to their mates at the expense of electricity consumers. Consultants charge twice what government staff cost and then donate some of their fees back to the political parties just to keep in favour. As I write, chaos engulfs the new privatised hospital at Frenchs Forest, with the alluring name of “Northern Beaches Hospital”. It seems to be grossly under-equipped to do the job in hand.
We hope in Voters Network to develop teams of specialists who can assist MPs to better understand and debate the pros and cons of various policy options. This is a very acceptable alternative to business profiteers whispering false data into the ears of politicians who know nothing about the issue in hand.
Other voices have crowded out the voters
The article decries a move to the American system of new and friendly department heads being appointed by newly elected politicians. But this is also the fault of the bureaucrats themselves. There have been numerous instances of departmental heads deciding not to take much notice of the newly elected Ministers if they were of a different political persuasion. Such an attitude denies democracy to the people. When the people elect a different party to government they have an expectation that policy will change. Bureaucrats who think they know better what is good for the people are simply little dictators who cause much of the public dissatisfaction with government. “Yes Minister” is not acceptable in our democracy.
There is certainly a major problem with media influence – all sorts of media. Many Australians have never understood that what was reported on the radio or TV or in the paper might be complete fiction. Today with the rise of social media, people again pick up what someone says on Facebook or Twitter and circulate it as gospel truth when it may just as easily be a blatant lie. It is so difficult to determine what is truth and what is fiction online.
Few voters are receiving information directly from their elected MPs. Rather they are receiving it from an unknown third party. It does not matter whether or not it is true. If it is something they would like to be true, they treat it as truth. A former Treasury official at the time of the Homefund fiasco in NSW that cost many their homes and life’s savings, suggests that it is not policy that people protest about but the way it is decided, announced and executed. This is the old political idea that the voters “did not dislike what we did, but we just did not sell it well enough to them”. Voters do mostly know what they want and they know that very often they are the last people whose wellbeing is considered after the politicians, political parties, donors and senior bureaucrats. Voters are right onto the political deceptions, but many have not realised that they can change that very easily by strategically using their voices and votes.
Over to you!
Longer fixed term governments is put forward as a solution that would allow government s to implement better policies. However, long before the Australian voting public is going to buy the concept of longer fixed terms in political office, it is going to need to be convinced that the politicians when in power will actually be governing for the benefit of the people. There is little evidence of that at present. Comments by Ralph Ashton of the Australian Futures Project ring true. He calls on people of good will to come forward and fix the problems rather than laying blame on others.
That is exactly what Voters Network is about, gathering together voters who see the merit in working together and with our elected MPs to resolve Australia’s problems. That is a lot better than joining in the chorus of uninformed criticism that puts all the blame for failure on our politicians and all the credit for wisdom with ourselves.
I hope that you will join Voters Network, the way to be involved in our political system of government but to do it without becoming involved in party politics. Only then can we create a spirit of optimism, because then we will all be working for a better future. It is not our views that count, but yours. That is why we have established a website to help you persuade politicians and thus guide government.
13th November 2018
Winning at all costs!
Why do politicians behave so badly in a win-at-all-costs battle?
Because party politics is all out warfare. The parties are fighting to gain control of the state or country, with all its assets and the ability to do enormous favours for those who have donated money to the party.
It is not so much different to the monarchs of centuries past. They were funded by the wealthy landowners and for backing a particular king or queen the gentry were rewarded with the lands of those who the king or queen conquered.
But today in Australia, voters control the votes that determine whether or not a local MP is re-elected every few years, so they can really control the behaviour in parliament. They can do that by expressing their views on bad behaviour, then voting out of office the offensive MPs or their parties as a whole.
In reality, if the voting public expressed its outrage at bad behaviour by our parliamentary representatives and backed that with their votes, the bad behaviour would cease.
We, the people, shape parliamentary behaviour by our behaviour. If we are interested in a better society so are our politicians. If we don’t care, they don’t care. If we react, they react.
It is simple really. What is amazing is that so many Australians still think of and fear our government as if it was a monarchy under a king like Henry VIII. They still think that the government makes all decisions and has some divine wisdom, and that if they stick their head up and criticise, the government will cut it off. Nothing could be further from the truth. In 30 years of constructively criticising governments of all political flavours, nobody has ever sought to do me or any of the people who have used our service, any harm. On the contrary they have mostly shown a willingness to do what we suggested. They don’t have any more wisdom than the rest of us. They are just ordinary people elected by us and trying to do a very difficult job. If we help them do it they are more likely to do it in the way we want it done.
Join our Voters Network and put some strength into your influence. Try to shape the future and do not put up with being pushed around, neglected or ignored. When you are part of the network you will always have a base to support your claim for a fair go.
One group of people who may soon be suffering are those with home loans facing falling property values. Don’t let any moneylender foreclose on your home without a fight. You need to protect the equity you have built in your home. Falls in value are usually temporary, so they will mostly rise again. There is no reason for the bank to mistreat you simply because the ratio of your home value to your home loan has moved in the wrong direction. We will always be happy to help you hang onto your home if it is humanly possible and it usually is.
7th November 2018
Ted Mack – a superb MP who is sadly missed
Ted was a man who understood that a good, fair democratic society requires the involvement of good fair citizens in parliament and on council. They do not need great expertise. They need to care about others and know how to represent them and their views.
We celebrate the work of independents in parliament, for they are frequently the only ones truly able to represent the views of voters first and foremost.
Around 70% of politicians have little interest in anyone who does not affect their re-election. Their priorities are their party first and donors second, local constituents third and the Australian people fourth. So Australia functions on the skills and care of about 30% of the politicians we elect and pay. Ted, John Hatton, Tony Windsor and others have served voters very well.
A career in politics is a great opportunity to work for the community on a pay that generally rises from about $150,000 a year. Even on council the pay is quite good. For people of any age it can be very rewarding.
If you would like to consider a career in parliament or on council, please feel free to talk to us and we will do everything we can to assist you. Then, whether you stand as an independent or a member of a party, we will help you build rapport with your voting community.
As a stepping stone to another career, parliament is ideal because whileyou are there you meet many powerful people and learn how the democracy game is played. It is totally different to what most voters believe.
6th November 2018
Why does government benefit from the proceeds of crime ???
The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the government received or would receive $17 million in fines from financial advice business Financial Circle for the damage it caused its clients by operating as it did. It is worth reading the article.
What about all those poor investors who knew little about finance, just wanted loans and according to the Herald were relieved on their money in various ways?
Why do we see the Government $17m richer for apparently letting a business behave dishonestly, while the people who were taken down get nothing?
We saw this with the government that allowed banks and insurance companies to rob their customers blind for well over a decade. Government fought hard to prevent the royal commission from happening, then collects a reward of millions of dollars in fines from those banks and insurers.
Would you support laws that instead provide mandatory compensation (not just refunds for amounts fraudulently taken) payable by offenders to those who lost their money. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.
31st October 2018
As October winds up what is happening in our Australia?
What does it mean that health workers are bullied? We certainly need to find out when 13,000 complain. What is the nature of the bullying? Can asking staff to do the job they are paid for, a form of bullying? By whom are they being bullied? Patients, relatives , bureaucrats, suppliers, other health workers – who?
NSW MP and state Minister, Victor Dominello seems to be winning the hearts and minds of voters on the planning issue. Plenty of people feel their MPs work steadfastly against them most of the time. It is a funny way to represent people, but I guess that as long as voters re-elect people who work against them the practice will continue. One difficulty faced by local MPs is that voters do not tell them what those voters want. One difficulty some voters have is that their local MP just does not care. That is what Voters Network is for – giving voters the strength of numbers, expertise and experience.
Attacks on politicians for being drunk or harassing people are a bit rich when we consider the number of other Australians who do the same thing. I watch plenty of MPs being harassed in TV interviews on current affairs programs, so it does not surprise me that they might retaliate some time. But we need perhaps to decide what we elect and pay MPs for. Is it to represent us in parliament and run the state or country the way we want it run, or it is to be moral role models?
Their behaviour in parliament is just appalling sometimes but it does reveal that their own personal power is far more important to many MPs than anything they might do for voters.
Negative gearing featured again today in the media. It is just another of the tax breaks for the super rich. That it can also provide minor tax relief for middle income earners does not justify its existence any more than the absurd concept that if money is earned by way of dividends it should be tax free but if it is earned by hard work it should be taxed at a higher rate than the corporate billionaires pay. Salary and wage earners do not get half the deductions negative gearers do.
All forms of voting for election to parliament can be rigged and we seem to be moving towards a time when people feel it is okay to rig election results. The Australian Electoral Commission is looking to upgrade its IT facilities. How can voters know that the software counts votes accurately?
By joining Voters Network, voters help to protect Australia from the sort of dictatorship that has won government in other countries by way of rigged elections.
The federal government is to be congratulated for preventing a Chinese company from controlling any aspect of our telecommunications. China is a country that kills dissidents. The further it remains from Australian essential services the better. What its government does is up to the Chinese people and it may work well for them. They are entitled to their form of society and we Australians are entitled to ours.
Two more people have been shot in NSW and Victoria giving us a clear message that prevalence of guns will mean more people being killed with them. Politicians who support more gun ownership with less restrictions are directly responsible for these deaths, just as those politicians who support the live cattle and sheep export trade are directly responsible for disgusting animal cruelty.
Greater voter involvement in society is urgently needed. Join the network.
27th October 2018
When political parties fail society – society itself has the solution!
An IPSOS poll revealed that “More than half of Australian voters surveyed (53 per cent) said they believe political parties are bad at providing politicians capable of running the country, while only 17 per cent thought parties were good at this.
Political parties were bad at creating policy ideas in the long-term interests of Australia as a whole, according to 44 per cent.
As for parties' ability to communicate to voters about important issues and how they will work to solve them, 41 per cent said political parties were bad at this.
36 per cent said "it (the system) could be improved quite a lot" and another 29 per cent said it "needs a great deal of improvement”.
First – What is the problem? It is this: since society began, rulers have ruled primarily for themselves and those who finance their battles to gain power over their fellow citizens. Australian society is no exception. In 2016 Australian political parties spent $75 million dollars fighting each other in a war of words to win votes that would deliver them the spoils of ruling Australians. Whereas, centuries ago, dead bodies delivered victory, today in democracy it is the votes of the Australian people that deliver power.
One only has to watch the spiteful behaviour of political party members towards each other and even within parties to discover the lust for power that lies just beneath the surface. Those good politicians genuinely interested in serving the people stand little chance of rising to the top in the dog-eat-dog world of politics.
Is this the best we can hope for in our Australian society at federal, state and local council levels? Not by a long way!
Our democracy in Australia has two unique features. First is the Australian persona, happy to give everyone a fair go. This arises from the appalling way in which our first settlers were treated by the authorities in this unforgiving land. The second is our right to vote our local MPs in or out of office every few years, without restriction as to any political party affiliations they may or may not have. In many cases independent MPs have acted better than party politicians.
By working with politicians instead of against them or ignoring them altogether, members of Voters Network can provide the unifying stability that parties provide, by supporting good policies without "party" sides .
We voters have a range of choices. First and foremost, our governments will either rule or serve the Australian people. Which it is, depends 100% on the voters. If we choose wisely and elect only the best local MPs who will do what we want, we will be well served. To date we have not done that. We have simply picked a political party by virtue of our birth, location or wealth and voted for the candidate endorsed by that party. A performing seal could get elected to parliament that way! And it seems that we have been more ruled for the benefit of the parties and their political donors, than served for the benefit of Australian society.
So what can we do about it?
We can put aside the concept of warring, self-serving political parties to whom the truth is irrelevant and false promises their stock in trade. Instead we can devote a bit more time, energy and money to working out which local election candidates will be likely to serve us best on the basis of PAST PERFORMANCE ( not false promises). It does not matter to which party they belong or if they belong to no party. But we must look at their past performance. How did they go last term if in parliament? What have they done in the community over the past decades if they were not in parliament? Did they live locally or did they just buy into the area to get elected to a good seat in parliament?
We can tell all MPs, not just our local ones, what we want done and explain why. Because Parliament is an organised meeting where the majority vote prevails, telling every MP is the only way to go, because then you have a chance of influencing the majority. Even on small personal matters, by seeking assistance from 100 or 200 MPs, someone will help you even if your local MP does not. That is why thousands of Australians use Votergrams to persuade politicians. It helps if voters discuss amongst themselves the major matters of concern first, to present a united voice on a topic. The Voters Network forum makes that easy.
We should only re-elect those local MPs who, or whose political party, do what we want about 80% of the time. By using the Voters Network website rating facility you can, on a monthly basis, rate whether your local MPs are representing you well or badly. Given the multitude of other matters you will deal with between elections, the rating facility gives you a record to which you can easily refer before each election to help you decide who will be the best candidate.
For about 5 minutes and $1 a week, Australian voters can transform their society from a political battleground where the people are buried by the greed, self-interest and quest for ever greater power and wealth by a very small group of people, to a well-off happy society where education is readily available, jobs are plentiful and rewards sufficient for a lifestyle that is enjoyable and substantially free from the stresses of disadvantage.
That is why our national anthem is “Advance Australia Fair”. It is not just a nice song to listen to before the games begin. It is a commitment by the Australian people to the Australian people that no warring, spiteful politicians, behaving towards each other like caged animals, can take away from us.
We can discard the self-seeking individuals and elect the society-serving candidates to represent us, then support them with guidance, praise and constructive criticism. There are plenty of excellent, community-minded politicians in our parliaments. But no Member of Parliament can serve the Australian people well if left alone in a vacuum, for into that vacuum will come the evil corrupting influence of the self-seeking dishonest trash of society ready to offer rich rewards to politicians who will do their bidding by granting them favourable laws and policies and awarding them rich government contracts.
In our society, when voters take charge through our fabulous election process, our governments will serve us instead of ruling us and ruining our society.
16th October 2018
Protect your wallet. Big Business want you to pick up the Tax Tab!
The government, driven by big business, is looking to tax you more. GST up by 50% from 10% to 15% and on more items.
Now that big business has been defeated in its move to get its tax rate down to nearly half the top rate paid by individual voters, it is pushing another proposal under the guise that the system we have is 27 years old and needs to be fixed. It wants taxes moved onto the low earning individual voters instead of the high earning giant corporations that replace jobs with technology and are off-shoring as many Australian jobs as possible to satisfy their greed for profits.
Consumer spending is what creates jobs. When consumers stop spending the retailers lose sales, banks and credit card companies lose business, raw materials suppliers and wholesalers lose business. Then they put off staff which cuts spending further.
Voters might retaliate with a Turnover Tax for businesses @ 80% of the GST rate for individual voters.
Companies spend about 80% of revenue, so as an equivalent to the GST paid by voters, companies could pay that Turnover tax of 8% (while GST is 10%) and 12% (if GST rises to 15%). There at least needs to be some degree of fairness in taxation.
A lot more money would come into government if all the tax evasion loopholes were closed by the politicians who so conveniently legislated them for political donors.
Companies should pay the same progressive income tax rates as individuals do with a maximum of the 46% voters pay, instead of companies paying almost half that rate at 27.5%. That would stop individuals putting their earnings through their companies.
People need some of their pay left to invest in homes, cars, furniture, shares, savings and education, just like companies need it. Companies are more likely to invest in reducing jobs than increasing them. Consumers create jobs whether they spend or save.
Failure to tax dividends now is a farce, again helping the richest in the community who own big slices of public company shares and can live well of their dividends. Companies are separate legal entities from their shareholders – unless shareholders want to be liable for the debts of public companies in which they hold shares. They should pay tax on the dividends they receive just like workers pay tax on wages. Income is income.
We need progressive personal tax rates to also apply to companies earning billions. That might curb their appetite to pay multi-million dollar salaries to their CEOs
Tax Attack is the best form of defence. Defend your wallet. Join the Fair Tax campaign.
Government could create jobs too with the extra taxes received and then we might get honest, reasonably priced services in banking, insurance, energy and transport again. Privatisation has been a disappointing disaster for many voters.
Give it some thought and let us know what you think. Put your views up on the Fairer Tax topic in our Action forum.
3rd October 2018
Home owners warned
Home price slump signals the time for home borrowers to take pre-emptive action before the lender starts making impossible demands, like a quick reduction in the mortgage or higher interest rates.
Voters Network has struck a special arrangement with associated debt consultancy GBAC Advisory to conduct a brief home loan review for $35 to see whether the loan needs to be modified in any way to please the lender. That gives borrowers plenty of time to prepare for any necessary discussions with the lender It is always easier to take early action than to have it forced on you by the lender.
1st October 2018
Banking royal commission
Some outcomes of the Royal commission so far in terms of voters seeing what will assist them are:-
Government owned banks to compete with profiteering and openly dishonest private banks may have merit.
Customers shopping around various banks would give them better treatment. Moneylenders drive a hard bargain but wise borrowers and depositors can drive a better one with the right tools.
Customer owned banks like Bendigo Community Bank seem to look after customers a lot better than the big 4.
Government (taxpayer) guarantees of deposits and other liabilities of the big 4 banks which were introduced during the GFC are no longer required as those banks make billions of dollars annually and should keep enough money available and avoid enough risks to cover their own debts, just as they expect their customers to do. Only the smaller banks need government guarantees of deposits to borrow competitively.
Bank borrowers would be well advised to use independent consultants who cost a lot less than the huge commissions the banks pay brokers and build into the interest they charge borrowers. Customers who use their bank or its paid brokers to advise them on their banking matters are just plain silly. The bank cannot prioritise the interests of both the bank and the customers. Every dollar the customer makes the bank loses. Our associated consultancy GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd has worked solely for bank customers for nearly 50 years with spectacular results for those customers. It too is committed to bank customers getting a fair go. Voters Network advanced members who contribute $44 p.a . to network funding ( see upgrade tab) receive a discount from GBAC www.gbac.com.au .
27th September 2018
How can we live with politicians who constantly work against us?
Today the ABC aced the Liberal Party with “ Anything you can do, I can do better.” But there are voters very unhappy about its ramifications.
How does it happen that the Prime Minister’s business partner was appointed to the Chair of the ABC? That is a more important question than how could the PM via that chairman get rid of ABC staff he objected to. This is like a Middle Eastern or Asian dictatorship. We can see how easily Australia could become a democracy in name only with a Dictatorial Prime Minister or President as happened in the book “McCabe PM”.
I hope that even more Australians now see the advantages of joining the Australian Voters Network to recapture the political power that used to come through local MPs.
Today we read in the media about MPs laundering expense money from our taxes through their expense accounts, out to a printer who then donated a portion of it back to their political party.
It is not the first time public money has been laundered through external businesses or consultants and back to political parties.
It is one very good reason to end the obsession with privatisation of government services and it clearly explains why political parties are so keen on it. It can make them millions.
We need to have the Senate approve all government appointments to government boards.
The answer to the question above is “We can’t. We should not be expected to live with them. We elect and pay them. When they work against us our one and only remedy is to dismiss them at the next election. Those in Safe seats” can easily go and campaign in any of the many government held marginal electorates within striking distance.“
12th September 2018
HOW VOTERS RATED MPs AS TO HOW WELL THEY HAVE REPRESENTED THEM
TO SEPTEMBER 2018
Caution: This is the first rating, with quite small participation over a short time.
subsequent ratings may give a more accurate picture of broader views.
BEST RATED REPRESENTATIVES (best at top)
1 Susan Templeman (by big margin) Federal Macquarie ALP
2 Barnaby Joyce Federal New England NP
3 Emma McBride Federal Dobell ALP
4 Gladys Berejiklian NSW Willoughby LP Premier
5 Julie Owens Federal Parramatta ALP
6 Alan Tudge Federal Aston LP
7 David Mehan NSW The Entrance ALP
8 Heidi Victoria Vic Bayswater LP
9 James Merlino Vic Monbulk ALP
10 Jason Wood Federal LaTrobe LP
WORST RATED REPRESENTATIVES (worst at bottom)
1 Adam Bandt Federal Melbourne GRN
2 Damian Drum Federal Murray NP
3 David Littleproud Federal Maranoa NP
4 Jason Falinski Federal Mackellar LP
5 Karen Andrews Federal Mcpherson LP
6 Madeleine King Federal Brand ALP
7 Mark Dreyfus Federal Isaacs ALP
8 Nicole Flint Federal Boothby LP
9 Sarah Henderson Federal Corangamite LP
10 Sharon Claydon Federal Newcastle ALP
11 Cathy O'Toole Federal Herbert ALP
12 John McVeigh Federal Groom LP
13 Dominic Perrottet NSW Hawkesbury LP
All voters in Australia are eligible to join Voters Network free and rate MPs
11th September 2018
Financial storm warning –Home buyers beware!! Be prepared!!
Problem (if too technical go straight to solutions below)
The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday issued a financial storm warning according to today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Like all weather forecasts it may never happen, but it pays to take an umbrella when heavy rain is forecast.
Reserve Bank sounds warning over national debt.
The country’s debt levels rocketing to the top of global rankings.
“The Australian banking system is potentially very exposed to a decline in credit quality of outstanding mortgages” said RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock.
Australia’s debt to income ratio more than doubled to 160% from the 1990s to the mid 2000s. Since 2013 that has spiked to 190%.
In a warning to middle aged and older home buyers the article revealed “Up to 60% of the debt is contained within households where the top income earner is aged between 35 & 54, while an increasing proportion of Australians are carrying it (debt) past retirement age”.
The RBA warned an economic shock could leave households struggling to meet repayments.
Ms Bullock said “It they have little savings, they might need to reduce consumption in order to meet loan repayments or, more extreme, sell their houses or default on their loans (our emphasis). This could have adverse effects on the real economy in the form of lower economic growth, higher unemployment and falling house prices, which could in turn amplify the negative shock.
Everyone must find and adopt solutions suitable to their own particular circumstances. For assistance email email@example.com .
Here are some steps the wise borrower may wish to consider:
1. Take advantage of low interest rates to make the highest possible monthly repayments to reduce the debt faster which also reduces the interest you are being charged.
2. Cut down on other expenditure that can be cut, to reduce your debt before the storm breaks
3. If you would like us to advocate for you and see if we can negotiate a lower interest rate or an option for a longer term to minimize the risk of default email us. We have had recent successes, as we have for over 30 years, in negotiating better rates and terms than are generally offered by lenders.
4. If you hav large debt that has got out of hand, you may be a candidate for us to secure you a significant debt write off.
When a lender forecloses to sell up your home, business or farm (despite having sworn on a stack of Bibles that it would never do so) they often charge huge amounts against your mortgage in the process. I heard of one case recently where the charge alone was in the millions of dollars and absorbed all the equity the borrower had built up over years of repayments.
As long as you owe money on your home, you are at risk, unless you KNOW that your earnings are secure from now until the debt is repaid.
Credit card debt is dynamite unless you can clear the whole card debt monthly on the due date. Last week we reduced the credit card interest rate from 26.99% to 1.99% for one person.
Remember that we are not just here to make money. We are here to help each other.
We are always happy to act as your advocate to secure better treatment from your lender, but the earlier you act to protect your home and your investment in it, the better the outcome is likely to be.
More money for you
Of course the economic shock may not come at all. In that case you will have reduced your debt faster meaning that you will have more of your earnings to spend on yourself instead of adding a bit more of your income to the lender’s billion dollar annual profits.
You probably saw that when Westpac made a tiny increase to its interest rate that was said to add $1 billion to its profit. By similarly reducing the interest rate they are paying, Westpac customers could collectively save $1 billion. All other home loan mortgage holders could do the same. It is as if we all shared in buying lotto tickets then all shared in a $1 billion prize. Bank executives can only earn $1 million a month while customers let the bank take the prize money. Get rewarded for the benefit you give the bank by borrowing from it, instead of rewarding the bank for lending to you.
Either the moneylenders make billions of dollars or the millions of Australian home buyers could each make thousands more to spend by taking control of their loans. Brokers act for the banks. In 1987 we became banking advocates for the Australian people. We constantly help customers get a better deal from lenders and we have now included insurance customers who have been ripped off on a grand scale by insurers. They love to collect premiums and then do all that they can to avoid paying claims. Sometimes the insurance is pure fraud in the first place, but more on that another time.
Just as voters can rule in democracy, customers can rule the banks, but in both cases it takes a bit of effort and co-operation. We are always happy to help created a playing field that is slightly slanted in favour of the vast majority instead of the super-rich unscrupulous minority.
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
10th September 2018
Wagga sees the screams for better government turned into a ballot box blow-out!
The swing of nearly 30% against the Liberal Party candidate shows how angry voters are.
There is one simple answer – Join Voters Network so that you can continuously persuade politicians to do what is best for Australia and for you in particular. Voting people in or out is only a “remedy of last resort”. The next person may be just as bad. Persuading them to do what you want is the real answer.
The poorest people have the greatest opportunity to persuade politicians to build their wealth. Why? Because they have the greatest number of votes. It is just a case of backing up their suggestions with their votes and networking together to do it.
Voters Network membership is free and we are producing some very good results for members.
A year after starting the Votergram service in 1986, I turned my Chartered Accountancy practice into a banking consultancy for bank customers. Today FairGO and GBAC work together to deliver financial and political advantages for Voters Network members. Many have sought to copy us, but few succeed.
The reason is that we do not work to make money or political gain for ourselves. It is far more satisfying to make both available to other people.
We would of course like more people contributing to the network funding because if we can build up revenue that will fund Hub Leaders and coordinators. That will come as people experience what we can do, like that lady for whom we cut her interest rate from 26.99% to 1.99%.
When you join Voters Network you too will have a better chance of helping and being helped by others.
3 September 2018
Beating the bank in the nicest of ways
The Banking Royal Commission has revealed that major banks, insurance companies and superannuation managers have been ripping off their most loyal customers for years, with the tacit approval of regulators.
FairGO and GBAC have for years combined to secure repayment discounts of up to $5 million for debt-stressed business and farm borrowers. They have done the same for consumers with impossible credit card debts
In response to the Royal Commission evidence, they will soon help Voters Network members negotiate the best interest rates and learn whether they are covered for the benefits they expect from their insurance and superannuation payments.
Those who have been kind enough to make a $44 or more a year (85 cents a week) contribution to help cover network costs will received a 10% discount on any of the low costs involved.
28 th August 2018
I must stress that although the purpose of Voters Network is not to make or distribute profits, the intention is that it become a viable commercial enterprise with revenue primarily funding the costs of Hub Leaders. Otherwise the blind political opportunism that has been particular visible in recent days in Canberra, but underlies all governments of whatever kind, will continue to favour a small minority over the vast majority of Australians, as it does in many other countries.
Voters Network, by involving, respecting and mobilising all voters to work together and with their elected representatives, provides the only real way to move to a fair and just society of reasonable equality.
Is Australia behaving like a spoiled brat?
An Article by Ralph Ashton in today’s newspaper claims that it is. Outlining our failures, our successes and our wasted opportunities, it claims that “the future the public wants goes begging.” He lists the top 10 things Australians want for their country. He includes “ a high level of accountability and honesty” and “effective government”. He goes on to say what experts have been telling us for a decade that we must do. Then he adds some more items for good measure.
So how does the author know what 25 million Australians want? Do you even know what your family and neighbours want on economics, aged care, health care, taxes, housing, energy and mental health?
He continues that our governments, leaders and vested interests have not been doing much about important issues. He accuses us voters, consumers, investors and superannuants of largely standing by. He says that “we’re creating a society we don’t want”. He urges Australians to grow up and take advantage of our opportunities.
Is he right or is he wrong? I am not sure and I wonder what you think.
But in my mind he is correct in his conclusion that “we need to reach consensus on what we want to become as a nation, what we want to avoid and what we genuinely disagree on. Then let’s focus our democratic effort and resources on achieving the first, avoiding the second and respectfully – but with conviction, coherence and consistency – arguing about the third.”
His conclusion exactly states the reason for which I formed the Australian Voters Network ( Voters Network). To empower them it is controlled by the voters. For independence it is self funded. For effectiveness it is separated from government and politics. Voters Network enables voters to speak for themselves rather than having people say “what the public wants”. Only when serious numbers of voters join us to put their views forward and confer with their fellow Australians for consensus outcomes, will we have what Mr. Ashton proclaims.
It is pure mathematics. 25 million Australians can reach consensus on 70% to 80% of what we want and what we want to avoid. 16 million voters can persuade their 600 or so politicians who they choose by election, to direct government bureaucrats to make it happen. While that is being done the rest of us can work through our areas of disagreement to see what compromises might be acceptable to most of us.
26th August 2018
The political Power Game
The political posturing for power in Canberra shows voters the need to build their own power base in Voters Network.
It really does not matter who the PM is or who the ministers are. Most ministers have no qualifications whatsoever for the ministry over which they preside. The PM must do what the party wants.
In the community we have thousands of people with qualifications, experience and expertise in every ministry there is.
If we voters get alongside our local MPs and ministers and help them with their job by making constructive suggestions instead of standing by making caustic comments in the media, we will enjoy far better government.
Our politicians are neither brilliant nor stupid. They are representative of us and they are our representatives. Isn’t it just common sense to try to work with them for the benefit of all Australians? Will they not do better with the benefit of our accumulated community wisdom?
When I was young an uncle told me “Any fool can criticise and most fools do. Make your criticism constructive, not just an ego trip.” It is not a bad thing for us voters to heed.
I too have been guilty of negative criticism, but working with people in FairGO, Votergrams and Voters Network, I have met and dealt with many of the Local MPs and ministers as well as their staff. I have learned to respect them, for it is a difficult job.
Like most people, they respond well to encouragement and praise. As long as they get it only from the wealthy self-interest groups, those groups will run the country. When they get it from the voters, voters will rule the country.
Think of having a go yourself . The pay is quite good. We are always happy to work with people who want to stand for office, whether with their favourite political party or as independents.
“Working together we can all win. Working in conflict, most of us lose”.
21st August 2018
Difficulty with debts
High debt levels
Australians are immersed in debt. Many have been treated badly by their banks. With present low interest rates, most borrowers are managing quite well. However, some have interest-only loans which will soon require principal and interest repayments. That is when difficulties may arise for home owners, investors, business owners and farmers.
The latter are particularly vulnerable to recovery action by banks following the end of a drought. Rural businesses are similarly vulnerable. Borrowers cannot believe the costs the bank and its receivers can run up in the course of foreclosure. One adviser told me recently of a farm family charged $2.5m by bank receivers when essentially all they had to do was muster and truck cattle to the saleyards and have an agent sell them and two properties.
For decades the founders of Voters Network and FairGO have operated a loan, debt and profit consultancy called GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd. It emerged from Greg Bloomfield’s former Chartered Accountancy practice. It’s services are available to Voters Network members. The work of forcing banks to treat customers fairly is consistent with the objectives of FairGO and Voters Network.
The power of political persuasion
As in most other areas of life in our democracy, the power of political persuasion is paramount in achieving results. FairGO and Voters Network provide proven paths to persuade poiticans to act against injustice. Politicians exert a great deal of influence over banks as can be seen by the fines imposed following relelations at the Banking Royal Commission.
Discounts on debt
Most recent discounts offered by banks to GBAC clients were $700,000 off a $1.4m debt, $1m off a $6m debt and $500,000 off a $2.5m debt. The banks in this way made up for mistreatment of the borrowers.
Call Greg for assistance if needed on 0428 417 496
Anyone whose lender makes unreasonable demands on them, can contact GBAC for assistance. Initial free consultations will be extended for voters network members. The best protection from expensive legal recovery action including foreclosure, is for borrowers to act as soon as they know they are over their facility limit or cannot make a repayment on time.
20th August 2018
REPORT TO MEMBERS OF VOTERS NETWORK - AUGUST 2018
DOMESTIC, FAMILY AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE REDUCTION CAMPAIGN
Original Brief: The original decisions by Voters Network members on which the domestic, family and sexual violence campaign was based were:
Three most urgent:
Safe place for victims to confidentially report violence
Dispute and anger management courses for offenders
Education on avoiding violent disputes
These received 80% or higher approval by voters:
Education on respect for other people, particularly physically weaker people
Compulsory alcohol counselling for alcohol offenders
These received 75-79% approval by voters:
Make alcohol and substance suppliers liable for damage caused by supply, perhaps by industry levy
Offender compensates victim financially
Immediate gaol for breaching AVO
Government advertising on anti-violence laws and practices
Government advertising on dangers of alcohol and substance abuse
Security systems for victims
Action to date: The three most urgent items above plus education on respect for others, particularly weaker people, in the 80% approval category, have now been raised with MPs in state, territory and federal parliaments by Votergram. All this has been achieved with the mere $450 members have contributed so far. Please chip in to fund the continuing campaign which involves extensive research, correspondence, Votergrams, follow up of information provided to us and co-ordination of all that to make a campaign. Lives depend on your generosity.
Leadership Team: If you would like to be part of the Campaign Leadership Team helping us with some of these tasks please let us know. We need all the assistance we can get and can only do what members make possible. It is just a case of many people making the workload lighter by sharing it around. That also ensures a variety of viewpoints.
Votergrams sent to politicians: Since the campaign began in May, Voters Network members have sent 9 different Votergrams to their state and /or federal Members of Parliament. As each went to all MPs in one or both parliaments, about 1,000 individual Votergram messages have reached MPs’ inboxes. We have received some 500 acknowledgements.
The votergrams have raised the need for serious attention to be given to:-
The definition of consent in rape cases
Advertising the criminality of domestic, family and sexual assault with long penalties reflecting the period during which victims suffer
School, tertiary and public education on violence as being criminal, cowardly and inappropriate
The need for safe and secure reporting facilities nationally that do not lead to Police action
Punishment and re-education of offenders e.g. min. 3yr dispute and anger management / behaviour management courses with assessments at the end
Need for increasing numbers of refuges until the incidence reduces
Removal and separation of the perpetrator from the home
Respect for husbands, wives, partners and children free of violence, harassment or intimidation.
Politicians’ responses: Some politicians are very supportive and they will help encourage the others. The most helpful MPs have been, in no particular order:
Mehreen Faruqi, Alister Henskens, Pru Goward, Jamie Parker, Jonathan O’Dea, John Williams, Barnaby Joyce, Christian Porter, Lee Rhiannon, Paul Fletcher, Jackie Trad and Matt Thistlewaite. These MPs are consistently helpful to voters and deserve voter support at election time if we want good government.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Hon. Jackie Trad has kindly provided helpful information about the money allocate and action taken in that state. There is an online option for obtaining a protection order . $3.4m has been allocated to 2 new shelters; $1.38m pa for safety upgrades to homes in which the women live; longer protection orders and warnings if a perpetrator is released on bail or from gaol.
Federal Attorney General, Hon. Christian Porter has kindly provided details of $107m in funding to combat this violence and a reference book to bring judges up to speed on community expectations. He mentioned the NSW scheme allowing people to find out if their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal violence. He stressed the federal Government view that domestic violence is not a private matter, but criminal and unacceptable.
Hon. Pru Goward in NSW stressed the need for clear consent regarding sexual activity in her comprehensive response to the Votergrams.
Comprehensive federal government information has also been provided by Kathryn Campbell of the Department of Human Services.
Please rate these politicians if they are in your state or territory or in federal parliament. Give them a tick on the voters network rate your MP page or the Rate other MPs page . It is by encouraging and rewarding good performance that we most effectively improve government.
Follow up: Please contact your local MPs by phone, letter or email and ask them to tell you how much money has actually been spent in the financial year to 30th June 2018 by their government to prevent domestic, family and sexual violence and exactly how that money has been spent. Allocating money is not the same as spending it or providing services.
Police: Police Commissioners in The Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and NSW have kindly responded with important information about what is being done in their jurisdictions. We are most grateful for their co-operation.
As happened in our very successful road safety campaign, Police have emphasised that it will only be with the support and assistance of the whole community, parliament and the courts that they can achieve the results we desire. So this challenge is fairly and squarely in our hands as voters.
Victoria Police declined to provide information on the basis of political neutrality which we consider to be misguided, possibly worse.
Violence on the sporting field: One place where violent assault has been exempted from prosecution is on the sporting field, by football and soccer players in particular. A recent Sydney Morning Herald poll of readers found that 73% of readers believed that footballers who punched opponents during a game should be charged with criminal assault. To allow footballers an exemption from any law is unreasonable. To allow a culture of violent assault on publicly owned, publicly funded sporting facilities to be promoted by violent players to children, teenagers and young or old fans of the game who then carry that culture into their school, work or home environment is totally unacceptable, as it is on private facilities.
Why abused partners stay: At a recent meeting of Hub Leaders it was noted in connection with the murder of two teenagers at Thornleigh by their father that the reason many women do not want to have their abusive husbands or partners gaoled, is that he is the father of their children who would probably blame her for his gaoling if they are not being abused themselves. The same probably applies to men who are abused by their wives or female partners. This suggests that sentencing to attend courses that occupy the time of an offender with re-education on avoiding violence and respecting other people, might be most constructive.
Continuing the campaign: More Votergram senders are needed. We have funding for another 3 so if you would be willing to send your thoughts to all MP, please email us a draft and we will give you any help needed to finalise it email@example.com .
More funding is also needed so that we can keep up the pressure until we win. That will realistically take some years. Democracy is not a system of rapid change as many differing views must be taken into account. Nor is it easy to change violent personalities. Regular messages every time violence hits the media help MPs to keep it on top of the mountains of work that is constantly given to them.
What you can do:
send a Votergram on one of the issues in our original brief
send us info on or links to media articles on domestic, family or sexual violence
send a Votergram drawing MPs attention to that article and asking them to act as you want
help fund Votergrams . You must login first.
start a discussion in your church or community group.
join our campaign team.
contribute by donating your time to research, the basis of any Political Persuasion campaign
You can always phone us for assistance.
This is about your lives and the lives of those you love, respect and know.
Thank you for being in the network and making this campaign possible.
16th August 2018
The D & F V report has gone to Hub Leaders today and should reach members Friday or Saturday. It will be posted on this blog on Monday.
Meanwhile we are now extracting voters' views from the forum topic on immigration, population etc with a view to determining what they would like government to do. Those interested in the topic should join now. It is free to join. Then they can add their voices to the discussion and join in the voting.
15th August 2018
Coming tomorrow Voters Network Report on campaign to reduce domestic, family and sexual violence.
It has been a hectic fortnight, finalising stage 1 of the campaign to the point of being able to report on it, convening a meeting of Hub Leaders and introducing a new Leader, dealing with the many queries raised by voters on Facebook and dealing with a wide variety of issues raised by members.
It is always challenging walking the middle ground to see that most points of view are given a forum and looking for the win/win middle ground compromise that avoids the extreme on both sides.
Voters do get very badly treated sometimes by their elected representatives and that is because the system is slanted that way. However, once voters think it through and realise that they must take an active role if they want democracy to deliver fair outcomes, the solutions become crystal clear.
Australia has better, more democratic, governments at all levels than most other countries and some absolutely superb politicians on all sides of politics. Yet voters are still often ignored, neglected and victimised by their elected representatives as a whole. There is room for improvement and that mainly means engaging better with all MPs and councillors, particularly the better ones. It also means exeercising our votes to elect the best local candidates likely to do what we want.
8th August 2018
Big win for Voters Network – Australia as a Global Nation
Voters have succeeded in persuading politicians to develop Australia as a Global Nation by developing our inland cities and towns. This replaces the old goal of one or two global cities, namely Sydney and Melbourne. We congratulate our national MPs for their clear vision that will greatly enhance the lives of our people and particularly our children. This is the realisation and exploitation of the 3rd line in our national anthem, “We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil” and later “We’ve boundless plains to share”. Like many nations with growing populations, we will need to collect our water when it falls, for use when we need it.
Global Australia will create thousands of jobs inland where premises and homes cost a quarter of Sydney ones and NBN can transfer skills from anywhere to anywhere. Voters have long pointed out that the restricted “Two Cities” policy was a disaster in that it destroyed what was so good about Sydney and Melbourne and neglected what was so good about our beautiful inland cities. They enjoy clean air, clean water, freedom from time consuming traffic jams and have small enough communities to enjoy the company and help each other. Development will include construction of business premises, government offices, homes, roads, rail, airports, sporting, social and cultural facilities, schools & hospitals. The tidal wave of superannuation money looking for a home will find profitable and constructive opportunities in Global Australia.
With bi-partisan political support and continued voter encouragement, this will also allow Australia to welcome migrants without putting undue pressure on Capital city home prices, infrastructure and services. The neglect felt by many rural communities will soon dissipate so that they enjoy many more of the benefits of bigger city life. Yet they will avoid many of the crises brought about by over-development of our mega-cities.
Because this will also put consumers nearer to food production, farmers will enjoy better prices while consumers will buy for less, as the very expensive transport and multiple handling costs disappear. Technologically based manufacturing will have every opportunity to compete with foreign manufacturers as operational costs fall.
Tax concessions for businesses and residents for the next 10 years can easily be provided as part of the sound government investment to see this exciting new stage in Australia’s development materialise. It was substantial stamp duty concessions that enabled the development of Canberra and Darwin.
For both government and business this move to turn Australia into a truly Global Nation has a lot going for it. For those, including our young people, looking for career opportunities to supply the world with goods and services, they can expect to enjoy far better lives than would otherwise have been the case.
“Why rate MPs on Voters Network?” I am asked. Here is the answer.
Good Government is not achieved by rallies, protests or voting for a candidate because he or she belongs to your favourite political party. Doing that makes the MP loyal to the party and the party is always loyal to its donors or financial backers. Political parties exist only to achieve the goals of donors and party members.
By rating your federal and state MPs monthly on the basis of what you find they or their party have been doing, you build yourself a database to which you can refer before you vote at the next election.
Only that way can you fairly gauge their performance over 3 or 4 years.
The 1st step to good government is to re-elect the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you want and replace (with anyone at all) the MP who, or whose party, mostly does what you don’t want.
Just the fact that you and others rate their performance will encourage far better performance by your MPs.
26th July 2018
Visitors act just like the politicians they criticise.
Many visitors to our Facebook page criticise politicians for their neglect of voters and disinterest in anything voters want, saying that it is impossible to get MPs to do anything. That is not our experience of Members of Parliament over the past 30 years.
Few of those visitors have bothered to join Voters Network despite the fact that it is free and voters gain great influence by being part of a large network. Those visitors are doing just what they accuse the politicians of doing – nothing helpful unless it is seen to benefit them personally; nothing that looks new. Australia will be beaten by developing nations and we will be deep in debt without jobs or homes, if that is our attitude. Australians need to work together because we are a tiny population in a giant world, where one city like Mumbai or Peking has almost as many people in it as there are in the whole of Australia.
Even today we read of home prices falling around 10%, almost enough for banks to start seeking more security or debt pay-down, which many families would find impossible. The network gives members strength when fighting unjust bank treatment.
Power in Democracy depends on numbers
Democracy is a system of government dependent on numbers - to elect MPs, elect a government, to choose a PM or Premier and to influence government decisions and actions. Even the PM cannot do much without the support of a majority of his party.
If the Voters Network does not contain significant numbers of voters, then the influence of each voter is limited to their own power of logical argument assisted by more experienced members. When large numbers belong and so a significant number can express a common viewpoint, the influence of each voter is dramatically increased.
Many community groups form to give their leaders influence. The aim of Voters Network is to help the individual voters themselves lead their governments to do what is needed, by virtue of their combined voting power. Peope seem very suspicious that we may have some ulterior motive, yet they would find that unlikely by simply looking at www.fairgo.org or googling me.
At 77 I am the lead founder of Voters Network, a business man, famer and retired Chartered Accountant, FCA, CPA living in Sydney. I have everything I want in life, except that I would like fairness and justice to prevail in Australia for all Australians, particularly young Australians.
Why numbers count
Politicians, even the most corrupt and self-interested ones, try to do what the majority of voters want if it does not adversely affect those politicians or their financial backers. If one person asks for something, politicians might do it. If 5 people ask for the same thing there is a chance it is wanted by many, so the politicians are more likely to do it. If 10 people ask for it, the politicians are even more likely to do it and if 100 ask for it there is a good chance it will happen because it does indicate a substantial demand for that particular item. It does not always go that way but with persistence it mostly does.
The network enables members to call on other members in other electorates to join in asking for something that will be good for the community in general or for one particular group of people – the young, students, elderly, retired people, families, sick or neglected.
However, many voters are so self-interested and suspicious, that they cannot see the benefits available to themselves or that we want nothing from them. Voters network is not about making money. Most money is needed to help cover the costs of volunteer Hub Leaders. The network is about creating power for individuals to persuade politicians. The network would be lucky to have money in the bank unless it was borrowed and that suits us fine. We will be delighted if it breaks even.
If voters don’t want that power, we will simply close the network. ther is no point doing somethjing that people do not want. Then we will continue on with our paid and highly valued work at FairGO and GBAC, earning a living by dealing with government and banks for voters, farmers and businesses, instead of giving our time to help voters do it for themselves.
The decision rests with the voters, as it always should.
24th july 2018
Started the day with a 3 km walk from 7 to 7.40 am. A good bit warmer than yesterday. No frost on the ground.
Busy day in the office. Started with a reminder email arriving to say that that an issue involving a number of local residents was scheduled for discussion at Council tonight. That meant phone discussions during the day and emails to local councillors urging them to look for a solution that would deliver wins all around.
Then we worked on an adword campaign for our associated bank borrowers consultancy GBAC Advisory. There may be tough times ahead for some borrowers, particularly people who have paid premium prices for their homes or rental properties and borrowed heavily for them and for drought-stricken farmers. We need to let borrowers know not to let the bank walk all over them. There is nothing like sending a Votergram to every federal MP revealing some banking dishonesty to stave off bank abuse.
We also worked on presentations to voters network members on why big business controls government and what voters can do to change that.
We had a look at our own communications with members about funding the network and how to best let them know that we can only do what they make possible. The best source of funding is our Advanced Member program which costs members just $4 a month or $44 a year in advance. Most of that funds Hub Leaders to help towards their costs . A quarter goes to our costs of electricity, phone, computers, ISP and web hosts, furniture and two people on administration.
We sent off two Votergrams last night, one to 220 Federal MPs and one to 130 state MPs, both opposing the move by NSW lawyers to legalise rape if the man thought he had consent. This would move the question of consent from the victim to two lawyers arguing in court years later. Lawyers are sometimes a plague on society in their quest for fees. Responses to those Votergrams came in today which meant very full inboxes.
Received a credit card statement in the mail from the bank today (july 24) due date was July 25th, tomorrow. It is amazing what bankers will do to make customers pay late, so they can charge a mountain of interest. I paid it straight away to spite them.
Logged in to voters.network and had a say on a few of the Action Forum topics - TAFE ; MPs swapping political parties mid-term; Domestic, family and sexual violence. I did not have time to read the most recent posts on the topics of “Live sheep exports”; “a fairer tax system”; “Better banking”, “Immigration and population impacts” or “energy policy”. Some of these topics will undoubtedly be closing soon so that a vote of network members can be taken on proposed solutions. All members can post their view on the forum. If any of these topics interest you, now is the time to login and post a comment.
Checked and saw voters.network had 5,500 unique visitors this month so far. That is pleasing given the network is so new.
10 pm and I am about to check out Facebook where Voters Network has about 50 notifications from interested voters that I would like to read. They raise important issues and we can often explain why government is like it is. Don’t know that I will get to twitter where FairGO posted last night on the legal rape issue.
What do you think of the move by lawyers to make rape legal.
Is this an anti-female grab for fees by lawyers, who want the law changed so that “a person should not be guilty of sexual assault (rape) if he or she honestly believes that there is consent”. How could anyone know what he believed? Women victims would be silenced and lose their the right to consent or not consent to sex . Lawyers would make a fortune in court debating what the MAN who raped her believed at the time it happened. It can affect men who are sexually assaulted too.
Written consent would seem to be the only PROVABLE consent with married, de-facto and brothel parties necessarily excluded. That would keep the lawyers at bay.
A woman may never wish to give it and would never have to. Consent would only ever be in question when she claimed it was rape. Men would simply need to get a signature if unsure. Please use our contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your views on this important subject. This may be the only way to protect women and men from unscrupulous lawyers and brutal rapists.
All a rapist has to do is stick a knife at your neck on his own or with a couple of mates and tell you to get into the back seat of the car with them. Then he can take you anywhere and they can rape you as much as they like for as long as they like. He can pick you up on a station, at a bus stop, walking down the street, in a pub or club or at a party. Once you are in a rapists car or premises you are caught. You do not need to do anything dangerous or unusual to become a rape victim.
As nobody can tell what a woman or man did or did not believe or consent to at the time of a rape, five years later, when the matter is heard in court, this suggestion would transfer the question of consent from the woman or man being raped to the lawyers for the prosecution and defence.
Dollars signs might come into legal eyes, perhaps $1,000 an hour or more for a lawyer. What rape victim could cope with that along with a lifetime of trauma. The family man rapist with a good paying career would be happy to pay a defence lawyer $1,000 or more an hour.
That defence lawyer would probably paint the most respectable rape victim as a slut and disgusting whore who deserved what she got and had slept around for the past decade so that everyone thought she consented to sex with anyone.
Only a strong reaction by voters can now save women and men from legalised rape if that is what this change would bring about. It is important that we have your views on the matter. If you think that the change would reduce crime other than by simply not callling it a crime any more, please let us know.
This move to take away from a woman or man the right to consent or not consent to sex might seem to be purely about lawyers making money. Think of the fat legal fees these lawyers could notch up as they fight it out in court while the poor innocent victim is torn to shreds by the defence lawyer and the prosecution lawyer fights hard to protect her reputation. Her or his reputation is surely not the question. The only question is whether she/ he consented to sex or not.
Women concerned about romance need not do anything if they do not wish to and the man who had genuine loving consent would have nothing to worry about either, because there would never be a change of rape brought against that man. Consent would rest firmly with the woman or passive partner being penetrated.
This is a topic for discussion on our forum. There will be many views to be considered. Our society's end result should be to prevent rape and punish it very severely when it happens.
20th July 2018
How important are security, freedom and liberty to you?
Today Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was reported as saying that “voters wanted security above all, even if it sometimes came at the expense of their own liberty” and that “ there’s been shift from liberty towards security”. He also said “Politicians looking to respond to this anxiety had a choice of implementing policies that were right for the community or appeasing the masses, even if that policy wasn’t the rational choice.”
Does this reinforce a belief by some politicians that they are superior to the voters who elect & pay them? Are they?
How much freedom or liberty would you be happy to lose in order to enjoy security and what sort of security would encourage you to forfeit your freedom or liberty? Job, financial, national defence, trade, speech, competition?
Is it a prelude for an Australian dictatorship where liberty and freedom are quashed by politicians?
Do you believe that Mr. Ciobo knows better than Australian voters what is best for them?
Is it connected to the move to sell the ABC to private enterprise?
Is it related to new laws on terrorism or the prosecution of whistleblowers?
Is it related to trade deals that favour foreign countries over Australian businesses and farms?
If "the masses" disagree, could they remove that politician or party from office?
The article was about rising inequality in Australia. Who/ what do you believe has caused or is causing rising inequality?
Let us know your views by emailing email@example.com otherwise we Australians might find our freedom being curtailed in a way we don’t like. If people are interested we might put up a topic on the forum. Avoid talking parties and let us examine the proposition objectively.
Security - V- Freedom
19th July 2018
VOTING IS NOT ENOUGH
It was pointed out to me by one of those who visited our Facebook page that Mark Twain had said , “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” Remember, Twain was a humourist.
That is a bit like his comment that “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Democracy does demand more than voting for a political party in order to elect an unknown, unseen person to represent you in parliament. It requires voting for the best candidate, deciding what you want done and telling every Member of Parliament what that is, explaining why.
That is because democracy is a system of government by majority. If you convince more than half of the MPs, you will get what you want done. Ask one MP and you will mostly waste your time. What could one MP achieve in a parliament of 200?. Try a Votergram https://fairgo.org/votergrams.php !
14th July (Viva La France)
Ripped off on power prices by the people we pay.
Ross Gittins calls it “naivety” but we pay out top politicians and bureaucrats enough money for them to know exactly what they are doing.
Electricity consumers have been robbed of a perfectly good government-owned relatively inexpensive essential electricity service. Politicians sold it to businesses. Between them, they have robbed us blind.
Voters Network will form an Electricity Action Team if enough network members are interested. Our aim might be a 50% cut in electricity prices over the next 5 years. That may involve voters replacing those politicians, political parties and bureaucrats who accepted our votes, our money and yet still sold us out to unscrupulous private enterprise profiteers. We might need to start a new government owned power supplier. We might also want to network our power supplies and leave the thieving electricity traders out of our lives. Success will depend mainly on how many electricity consumers join the network and Electricity Action Team.
This is government working steadfastly against voters as it so frequently does. Voters Network is your best chance for changing the attitude of government by culling out the dishonest MPs and bureaucrats, replacing them with MPs who subscribe to the idea of “Government for the People” rather than “Government for the benefit of politicians and those who fund political parties”.
This may just be the tip of another corruption iceberg like the banking scandal proudly support by many MPs for decades.
Use the contact form on voters.network to let us know if you would be interested in joining that team.
PS. We are also in the process of establishing, with associate GBAC Advisory Pty Ltd, www.gbac.com.au a Better Banking Network to build on their 30 years of helping bank borrowers get a better deal and mostly avoid foreclosure. In recent negotiations one of their clients was offered a million dollars off the bank debt for settlement within 6 months. A credit card company wrote off half of a $20,000 debt. They help businesses and farms obtain the right sort of loans to suit their circumstances.
8th July 2018
It’s what democracy is about!
Voters elect to parliament people they trust and believe capable, to serve them well.
Voters tell those people what they want them to do.
If those Members of Parliament do what voters want, voters re-elect them.
If they don’t voters vote them out. Repeat the process.
So what has gone wrong?
Voters have relied too heavily on those they elect, to do the job properly.
Political parties have formed and voters have taken the easy road of just voting for whatever candidate is endorse by their favourite political party.
Voters have been busy doing other things and so forgot their vital role of telling MPs what they want done.
Members of Parliament have therefore become loyal to the party that promotes them to voters and loyal to the financial backers of those parties, rather than to the voters who elect and pay them.
When MPs do good things that voters want, voters remain stonily silent. No word of thanks is given to MPs.
When voters do not like what MPs do, voters criticise politicians publicly in the media, making the MPs look bad in public. This is never a good way to encourage better performance.
If voters do decide to “have their say” they say it to the media and hope MPs are listening . It has an impact like telling your friends that the children need to tidy up their rooms and hoping that the children are listening and will respond.
When MPs in their favourite political party consistently do what voters don’t like, most of those voters still vote to re-elect them, because even if their favourite political party neglects them, out of loyalty, they would not vote for someone else. Loyalty to an MP or party who treat voters badly just encourages them to keep on treating those same voters badly.
What is the solution?
Tell all MPs or at least your own local MPs (but 1 MP in a parliament of 100 or 200 can only do so much) what you want, on a constant basis. Votergrams https://fairgo.org/votergrams.php make that easy.
Be lavish in expressing your praise and appreciation of MPs who do what you want. That at least tells them they are on the right track and are appreciated when they do what you want.
If you are going to criticise individual MPs, do it privately to them alone. Nobody enjoys public criticism and you do want them on your side.
Join voters network https://voters.network/join.php so that you can confer with other voters to sort out differences of opinion on important matters, because politicians do not know what to do if one group of voters wants one thing and another group wants the opposite. Then nothing gets done! If we confer and compromise ,the vast majority will probably agree on a lot of what concerns us.
Remember that politicians are just ordinary Australians who chose politics instead of plumbing, accountancy or farming. They are no better or worse, cleverer or sillier, more or less honest than the rest of us. Don’t expect miracles or perfection, because it is not going to happen.
Voters must diplomatically guide government if they want to enjoy good government and vastly more enjoyable and more rewarding lives. Politicians are in parliament to represent voters, not to lead them. Leading is for kings, queens and dictators who execute or gaol dissidents. We enjoy the freedom of democracy, but need to use it properly.
That is how democracy works, whether we like it or not. It was quite a surprise to me when I started Votergrams in 1986. By the time I had established FairGO https://fairgo.org/ four years later, I had learned that politicians were just as happy to help voters as to hinder them.
But like everything in life, influencing government and persuading politicians needs to be done carefully, strategically and diplomatically if success is to be enjoyed.
Their Winter of Discontent
Voters are sending us idea after idea through our contact form of what they would like to see improved or changed by government - TAFE, planning, housing, immigration, welfare, taxation, retirement age etc.
There are so many good ideas of what needs to be looked at by goverment that we will let them flow in for a while, then put them up for network members to select those on which they would first like discussion topics commenced on our Action forum. That is a prelude to campaigns to persuade politicians to do what is wanted.
A reminder that the campaign to reduce domestic and family violence is underway and FairGO has Votergrams available free for a number of voters to put their views to politicians. That is because others have chipped in to fund the Votergrams and give fellow members a chance to have a say at no cost. Thanks for those who have, in that magnificent Australian spirit of mateship, contributed so that others can speak out effectively to help even more others who are potential victims.
A couple of men have written in pointing out that men are also the victims of domestic and violence and that we need to stop all domestic and family violence.
Please join in. Use the contact form to reach us and we will happily help you word your Votergram to all members of state/territory and federal parliament then send it off at no cost to you.
2nd July 2018
What are the problems that cause us most anguish?
Is it how to raise a good family in the face of what sometimes seem to be overwhelming odds?
Is it how to manage family finances when we enter that peak spending period on our teenagers and are trying to earn decent money at the same time?
Is it bullying of us or our children that can lead to consequences far greater than the bullies ever think?
Is it how to cope with very difficult ongoing health problems and the effect that has on our budget.
Are alcohol or gambling seriously damaging family relationships?
Is there just too much to do at any one time?
Societies have governments to help sort out and alleviate some of these problems? Others can be sorted out with the help of community members.
Voters Network is here to help you receive the help and support you need. We are not miracle workers but we are very good at getting government to help those who need help in all sorts of ways. In addition we have in the network qualified and experienced accountants and business people, teachers and trades people, people who have already raised families and those without families. All can share their own experiences with those trying to decide on their options. Voters Network is about ordinary Australians helping other ordinary Australians, families, small businesses and farmers to make their way through the minefields of life.
You are most welcome to join in. There is every chance that if you have a problem, we might be able to help you solve it. Our parent organisation FairGO has been doing that for 30 years. Now we are sharing the techniques with Hub Leaders around Australia so that they can help you too. If you are good at helping others then you will be a candidate to become a Hub Leader if you wish.
28th June 2018
Domestic and family violence
Already four or five Votergram messages have been delivered to the screens of up to 350 federal and state MPs. They have come from different concerned voters and carry either the solutions arrived at by our Action Forum held online earlier this year or solutions offered by the individual Votergram senders themselves.
We already have $445 of our $6,750 target. That means that for the next 10 or so voters who would like to send in Votergrams on d&fv, their costs for the Votergram are covered. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be one of these fortunate voters persuading politicians to stop the violence.
Government use of consultants costing millions
What do you think of consultants being engaged by governments? In particular what do you feel about consultants who donate money to political parties being engaged by members of those parties when in government? Would you consider that to be corruption? How could one ever prove that the lucrative contract was given out in gratitude for a large political donation?
Would it be cheaper for governments to employ their own staff to do most of the work? Consultants probably add at least 100% margin on top of what they pay the staff they let out, so would we be paying twice what we would pay if departments used their own staff?
Perhaps we need to establish a Voters Action Group to study some of these policies by politicians in charge of government. After all we voters are involved for the long term whereas particular politicians of one party only have control of our governments for a very limited period of time.
27th June 2018
Big business versus the biggest body of voters
When I started in Chartered Accountancy private companies paid a lower tax rate than public companies, due to the ease with which public companies raise funds. That difference should be reinstated by politicians now at 5c to 10c in the dollar.
Many Australian wage and salary earners pay a higher rate of tax than companies and on top of that they pay 10% GST when they spend it and huge stamp duty when they buy a home.
What would you think of a boost to the pay of the lowest earning 25% of tax payers by 25% and allowing salaries to be deducted by employers at 150% of what is paid, removing payroll tax altogether.
Businesses headed by CEOs earning $5 million a year make employment and pay decisions based on pre-tax profitability. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise. Do you think that the ASX top 100 companies should be required to table in parliament the net staff increases and pay rate increases they undertake to make in each of the next 3 years if the big business tax cuts are passed or retained?
What tax policy do you think would be best for the majority of Australians and particularly those on low incomes? Tell the network by joining the Action Forum on the tax topic.
Beware the news you read on the tax cuts because most is not news but an orchestrated PR campaign by big business to mislead voters. These are the richest taxpayers in Australia who cut and export jobs to boost already high profits, trying to pay less tax than ordinary salary and wage earners. It is not about helping small family businesses or farmers at all. Don't be fooled.
26th June 2018
What about a FREE BANK. The government can give billions of dollars to banks, big business & NGOs in tax concessions, subsidies, grants and tax breaks on top of the billions they have already earned, so why can’t the government give the same sort of money away to low income earners, small businesses and farmers by way of interest-free loans?
If the loans were carefully structured and managed by the free bank and the borrowers so that payments were made on time and the loans cleared as quickly as profits would allow, wouldn’t that get the economy going in a hurry.
In the same way, by saving a bit on tax concessions for the super-rich and reducing welfare dependence by all those who got new jobs because business was booming with interest-free loans, maybe the government could establish Free Bank Home Loans, again giving away only the same as it would otherwise pay in favours, welfare and subsidies.
It could provide that such loans would only be allowed on homes selling at 20% below market value. That would provide a safety margin for security purposes, reduce the borrowings and avoid a housing price boom.
I have arranged substantial property purchases interest-free and they have worked well for all parties.
When you think about it giving interest-free loans to poorer people is a very good way to make them less poor and more asset rich. It is not as silly as it sounds at first. Governments throw money around anyway.
22nd June 2018
Thought for the weekend:
You can control government or government will control you.
The choice is yours.
21st June 2018
We thank those who have already chipped in to fund the Voters Network Votergram campaign to significantly reduce domestic violence. Three Votergrams have already gone to all MPs in parliament and another has been drafted. They cover safe reporting, safe houses, education, anger management courses, education and compensation from the offender. Contributions have come in amounts of $5 $15, $25, $30, $50 & $100. If you would like to help make this important change to our society, please chip in whatever you think is appropriate. Go to www.fairgo.org/campaigns.htm#violence .
We can do what you make possible.
Police say it is up to the community and that is you and me. Only we can persuade politicians because we are the ones with the votes as well as voices. Voices without votes will not solve this issue. Nor will votes without voices.
18th June 2018
HOW MANY TIMES WILL IT HAPPEN AGAIN
BEFORE VOTERS MAKE IT STOP?
How many times must a woman be bashed
Before the governments say “No!”?
How many times must a young girl be raped
Before they strengthen the laws?
How many times must a partner be killed
Before domestic violence is gone?
The answer lies with the voters now.
The answer lies with the voters.
How many times will women be attacked
before voters change their MPs?
How many women suffer trauma for life
because the law protects horrible men?
How many men will continue to rape
Claiming they had her consent?
The answer lies in the voters’ voice,
Silent or shouting out!
How many times will offenders get off light
While judges see rape as their right?
How many politicians just turn their heads
And pretend that there’s nothing to see?
How many times must women die
Before their safety is assured?
The answer lies in the voters’ vote,
For those they elect do decide.
With gratitude to Bob Dylan
Peter, Paul and Mary for the concept
If you care at all about stopping the violence, join Voters Network, and persuade politicians to put an end to it through a variety of changes to laws, policies, education and protection. Also let potential attackers know that their fate will be far worse than the lifetime of trauma they inflict on their victims.
Women’s Safety will soon be up for discussion again by Voters Network members on their Forum, as a prelude to further Action. Already we have seen positive responses from politicians to Votergrams on domestic and family violence. We have a track record on saving lives.
18th June 2018
18th June 2018
Sorry that I was away on business last week and a mass of work arose as people coped with the impact of so many government decisions on their lives. I just could not manage to blog at the same time. It is amazing how small and remote government decisions can have such devastating impact on so many lives. People very often do not even see the connection between the actions of their local Members of Parliament and what is going wrong in their home, family, work or business lives.
More to report later today.
8th June 2018
I saw a bit in the weekend paper about Bobby Kennedy.
It went like this......
“Aren’t they.. aren’t we, still searching for genuine visionaries with real leadership?”
Searching for visionary leaders is a cop-out to allow the general population to go on surfing, drinking and watching TV or footie etc.
Most leaders look after themselves first. Some treat their people very badly.
The voters in Australia are mostly well educated, wise and energetic. The best government will result when we voters decide on our own vision for the future and then persuade our elected politicians to have governments do it. It is that simple. A visionary leader can become a dictator overnight and have opponents killed or imprisoned. Hitler did just that after being duly elected by the people. Dictators in Asia and the Middle East are doing it now. Let us be our own visionaries and retain the right to elect our own leaders.
Let us celebrate and enjoy our democracy in Australia by working together to decide what we want and then getting governments to do it.
That is what FairGO, Votergrams and Voters Network are all about. They are 100% Australian founded, owned, controlled and funded. The give you, the voters, power. They do not build it for themselves.
Join in the fun and make your contribution. Become a Hub Leader and run your own hub with funding from your hub members. Let’s live up to our national anthem and advance Australia fair!!
7th June 2018
Plenty of TV shows and movies show beautiful young ladies admiring big handsome men with huge muscles. I wonder whether those young ladies also contemplate how hard those muscles could hit them if they were to offend those men in some way.
Looking to protect passers-by from entering my paddocks and mixing it with bulls on my farm and knowing that every bull can be dangerous, I consulted an officer of my farm organisation about getting a sign saying “Dangerous Bulls”. He was adamant that I should not. “If a trespasser was injured on your property the court might decide that you should not keep dangerous bulls and award damages against you. The judge probably would not know anything about bulls.” So I opted for “Private. Keep out” instead.
I was taught as a city teenager to never trust a bull or a stallion, even though I might be friendly to them and they to me. Most male animals can be dangerous.
Perhaps young women should be taught that all men can be dangerous too, particularly those who are exceptionally strong. They did not develop their muscles by hard work at the gym just to impress ladies. Those muscles give them a lot of physical strength to make sure they get their own way. Power and sex are very much in demand in the world of males. I don’t know that enough education is given to women on the subject, just as enough education is not given to men about building good relationships with women.
A man once commented to me when I was looking to campaign against domestic violence, that “Men fight with their hands. Women fight with their tongues”. Without in any way justifying any violence against women, it is not unreasonable to suggest that women should not say provocative things to stir men up. Nobody should provoke anyone else without expecting that person to retaliate.
Mutual consideration and respect is a key in all relationships. Christ’s plea of “treat others in the way that you want to be treated yourself” is worth observing. It is just logical when you think about it. “People in glass houses should not throw stones” is full of truth.
There are many ways to stop domestic violence just as there are many causes for it. Politicians are one group of people with the greatest ability to cause it and the greatest ability to stop it.
Voters Network participants are on the road to stopping it. FairGO will be managing a Votergram campaign aiming to send a 100 Votergrams to every MP in Australia if enough others chip in to share the cost of the Votergrams. We will give a 25% discount on the normal charges. If enough Australians agree that such violence should end, then it will end. If enough Australians believe that men are entitled to beat up their wives and partners, then it will continue. That is how democracy works. It is up to the voters.
If you can share the cost of sending Votergrams to MPs to persuade them to stop domestic and family violence, then please chip in towards the costs. All your money will be used to fund Votergrams to MPs on stopping domestic and family violence. Every little helps. http://www.fairgo.org/campaigns.htm
6th June 2018
Support for voters network’s position
Ross Gittins (SMH 6/6/18/) does not endorse what Dr. Richard Dennis of The Australia Institute says but claims it is thought provoking and worth exploring. Dr. Dennis concludes with this observation:
“The world is full of choices. Neoliberalism’s real power came from convincing us that we had none (choices). We do and making them is the democratic role of citizens – not the technocratic role of economists, nor that of any self-serving elite.”
I don’t know anything about the Australia Institute, Dr. Denniss or neoliberalism, but making choices for ourselves and having our wishes carried out by the politicians and bureaucrats we employ and pay to do our bidding, is the foundation of voters network. It is what Votergrams have enabled voters to do for 30 years. It is what FairGO has enabled groups, organisations and small to medium sized businesses to do by managing their political persuasion campaigns for them for 30 years.
All we have to do is persuasively tell politicians what we want done and they can do the rest. The biggest persuader we have is our combined votes.
5th June 2018
Here are some thoughts as discussion-starters from recent media stories. If your views differ from what is here email email@example.com. Discussion provides us all with better insight to issues and your comments are important to the network. Gradually our Action Forum will give you an easy way to comment.
Someone on Facebook asked why my blogs did not ever deal with environmental issues.
It is a fair question. The answer is that many large, competent and well funded organisations serve Australia well on the environmental front. I was Foundation Chairman of environment protection group STEP. My friend and colleague environmentalist Milo Dunphy helped me with information to set up FairGO.
We cannot all do everything and my passion is to see that people get a fair go from government and other entities that threaten them. I have chosen to advance the care of people, whilst always caring for the environment and wildlife myself.
In running and supporting FairGO, Votergrams and voters network without pay for 30 years, working another job as well, I am kept incredibly busy. That is why I leave environmental campaigning to others better placed to do it and I deal with the human issues that they do not.
HIGH DENSITY HOUSING
An article on housing prices and density in Vancouver highlighted the global problems created by developers and their lobby which either bribes or bullies politicians to do what it wants.
Highrise increases the cost of every government service, creates massive traffic jams, makes public transport systems incapable of meeting demands, prices housing out of reach of young people, promotes drug addiction and crime, caused mental health problems to increase and makes people very aggressive towards neighbours who invade what is left of their personal space. Emergency services, hospitals, schools, public transport, power and water cannot cope.
700 units at Waterloo brings the problem back to Australia.
In my opinion Australian politicians have shown themselves to be completely incapable of dealing with the situation. Voters need to rescue them soon before the our country collapses into the arms of foreign totalitarian giant.
You can rate politicians to indicate your approval or otherwise of how they represent you, on any topic at all, including high density development https://voters.network/rating.php .
One reason many Australians are concerned about immigration is that they are surrounded by people they cannot understand and who cannot understand them.
We all need to work together to Advance Australia Fair and that means we need to be able to speak to one another. Our government led by our politicians needs to run 3 to 5 year free mandatory English language course for immigrants and do whatever it can to make Australians multi-lingual.
That is a good reason to keep English as an essential element of ATAR, contrary to the column in the SMH on Monday
What a disgrace to read in the paper on May 26/27 that a 19 year old visiting Dutch woman was raped in Sydney. This young woman will now live out about 60 to 70 years of her life suffering post traumatic stress disorder with all sorts of psychological problems . Not only did the man threaten to rape her and do so but he also threatened to kill her.
The pathetic and thoroughly unjust NSW court system gave the rapist a maximum of 5.5 years to be eligible for release in March 2021 about 2.5 years “for this horrifying attack”.
These are laws written by men who believe women are just there for their sexual gratification, enforced by judges and magistrates who think the same way and thoroughly enjoyed by lawyers who make a fortune defending brutal criminals.
That our elected politicians would allow a sentence of 5.5 years for the offender to be on the statutes when the victim will suffer for 60 or 70 years is a travesty of justice for which they should all be voted out of office.
The parliament should hold an investigation into why this judge gave a sentence which so obviously favoured the criminal over the victim. If that is justice we need a new system and some new judges.
It is totally irrelevant whether the offender was on drugs or alcohol or not and nor is any part of his upbringing. There is only one relevant factor in a rape trial and that is whether consent was or was not given and the impact of the attack on the victim. We need to stop thinking of the offender and start thinking of the victim.
In this case the damage is done, but perhaps the NSW Parliament should now support a case against the offender for compensation of at least $300 p.w. not extinguishable by bankruptcy to be paid by him from the time of his release, to her via the OFR, payable weekly during his lifetime with any balance up to $1m paid out of his estate.
Then we might consider a national law with a minimum sentence of 50 years gaol for rape and 100 years for rape/ murder with the same $300 a week compensation from the offender to the victim for his life and his estate if for any reason he gets out of gaol or to be taken first in bulk from his assets and paid by OFR to the victim on receipt less a 5% handling charge. With the right constant publicity that might well reduce the instance of rape . Men might visit a brothel instead.
PROMISES, PROMISES, POLITICAL PROMISES
Let’s make a list of political promises. Email them to your Voters Network Hub Leader. Provide the promise, the MP or other candidate who made it, their political party, the date and where you heard about it. Put Promises in the subject line of your email. We will compile a list and verify it with the MPs at election time. Then over the years until the next election with your help we will remind MPs of the promises, tick of those that have been done and see what percentage of promises are honoured. That should help us all when voting at the following election. Rate your MPs on promises. https://voters.network/rating.php .
BANK LOANS FOR SMEs
The reason banks want a low ceiling for “SME’s” is that over the upper limit for SMEs they can classify the borrower as “sophisticated “ and so can lie, cheat, mislead and defraud all borrowers above that limit. One might expect the government to impose on banks the obligation to treat every borrower as honestly as they treat consumers. Even that is not very honestly as the Royal Commission has revealed. Join the Better Banking Network firstname.lastname@example.org that we have established in conjunction with GBAC Advisory and let us see if bank customers by networking together can bring a measure of honesty to the industry. I can already identify one bank to which I would recommend a lot of customers from personal experience. If a lot of us move away from those with crooks on their board of directors, then even they might come good eventually. But we always need to be on guard
The Federal Treasurer was quoted in SMH and I saw him saying something like that on TV, as saying “The second biggest company in the world run by the richest man in the world shouldn’t get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia” AND
“If multinationals aren’t forced to pay their fair share of tax, they will have a competitive advantage over retailers here.”
I agree. However, The Treasurer was commenting on the proposal to require GST to be added to online purchase prices, with which I also agree. He is right in that his government for some year has given foreign companies a competitive advantage by not having to add GST to sales prices. We might ask why the Government did give them that leave pass from paying GST in Australia for so long.
However, as it was the GST that the Treasurer was speaking of, is he telling the truth or misleading the public?
When Amazon adds 10% to its prices in Australia for GST, is it not fact that it is the Australian public buying from Amazon that pays the tax, not Amazon at all?
If so what was the Treasurer talking about, because his GST changes do not amount to Amazon paying tax. The individual Australian taxpayer, the voter, is just paying another 10% of his or her income in goods and services tax.
Should Amazon be taxed on its profit in Australia, it will likely benefit from the Treasurer’s generous 25% tax on its multi-million dollar profits, almost half the tax rate an Australian voter would pay with a rate of 45% applying for earnings over $200,000 pa.
One might expect an Australian Government to boost the funding for our national broadcaster instead of cutting it.
It is true that sometimes the questioning is bordering on offensive, but that does not excuse the government for reducing funding and the voter enjoyment of the result. If such cuts were made to create profit opportunities for other media organisations and if those other media organisations had donated money to the governing party those might be classified as bribes and bribes are not tax deductible, so the ATO might get involved.
We would urge the government to boost ABC funding and breed politicians tough enough to take a bit of a battering at the hands of ABC journalists. More direct communication with voters and looking after them better mid-term instead of just before elections would be a reasonable approach too.
You can express your views on this in part by rating the performance of your local federal MP because that MP may be part of the move to cut ABC funding . You can support that action by ticking an MP whose party is doing that or has done it and express your displeasure at it by giving that MP a cross https://voters.network/rating.php .
It is staggering that a man convicted of serial asbestos dumping, potentially affecting the long term health of hundreds of people who may have inhaled the dust was sentenced to only three years gaol. Why would the Judge think it was a good idea to allow this man to remove the asbestos and move it elsewhere, perhaps creating further hazard from dust?
Surely we need a new asbestos dumping law that provides:
1.15 to 20 year gaol sentence for each individual, company director or business partner involved
2.$1 million to $2 million fine for each dump or offence for each of the above
Light pro-crime penalties might save politicians and government doing a bit of work to house offenders but it exposes the very voters they are elected to represent, to serious and potentially fatal illness.
Voters may not want to tolerate the risks to which our politicians area exposing us.
What do you think. Tell your Hub Leader. Have your Hub Leader raise any subject you like on our Action https://voters.network/forum.php .
All of these stories indicate that the sooner Australian voters participate in the Voters Network the sooner we will actually Advance Australia Fair. Join in now https://voters.network/join.php
All the fuss about Barnaby
Surely we elect and pay our Members of Federal Parliament to run the country don’t we? Why this colossal persecution of one man for something that had little to do with his duty to do run the country?
We record how politicians respond to voters’ requests by Votergram, when every politician gets the same opportunity. Barnaby Joyce has been one of the best. He has certainly been particularly helpful in connection with those in trouble with dishonest banks.
We might ask why should the media make all the money out of the concerted attacks on Barnaby Joyce?
We might also ask who is running the big campaign against him. My guess is that in his action against the banks or to reduce housing costs by developing inland cities he has offended the banks or property developers or their lackeys in parliament and they are taking this chance to get him out of their way.
It is also possible that the conservative side of politics is using this as a massive distraction from the huge tax gift the politicians in government are trying to give to their big business multi-billion dollar a year profit-making friends. Other parties Labor and Greens may well be using it as an excuse to electioneer in preparation for the election expected later this year or next. Perhaps Liberal and Labor politicians both have something to hide in terms of donations from one major foreign entity that would like to control Australia for its own citizens and has gone a good way towards doing so and pricing young Australians out of the housing market. Any distraction from that might be handy.
It is always wise to dig deep for the ulterior motive in cases of extreme media publicity. Politics is a tough and dirty game and it is not played that way for the benefit of voters. That much is for sure!
31st May 2018
What are our governments thinking? What do you think?
What do you think of the federal government’s proposal to combine the Family Court with the federal circuit court which also handles bankruptcy, human rights, consumer matters, privacy, migration, intellectual property, industrial law and admiralty law?
How could it possibly make the family cases flow better & faster?
Surely Family Law and domestic and family violence should be handled in a separate court system that uses mediation instead of the adversarial system that enriches lawyers by aggravating arguments between parties. Don't we want the best outcomes for all paties in family matters. Winner takes all just creates massive problems later on.
What do you think of Sydney’s latest train failure, traffic congestion on M4 or light rail debacle? Can our politicians and bureaucrats serve Sydney’s existing population, let alone more people in future? Expanded population beyond their capacity to manage it perhaps?
Should the NSW government reveal how many building in Sydney are clad with flammable material? Should the people who allowed this to happen be identified so that we know who not to allow to make decisions in future? Or will people know when their highrise apartment block bcomes a towering inferno? From what country did the flammable material come?
30th May 2018
Effects of immigration, population, densification & inland opportunities.
The new topic on our Action Forum is one that has been in the media recently, with all factors mentioned.
Many voters have expressed views on one or other of these factors that have so much impact on our society, both social and financial.
I hope that many will join the discussion and put forward their views. The first task is to determine the impact of each factor. In fact the impact may be very different on one person to what it is on another.
Therefore we need to understand both impacts before we can correctly determine the challenges.
Please be frank and honest in what you say. Do not say anything unpleasant about any person or organisation. That does not assist the process and may end up with the offender losing a very big defamation or libel suit.
29th May 2018
Tax reform - What about the voters??
The media is full of tax reform talk.
Independents and minor parties change their minds about supporting the government.
Big business stands to gain a huge windfall in tax avoidance from the government’s proposals.
Voters stand to gain a little bit from the reforms too.
But it is self-evident that reducing taxes will reduce government services and public infrastructure available to voters and their families. That is ....
Unless the government borrows from our moneylenders, the very banks under inquiry at the Royal Commission. That will give the banks even more profit from interest and charges and mean that even less of the actual tax revenue can be spent for the benefit of voters.
Government leaders say the aim of the corporate tax cuts is to stimulate the economy because companies earning billions of dollars in profit think so little of Australia that they will not create profit-making jobs if they have to pay 30% tax to contribute to running the country like ordinary voters who on average already contribute 32.5%. What miserable corporate leaders we have.
I saw yesterday in the SMH that the average pay of CEO’s of the ASX top 100 was $4.75 million a year. Nearly $100,000 a week! Yet they are so mean that they will not let their companies work for the same tax rate average voters pay.
Much of their profit is derived by sending jobs off shore or replacing people with very much less helpful computers. Good profits and high pay are to be applauded, but they need to be shared around a bit not monopolised by the super rich who mostly get wealthy because voters buy their products and services. Maybe Australians should stop buying from companies who pay less that 10% of gross revenue in company tax. After all these companies do not pay GST like the rest of us. They claim it all back from the government.
If the government really wanted full time jobs created it would abolish payroll tax for all full time jobs paying under $100,000 and allow company tax deductions of 150% for all full time job salaries under $100,000. That would promote low-paid full time jobs and maybe encourage the $35,000 a year ones to be paid $50,000.
It is good to help big business and billionaires but there are 16 million voters and 2 million small businesses in Australia. If they do not get treated fairly by their current Members of Parliament, they will, if they have any sense, replace them with other MPs who just might treat them fairly or be removed in turn.
Why is it that businesses can get a tax deduction from travelling to their other business premises or customers' premises to earn income yet salary earners cannot get a tax deduction for travelling to work where they eaern their income?
Why is it that small businesses now pay the same rate of tax that big businesses do when years ago they paid 5 cents in the dollar less because it is so much harder for them to raise funds for their businesses?
It is because big business constantly uses professional lobyists to persuade politiciansto do what they want done, but small businesses and individuals do not use FairGO, Votergrams or Voters Network nearly enough to persuade politicians to do what they want.
Big business reaps the rewards from lobbying in higher profits. Small businesses would do the same if they used these services FairGO provides, more frequently. Those who have used them have reaped very substantial financial rewards. Similarly, individuals who use FairGO's services to persuade politicians to do what they want, gain financial benefits in health care, educational facilities for their children, better pay and better governnment services at lower costs. For example the 50% licence renewal for safe drivers, new school halls, covered areas or airconditioning. Retention of hospitrals instead of their sale and better health by avoiding inhalation of other people's smoke. All of these translate into more money for ordinary Australians. We voters need to think a bit more strategically.
Meanwhile all voters can rate the performance of their own and any other MPs every month if they wish on the voters network website to give feedback on how well they feel they are represented.
25th May 2018
Hub leaders have been meeting this morning.
One of their concerns is to find out what middle Australia wants governments to do. So please tell us https://voters.network/contact.php :
What concerns you most?
Public transport inadequacy
Failure of our judicial system to deliver justice
Earning disparity from $35k to $10m p.a.
Political donor corruption
Energy provision, pricing and pollution
Use the voters network contact page to tell us https://voters.network/contact.php
23rd May 2018
Campaigns are underway on taxes, women's safety, planning, population, immigration, transport, child protection.
What is important about our style of campaigning is that it is done quietly and without fuss. Some organisations make a huge fuss about their campaigns so that they can be credited with campaigning regardless of whether or not they achieve any result.
Because we campaign along side the elected Members of Parliament, we do not want to embarrass them. In fact when we achieve the desired result we like to quietly give the MPs who helped all the credit.
So if you are planning to seriously make change in Australian society, join us to quietly persuade politicians do do what you want and then be prepared to thank them for it.
That is probably the way you make change in your own family and community organisations. Don't make people look silly in public. Always work to make them look good for doing what you want.
18th May 2018
What do you want done ?
How to shape a better future for our Australian society!
Do you think that the politicians you elect and pay just work hard to do what is best for Australia and Australians? If so think again, because that is pure fantasy! With the best intentions in the world, they could not do that. And many do not have those intentions, though many do.
Up to 5,000 highly paid and highly skilled lobbyists representing big banks, big business, foreign governments and other powerful vested interests currently work full time on persuading our politicians to do what those lobbyist’s clients or the lobbyists themselves want. They can offer big political donations or advertisements praising political parties that do what they want and they can threaten very big advertising and PR campaigns against any party that disrupts their clients’ profitable enterprises or opposes them in any way.
That is why those who enable ordinary Australian voters to speak up and persuade politicians to DO WHAT THEY WANT need funding. Just as big business funds it own voices, so we voters need to fund our own voices. FairGO has enabled voters to do that through its Votergrams for over 30 years.
This year FairGO has added a very costly Voters Network to help the voting community Discuss and Decide what it wants done – what we used to call Community Consultation before governments started running them and distorting the results to justify their own pre-determined outcomes. The voters.network website has required the spending of a very substantial sum for web development and it needs to be staffed full time to be effective.
Voters Network depends on ordinary Australians chipping in $4 a month or $44 a year. Three quarters of that funds its Hub Leaders (any trained advanced member), and one quarter ($10 p.a.) goes to help fund network administration.
We voters can compete with highly paid and very determined lobbyists, because together we hold the votes that determine who is elected to parliament. But we can only do that if we work together, fund our own network and work hard to persuade politicians to do what we want. For 30 years Votergrams have shown the Australian voters that shaping a better future for our society is neither impossible nor very difficult, but it does take a bit of time money and effort, just like footie, netball, surfing or the internet do. Without voter funding it is nothing.
The threats to our society and future enjoyment of life are real. Foreign governments, big banks, big business and ruthless vested interest groups can and do exert disproportionate influence on our lives. They affect the schooling of our children, health care, child care, aged care, family business profits, crime, pay rates, job opportunities, housing costs, planning and development of residential and business communities, travel, roads, women’s safety and road safety, taxation and money management, to name some aspects of our lives.
We need you in Voters Network if Australians are to enjoy our full potential this year and in the years ahead. We hope that you see it as worth chipping in $4 a month or $44 a year. Hub Leaders should recover that and more as they help develop and run the network.
Voters Network will help you achieve your goals for society. Join up now and lend a hand.
Budget Benefits Blues
It was certainly worth listening to. Treasurer Scott Morrison talking about what he proposed spending, how his government would raise the money to fund it and how he was going to deal with the current government debt that results in $18 billion a year of our taxes going to the moneylenders. Worthwhile knowing about the tax cuts for the super rich, but the Treasurer did not talk much about that.
Perhaps better listening was Opposition Leader Bill Shorten giving his address in reply. He certainly talked about the government’s planned tax breaks for the super rich. Of course it is a bit easier for him because he is not actually in government and having to do it – yet.
As a former practising Chartered Accountant before I learned how easy it often was to persuade politicians to get government doing what we wanted, I have seen the enormous value of budgets to businesses.
I have similar views about business to those I have about government. We know what we want out of them and they need to produce it. I want to know that they have done it, not why they haven't.
In business, we prepare the budget based on last year’s results, but planning to do a bit better. Then we try hard to actually meet the budget in the current year. If we do not succeed, we look at where we have failed and adjust our practices for next year. At the end of each year we compare the actual results to the budget and to last year’s result. Managers who meet or exceed budget and last year’s results are highly prized. Those who don’t, start working on their CVs.
Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we did that with our government budgets? We would like half a dozen keen accountants or economists or concerned citizens to join Voters Network as Advanced Members and form a Budget Benefits Analysis Team to start the process. It will take a few years to get it right, but from then on we should be able to take the federal budget seriously and let voters know how well each government did compared to what it projected in its budget and the previous year.
If you would like to be part of that Budget Benefits Analysis Team (BBAT), please email email@example.com and let us know. If enough people are interested we will do it. If not we cannot.
When is rape not rape?
When the rapists engages a very good lawyer.
Years ago when I thought to enter law, I was told “A half-decent lawyer should be able to get an innocent person off. A really good lawyer should be able to get a guilty one off.” I have seen the truth in that over many decades. Courts have little to do with justice and everything to do with a verbal “tennis match” between two legal teams. The best one wins.
It does not need the presence of lawyers to determine what happened according to the parties involved in an alleged rape and any witnesses. Lawyers are clever and their presence can completely distort the truth. Heaven help any woman who has been raped and comes up against a good SC in court. He can prove the most respectable socialite to be a tramp. That is why most abused women don’t go to the Police. Politicians and lawyers have stacked the law against them.
Our court system often does not deliver justice. Even the judges are former lawyers, not qualified, experienced or skilled in determining truth from fiction. They are often swayed by eloquent arguments by former colleagues who represent one side or another.
If the community works together in Voters Network we can have the laws changed that treat women as 5th class citizens and which foster their abuse by men. If you agree that $44 a year is a reasonable contribution to fund Voters Network and join up as an advanced member, we can turn Australia into a fair and just country, which it never has been for women.
If enough voters want women treated fairly, that is what will happen, despite the politicians, Law Reform Commission and Bar Association who have allowed the present situation to exist.
But if you do not do anything to stop or deter rape, then you make it happen.
If you don't help fund us then we cannot advance Australia fair.
Voter action can discourage men from raping and abusing women and offer means of some protection for potential victims - just like lawyers and politicians protect rapists.
3rd may 2018
It’s academic isn’t it!
“Domestic violence protection scheme fails 3 times in NSW”. Boscar it may be called but it is very worrying. It is not academic for the women and children being beaten up.
We might well conclude that the governments of Australia are not actually going to stop domestic and family violence unless we make them do it. Some might say they are not stopping it because they actually support the idea that women should do what their husbands and partners tell them to do and cop the consequences if they don’t.
We voters have two options- sit back and turn a blind eye while women and children get beaten to a pulp, or take action to have our MPs prevent it in every way possible. Join voters.network and join our Safe Families Action Team if you favour the latter.
Mental heal care is much the same isn’t it. Police shoot the patient dead when the patient should be in hospital receiving treatment. This is not a Police matter! Or war veterans suffer horrific torment in return for putting their lives on the line for us and following government orders. Or a mentally ill person kills dozens of people with a vehicle.
While all this abuse is going on one government fiddles with finances on public works where it demonstrates so little ability to negotiate a fixed price contract that one wonders whether the construction company is a big political donor under another name. Or another government, faced with lack of services on domestic violence and mental health as well as a huge national debt, works hard to cut taxes for the wealthiest earners in the country – Big Business Billionaires.
Don’t let democracy die here as in other countries. The alternative is a dictatorship funded by the rich and powerful. That would certainly be a disaster for most Australians. Join Voters.network and make change happen for the better. When voters network together in a democracy they take control through their elected MPs. That is a good form of government because done properly it prevents the sort of corruption and neglect that power often tends to breed. The voters and the politicians working together make a very formidable force. Join voters.network and make it happen.
2nd May 2018
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT OF 12.5% IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE
Worse, the youth unemployment rate since 1978 has averaged 13.4% according to some sources.
Why is this happening and what do we do about it?
Big business and governments are shedding jobs like you can’t believe. Today we don’t speak to a receptionist when we phone a major company or government department. We are more likely to spend between 15 and 60 minutes hanging on and working through sometimes meaningless menus before we speak to the person a receptionist would have connected us to in 30 seconds. Chances are they will be in the Philippines anyway .All this is in the name of cost-cutting and profit-making. Going into a bank branch (except Bendigo Community Bank) is just a nightmare because it is certain to have about half the staff needed to cope with the customer load. Banks don’t make all of their billion dollar profits by cheating and defrauding customers. Some is made by hopelessly under-servicing customers. Talk about lambs to the slaughter! These are jobs going begging.
There are many places where young people could replace machines and do the job a thousand times better, though not as profitably. Profit is not everything! We need government to get in there and actually offer jobs to our young people and make sure they do them properly. The idea of government lining the pockets of business people who employ youths is absurd.
In part it is quite possible that many young people are not worth the money allocated to them in awards. Sometimes the adult pay is hardly any higher than the pay for teenagers. Most employers know that an inexperienced young person will not perform as well as an experienced 30 year old. I would think the 30 y.o would do twice the job the 18 y.o would do in accounting. Some young people think they know more than their bosses and some are more interested in their social lives.
By the same token many young people are excellent workers, do what they are asked to do and learn fast. They are worth a lot more than minimum wages. They do not deserve to be cheated by employers.
Underpayment of wages needs to be easy to detect and carry gaol penalties. That would stop it dead.
We do not need young people on “Newstart” allowances. We want them in jobs. There are still the jobs that I did when I started in Accountancy. Running errands, filing documents, taking phone calls, assisting seniors, getting coffees or lunches. We need to find the jobs and have the youth working and learning. Many with uni degrees have so little experience they are just not worth the pay demanded. Lower pay progressively rising annually with ability is the solution.
We also need to ensure that parents are doing the right thing by their children, encouraging respect for others and school learning, because education has a lot to do with whether or not a person gets work. Government could also look at the sort of businesses the young people might be able to start for themselves.
Career advice is essential to have students studying for jobs that will have value in future and for which they have an aptitude. The investment advisory area could do with some people with skills and aptitudes. Trades don’t look like going out of fashion, nor do business and financial services like accounting or law. Personal Assistants are highly valued and need to be highly skilled. Semi-skilled work exists in retailing and construction industries.
Contracting has become fashionable because unfair dismissal laws worked very unfairly for employers – so they just stopped employing. All of a sudden a staff member who had been trained for years could legally leave a job without notice, whilst an employer could not dismiss someone for not doing properly what they were paid to do properly, nearly as easily. If a male staff member harassed female staff they could not be sacked. They had to be counselled. Business owners do not want to be trainers or counsellors. They want to earn a living by doing what they know. So maybe the industrial laws need to be made fair to both employers and employees.
And why would we possibly have a payroll tax, a tax on giving people jobs? Can you imagine a stupider tax to have in an era when IT is wiping out jobs daily. It was fine before computers, but it is a political disgrace now.
If you are interested in young people all having jobs, why don’t you join voters.network and help us make it happen. It will not happen without you. That is for sure. Voters.network is about helping voters make change, not about doing it for them!
1st May 2018
As governments again start to modify the Australian education system, what about parents and students having a say? It is vital that our children and teenagers learn life skills and have enough broad education to earn them a decent living when they reach adulthood as well as appreciating the many other aspects of life. It is also important that they enjoy their childhood and teen years.
It is necessary to encourage them to achieve their full potential but it is not necessary to push them so hard that they suffer mental illnesses or suicide.
Children are not tools of the Australian economy to be moulded and used to boost our national income. Money is important but there is a lot more to life that money and the national income.
Sometimes we may wonder whether those who make the final decisions on education have sufficient qualifications and experience to do what they do. Surely parents should make known their views on the sort of schooling they want for their children and that should be taken into account along with the views of the older students themselves and those educators with reasonable knowledge of what those students may need to know in order to survive the world in which they will live and work.
If parents and relatives want an Action Forum discussion on the topic of education reform and their children are important enough for them to spend $44 to help us fund that discussion and its chosen outcomes and to spend some of their time putting forward their views, then voters.network, FairGO and Votergrams will work hard to help them achieve the curriculum outcomes they want.
However, we can only do what voters fund us to do. We do not have the money to fund consultations and action ourselves and that is as it should be. When the voters themselves fund forums and action, then the result reflects their own priorities.
“He who pays the piper calls the tune” and far too often in Australia we see hopeless consultation outcomes that favour one party which has spent a lot of money funding the consultation.
Consider the nonsense of the banks and insurance companies funding the industry regulators ASIC, FOS and APRA. Look at the result!!
Voters fund voters.network. The more voters who fund it in small amounts the more effective it will be. $44 is a very modest sum for what can be achieved on many topics including the education of our children.
Join and upgrade to help fund the voters.network if you see education as making a difference to your children’s lives and you would like your views or theirs taken into account.
30th April 2018
Is there one harsher law for borrowers and another, more generous one for lenders?
What is the justice in directors and CEOs of companies that have been robbing customers, just resigning? What messages does that send to tomorrow’s would-be-crooks? How does that help those who have been financially ruined? Are we seeing financial regulators allowing powerful companies, banks, insurance & wealth managers, run by “respectable” directors, to continue committing corporate crimes in return for multi-million dollar fines that boost treasury coffers?
Should these directors instead be in gaol or home detention? If you have a view, why don’t you send a Votergram to every Federal Politician telling them just what you would like them to do about it. The Votergrams (https://fairgo.org/votergrams.htm ) will cost you $25 in total or a bit over 10c per MP, but surely Australia’s future is worth $25. Or do we want our country run by corporate crooks “because we have to trust them” and because they spend millions of dollars lobbying politicians while we sit pat.
Decisions will be made in future and there will be a lot of effort put into persuading politicians not to have these directors prosecuted.
Why did the Federal government fight so hard to avoid the banks and insurance companies having to appear before this Royal Commission?
Has that anything to do with the forthcoming multi-million dollar campaign by Big Business to keep the current political parties in power? Are the financial services industries perhaps not the only ones in Big Business who have doing the wrong thing? What about super fund managers, supermarkets, construction companies, lawyers, accountants, imported building materials suppliers?
Financial penalties make governments the huge beneficiaries of corporate crime. It is like a tax on gambling. The government gets hooked on the taxes or fines and so there is a real disincentive to stop the criminal behaviour.
Is one state “Fair Trading” colluding with dishonest businesses by allowing them to trade after breaking the law, on the basis of written “enforceable undertakings”? Is Fair Trading generating fines for the government while allowing businesses to continue fleecing customers. We, the voters need to decide whether or not we like this sort of cosy arrangement with fraudsters. Then we need to share our views with our politicians in a very forceful way. Votergrams are the most effective way that I have seen. I may be biased, but they sure have been effective.
For those feeling vulnerable to action by banks to call in their loans, foreclose on security or seize the assets of guarantors, I have run the GBAC Advisory consultancy since before banks were de-regulated and set loose on their unsuspecting customers. We have very effective ways of preventing banks taking unfair action against customers. The way is being paved for conversion by banks of interest-only loans to principal and interest loans in a year or two. If anybody needs to negotiate a gentle rather than a “sudden-death” conversion, then the sooner they contact GBAC Advisory and arrange to have that put in place the easier the transition will be. It is always wise to have a customer advocate talk to the bank with you about difficult situations before they develop. Many people leave it until after they default on the loan and then it is 10 times as hard to negotiate a fair outcome.
27th April 2018
Just how many people have been ripping off bank customers?
One always hesitates to cry “CONSPIRACY” or “COLLUSION”, yet my auditor’s brain tells me that is how many great frauds are perpetrated.
At the Royal Commission uncovering the Great Australian Financial Fraud today’s media reported that barrister Niall Coburn is reported as having said that ASIC did not “have the balls to bring proceeding” against the banks. Now we do not know whether this is right or wrong, but......
What if it was not a case of “not having the balls” but of deliberately not taking the action that was necessary to deter or stop the banks from their criminal behaviour? Would that amount to collusion by the regulator?
Mr Coburn is said to have criticised ASIC for making “enforceable agreements with banks rather than commencing criminal prosecutions”. Here we have the corporate regulator being advised of crimes and yet sitting down with offenders and negotiating some agreement that satisfied the banks and ASIC. Why would the regulator not do what voters might expect of a regulator there to protect them? That would surely be to prosecute the offenders with the heaviest punishment available. Is this evidence of collusion between the regulator and the bankers? Let us not assume that ASIC was incompetent or negligent. Let us ask for an investigation into whether there could have been criminal intent to collude in defrauding financial service customers.
Mr. Coburn is also reported to have told the Royal Commission that the government (read politicians) of both stripes (parties) had appointed people who lacked experience in prosecutions or experience. He talked of one ASIC head as being a banker. A banker to police the bankers?? Really!!
Is it possible that the our Australian government was deliberately appointing people to head ASIC who could not do the job, in order to give the banks, insurance companies and wealth managers freedom to defraud their customers without fear of retribution? It may not be the case at all, but it bears investigation. If so we need to know which politicians were making that possible. They must have been extremely senior MPs, perhaps ministers.
There is surely a real problem if politicians, regulators and offenders were working together and forging agreements. For a start those agreements should be scrutinised to see how they compare to the maximum penalties that apply to the various offences.
There is yet a lot more to come out of this inquiry and the blame may go higher and higher.
26th April 2018
What do you think of The Great Australian Financial Fraud revealed by the Banking and Financial Services Commission?
How could such dishonesty continue for so long? Has there been collusion between dishonest bankers and Australian corporate financial regulators? This needs serious investigation.
How could this Great Australian Financial Fraud have continued for decades without there being collusion with financial regulators? How could regulators collude in this crime? They could offer token punishments, no gaol or loss of licences. They could turn a blind eye to customer complaints. They could let banks draft their replies to complainants for them. They could just let the fraud continue and ignore the law or contracts between banks and customers.
How could this Great Australian Financial Fraud continue unabated despite being raised publicly around Australia in one state after another against one bank after another, without the collusion of some senior politicians on both sides of politics, who had been made aware of it when they were in power and when in opposition? Have some politicians colluded with financial regulators and banks to defraud their constituents? There have been some extremely helpful politicians who have worked hard to stand up for bank customers. Barnaby Joyce, Bob Katter, Senators John Williams and Barry O’Sullivan are four of the best, but they have been up against a brick wall of political support for dishonest bankers.
Politicians could direct regulators to go soft on the banks. They could deprive the regulators of funding to investigate or prosecute banks and bank directors for their crimes. They could refuse to amend the law to make such fraud illegal. They could ensure the laws gave banks sufficient scope to rob customers without it being exactly outside those laws. They could oppose a Royal Commission. They could receive millions of dollars in fines to the government out of the billions stolen from customers. They could arrange for the regulator to be funded by the banks. You know the saying, “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”
Just tonight I heard that Ford and Telstra were each fined $10 million by ACCC.
Can you imagine how happy the Federal Treasury must be. Another $20 million added to their funds. How many millions have the banks paid in fines to the government over the decades this fraud has run? The banks take money fraudulently from the customers then the government takes money from the banks in fines??? Is this just a nice tidy additional source of funds for a government? Is that an incentive to stop the fraud or to let it continue?
In another life the voters.network founders have helped abused, misled and defrauded bank customers to get out of the bank’s clutches. Through a better banking network we are going to continue with that work that affects the lives of so many vulnerable voters.
23rd April 2018
THANK YOU ANZACS AND THEIR FAMILIES
ANZAC Day stamps a message on our hearts. Even as a child my mother would turn the radio on first thing in the morning and we listened until the end of the march. Once we could watch it on television it meant so much more. In those days I could watch people I knew marching.
There is one enduring ANZAC message that all Australians should heed because it affects every aspect of their lives. Here is that message:
"No matter how bad the odds at first appear, if you really want something, you go out and fight for it as hard as you can, until you win."
It does not matter whether it is better school facilities or a better education for your children, aged care for your parents, a good home for yourself, a decently paid job, proper health care, child care, good public transport, free flowing roads, honest councillors, environment protection, support for small businesses or sensible spending of your taxes. If you want any of these you are much more likely to win it if you fight for it, because there are so many competing demands on available resources and so many greedy powerful people busy lining their own pockets with your assets. FairGO and Votergrams have revolutionised the way you can fight for what you want.
Unlike the ANZACS, we do not have to depend on heavy 303 rifles, the most basic for Bren guns or heavy artillery. We have three excellent tools with which to fight our war against those who would grab all of society’s wealth for themselves and leave the rest of us to rot.
Those tools are our ability to think strategically, our voices and our votes. Just as the soldiers of WWI gained ground by working together on strategy, so we voters, to win our war against inequality, must work together very strategically.
Like the military, voters must first confer to establish their objectives. Then they must strategically plan how to persuade their politicians to provide what is wanted. The most persuasive tools in their armament are strategy, votes and voices. Logical voices usually make an immediate impact. But when it comes down to winning, it is first strategy and then votes that deliver the victory almost every time.
We do not have to go overseas. We do not have to put our lives and limbs on the line. We do not have to leave our loved ones streaming tears from their eyes. But if we want to honour our ANZACS we will fight the good fight with all our might to make Australia a fairer country again, for today there are many more who endure acute disadvantage, poverty and suffering while a small minority wallow in astronomical, often ill-gotten, wealth.
Lest we forget, they died to give us a chance, to give all of us a chance. Let’s capitalise on that because today we Australian voters can enjoy much more value from our votes than we have ever have before. But then we have to use our votes strategically, not just throw them away on our favourite party without getting firm commitments in return.
Let’s work with each other first to decide what is most needed, then work with our elected MPs to obtain it. We will never have to suffer like the ANZACS did, to win these victories.
12th April 2018
Why should we put up with it??
Today’s Sydney Morning Herald typifies the issues around Australia.
Voters.network gives a loud voice to the Australian people which cannot be ignored in a democracy.
It does not involve much time or effort. We do not rally or protest on single issues. We work online and through our elected representatives on every conceivable issue. No-one keeps a dog and barks too. We elect and pay politicians to run our country or state the way we want it run. They will do that if we work with them to make it happen. Join as a free member see how it works, see what tools we offer you to build better more enjoyable lives for yourself and your family. Don’t believe that you can’t win. Of course you can win, if you go about it the right way and if your claim is valid.
All we have to do as voters, residents, parents and victims is work together and have our elected and paid politicians fix the problems. But we must discuss and offer solutions, for our politicians obviously do not know what to do on every matter. Voters.network is your opportunity to get problems solved with the minimum of effort and discomfort. You don’t have to rally, march in the streets or continue to suffer . Just say what the problem is that you want solved and offer suggestions on solving it. Easy peasy.
Join voters network free then if convinced upgrade for $4 per month for 12 months or contribute in advance $44. Then enjoy life more knowing you have powerful allies to achieve your goals. https://voters.network/join.php .
A port agreement struck by the NSW government prevents Newcastle and Wollongong Ports from handling containers that would remove thousands of trucks from passing through Sydney. This illustrates government negligence, perhaps corruption and the stupidity of privatising public assets like ports to get short term cash when a government is incapable of managing finances.
It is claimed in court that council elections were rigged to have a person elected to a Sydney council. It is no good this being revealed in a court prosecution, because the damage in council policy has already been done. We need an Electoral Commission that can act by deferring the election immediately it becomes suspicious that an election is about to be rigged.
Energy policy conflicts continue over coal or renewable production. This is because coal is cheaper but more polluting. Wind and solar are more expensive and cleaner. Meanwhile we export our coal so it still pollutes the world. Surely good sense suggests an energy policy of using cheaper but dirtier coal to produce our own power if it is going to be used anywhere and simultaneously putting the profits from coal powered electricity into building a national renewable energy structure free of “electricity trading” that bumps up prices and perhaps based on private networks of rooftop solar and wind, particularly in big cities.
Agriculture has brought incredible shame on Australia by its treatment of livestock. Politicians are solely to blame. We have seen cattle bludgeoned to death, chickens dropped live into boiling water and sheep dying in the most disgusting circumstances imaginable. What penalties and gaol terms do you think would stop this profit-oriented cruelty. What monitoring systems do you think would detect such cruelty. Why do we elect politicians who facilitate such cruelty. Only ordinary Australians speaking up can have this cruelty stopped. All you have to do is join voters.network and say what you think should happen.
The staggering case of the Australian Tax Office abusing taxpayers in a way that would have done credit to Stalin or Hitler raises the question of government abuse of Australian people. Governments are not our rulers. They are our servants. Of course the Tax Office must ensure that people pay their fair taxes. But the Tax office should assess each tax return and then send a bill for the tax owing. That is what it did most of the time since federation.
In recent times it moved to “self-assesment” a lazy, cost-cutting, job destroying way of neglecting its responsibilities. Taxpayers had to assess their own taxable income and assess their own tax. We all know that the person who produced the document cannot effectively review it. If they made a mistake of belief when they prepared the return they will make the same mistake when reviewing it. It is always wise to have a second person review a financial document. The Tax Office has the opposite aim to the taxpayer so it is ideal to review a tax return and point out any errors. Then they can be debated until a correct answer is accepted.
The ATO should dump self-assessment and do the job it is employed for, that is assess tax returns each year and issue assessments rather than coming back years later after money has been spent and asking for a big tax bill to be paid because of some past error.
Again, Australians need only join voters.network for us to get the tax office working for us not against us.
Thousands of people in capital cities are suffering because politicians are failing to provide the schools, sporting facilities, hospitals and transport services for high rise communities that the politicians themselves have forced on people.
Voters.network already has a discussion forum on the question of capital city populations and congestion which will expand to take account of lack of services.
Corporate tax cuts will not be reinvested in wages, that much is for sure. Companies that can avoid tax through smart expensive tax advisers will soon enough find a way to avoid reinvestment of tax savings as the government seems to dream of. The most obvious way will be to invest the savings in new jobs and dismiss staff in existing jobs. The real solution is to remove all payroll tax on employing people and allow a 150% tax deduction for annaul increases in wages under $100,000 p.a. and reduce the tax deduction for salaries over $200,000 p.a. to 75%.
Rental prices soar by as much as 5% on city fringes, Blue Mountains and Central Coast. Of course if politicians keep bring in people into capital cities from overseas and regional areas, this problem will keep getting worse and younger Australians will suffer. Homelessness will get greater. We are told that already 18,000 Australian children are homeless. What a political disgrace!
You can either accept this degraded life in Australia or join voters.network to build better lives for yourself and your family and for the tens of thousands who suffer neglect, bad laws or bad administration.
10th April 2018
Have you seen the media reports of the ATO abusing taxpayers.
Do not put up with abuse from the Australian Tax office or any government department. Joining voters .network is the best form of protection and a lot cheaper than taking on the tax office in court.
The ATO would not dare to persecute voters.network members as it apparently has others recently.
Anyone persecuted unfairly by the ATO has an additional simple inexpensive remedy. A Votergram to each of the 225 Federal MPs would stop the persecution dead in its tracks. No fancy lawyers or accountants needed, though we have tax accountants in the network. The cost to send a message by Votergram to 225 Federal MPs is $25 in total. Responses are monitored and you can rate MPs for good or bad responses.
The ATO action is most likely caused by unrealistic cost-cutting and performance demands by Federal MPs themselves. Historically the ATO has been very obliging to honest taxpayers.
Today taxpayers, residents, bank customers, children, women, cattle, chickens, dogs and sheep are all being abused under the auspices of our state and federal politicians who are responsible for all laws and all government action. Abuse is running rife!
Unless voters do network together, to campaign, help politicians perform better and guide government policy, Australians are going to end up enduring the sort of abuse to which our first settlers were subjected by the authorities in the 1700’s. Let’s not do that!!
Join voters.network now if you have not already done so and remember that Votergrams can protect you from abuse - not only by government.
9th April 2018
Hub Leaders can make money from voters.network by helping fellow members.
The network employs no staff. Hub Leaders manage their own hubs with training and assistance. Advanced network members fund their Hub Leaders, by annual contributions, in order to learn how to enjoy better government services.
Any willing advanced member can help the other members and receive that funding by leading a Hub.
That will give them $20 a year for every advanced network member in their hub towards their costs and time.
Leaders mainly pass information between network administration and their hub members. This keeps the network independent, building diversification and decentralisation into administration.
There are 16 million voters in Australia. A leader of a hub with 1,000 advanced members, would receive $20,000 p.a. funding from those members. Ordinary members do not pay for their ability to rate the performance of their MPs. Membership is promoted through social and other media.
9th April 2018
FAIRER TAX SYSTEM BADLY NEEDED FOR AUSTRALIAN VOTERS
What are your thoughts on corporate tax rates, negative gearing, tax havens, personal taxes? Join the voters.network forum and let’s see if we can make the tax system fairer for voters.
Here are my thoughts having spent most of my working life as a Chartered accountant / tax adviser.
How amazing that people support corporate tax cuts. Companies earning billions of dollars a year will pay lower marginal tax rates than employees on $40,000. Business & farm owners will simply direct income through companies to pay less tax. Wage and salary earners will suffer most. Government spending will be cut because taxes will be less. Foreign companies investing here will run their investments through tax havens and pay little tax in Australia anyway.
To achieve the governments jobs and growth it would be better to remove payroll tax. Fancy taxing employment!! And replace it with a “technology tax” to combat replacement of people who serve us well with technology that serves us badly but is cheaper.
Salary, wages and contract fees for personal services should only be deductible against Australian income to the extent that they are paid in Australia. That will deter the current boom in exporting of jobs, which like immigration, forces Aussie pay rates down at the lower end of the market. That then costs money in welfare spending.
To further encourage job creation for low to medium paid employees, salary and wage payments of up to $200,000 per employee p.a. should be allowable deductions at 150% of the amount paid and payments of over $500,000 per employee p.a. should be allowable at the rate of 75% of the amount paid. Thus salaries and wages would be more evenly spread.
Loopholes in tax laws work firmly against the majority of Australian taxpayers. Fees for tax return preparation services should cease to be deductible where they exceed $1,000. Most of the big tax bills are for advice on how to avoid tax, so why would they be allowable tax deductions?
There is no possible justification for excluding businesses from paying the GST that all voters are forced to pay. Government works as much for business as for individuals. The “input credits” law that allows businesses to reclaim gst paid should be revoked.
But what is most important is what you think, not what I think. Feel free to put forward your counter arguments and views. We want a system which works well for the vast majority of Australian voters.
Join the Action Forum https://voters.network/forum.php discussion on a fairer tax system for Australian voters.
2nd April 2018
Police brutality, mental illness and solving problems
Are Victorian Members of Parliament developing a Police State? If you are a Victorian, you can join voters.network and rate your local MPs to let them know your views on what they do.
Police states do not come suddenly but gradually. Those Germans who experienced the ruthless rule of their elected leader Adolf Hitler saw it gently become a fact of life.
Responses by Victorian politicians and Police leaders to ABC’s 7.30 tonight were totally unhelpful. No wonder the politicians are cutting its funding. For as long as I have known, Police could get away with criminal activities without fear of punishment. This only happens because our elected politicians deliberately let it happen. They wouldn’t if voters worked with them more often.
But there is a second and related aspect to the Police brutality increasingly dished out to voters without the slightest justification. Have you noticed that this treatment is predominantly directed at people with a mental illness? It is quite obvious, so why does it happen?
The answer to that question is also quite obvious. It costs governments money to maintain health services and facilities for people with mental illnesses. Governments love to save money by cutting services and to divert that money into infrastructure projects about which they can boast for years. They get to cut ribbons and open buildings and perhaps have their names on foundation stones. That wins votes. Infrastructure means monuments to politicians. Services are just about looking after people and that does not necessarily win votes at all.
If we simply don’t care what happens to others and think only of ourselves then I guess we can’t really blame the Police too much for acting that way too. Why are these matters arising for Police anyway? Dealing with crime is what Police are about. Mental Health is not a Police matter. It needs mental health medical experts.
Politicians have a clever trick to neutralise public concern about certain issues. Mental health treatment has been a major failing of governments at least since the 1960’s. Violence is another.
They subsidise community organisations working to alleviate certain problems. Mental Health may be one of them. By subsidising these organisations the politicians can control what they do and ensure that they do not put too much pressure on government to actually solve the problems. The concerned community members working hard in these groups can achieve some progress, but can rarely solve all the problems. That is because the government owns the problem and has silenced the voters most concerned about it.
This is why voters.network and FairGO have never accepted government subsidies. That is why we are so successful. That and the fact that we do not crow about our successes as other groups do, because we know that the real heroes are the voters who have taken on the problem and the politicians who have helped them solve it.
But that very independence is what makes us totally dependent on voters to upgrade and contribute to our funding. It means we can only do what voters help us to do.
We invite you to upgrade to advanced membership. That entitles you to become a Hub Leader after a very brief training and with constant support. As a Hub Leader you will help us develop the network and you will receive half of each annual contribution from members of your hub to help cover your time, costs and effort.
Voters who join are automatically allocated to hubs on the basis of postcodes, unless they mention that they have been referred by someone in which case they will be allocated to that person’s hub if that person is a hub leader. Most new members spend a while as ordinary free members until they get to know us and what we are seeking to achieve for them.
There are so many matters about which voters are concerned and so many great solutions that can be adopted by politicians. But until we bring the voting community and the parliamentary community together, it is unlikely that those solutions will be adopted.
Every Australian can use democracy to help them build better lives, by joining voters.network.
31st March 2018
The day is a symbol of what we might call, in a secular way, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, to take the title of Grenville Kleiser’s book.
Christ’s followers must have felt pretty “down” after seeing him executed. Not really what they had expected to happen. Perhaps they felt a bit disillusioned too.
Don’t a good few of us voters feel a bit downhearted and disillusioned about our governments from time to time, regardless of which party is in power?
What Jesus was seeking to accomplish was pretty difficult – a radical change in thinking.
What Easter Sunday commemorates is something really good coming out of a disaster.
In 1978 I felt pretty low too when my local council seriously let me and my community down. In those days I had no plans to do anything but build my Chartered Accountancy practice and perhaps follow my forebears into farming. But I was well locked into church as well. That I always enjoyed.
But something good did come out of my council disaster. Years later I worked through FairGO and Votergrams to obtain respite care in Canberra for a young man with cerebral palsy living in NSW. He wanted to go where his friends were and leave the dependence on his parents. But the ACT government would not fund him as he was a NSW resident and NSW would not fund him to Canberra. Instead they would fund him to Yass, which was where he did not want to go.
(Without my council disaster, I would never have thought of developing Votergrams or forming FairGO.)
It took a lot of thinking and a lot of strategic persuasion, but eventually both governments could see their way clear to come to an extremely good arrangement, so he moved to care in Canberra, funded initially by NSW then the ACT.
It was much the same when a pay award increase threatened to close Warrah, a very nice community for people with severe disabilities. The Board called us in and with the help of parents, the NSW government was persuaded to fund the pay increase, despite its earlier refusal.
Christ’s resurrection is seen by many as simply impossible. So too, many find it impossible to believe that governments will change their mind to help individuals or the broad community. In our democracy it is a case of understanding the issues, identifying potential solutions and strategically bringing persuasive power to enlighten politicians to those possibilities.
When I look at so many successes over so many years, I know that we have performed miracles and that much of our success has been due the to willingness of politicians to look well and truly beyond what is in their own interests and break down the barriers to happiness for Australians who ask for help.
That is why we are reluctant to blow our own trumpet like so many organisations do, for the real heroes are our much-maligned elected politicians. Far too often we are far too fast to condemn and crucify them without fully understanding what is required for them to deliver us the Australia we want. Dashed hopes can be resurrected by those with the courage, faith and determination to simply not accept “NO” for an answer from the governments we elect, employ and pay to do our bidding.
Now you may have been following, even thinking of joining, our Action Forum on domestic and family violence. I was horrified to learn in recent weeks that domestic violence is so common that major employers are giving paid and unpaid “domestic violence leave”. Do we have an epidemic of domestic violence in this country? What is the cause? Mostly it is men who are violent. What has got into these men? What is their background? Why are they doing this? Who is pushing them towards it? What is the role if any of drugs, alcohol, gambling, debt?
What do we do with a mother and step-father who repeatedly arranged for their 8 year old daughter to be raped? Are fiends, monsters deliberately giving birth to children so that they can be abused?
You and I have two choices that are all lot better than those of the people who stood around and watched Christ being crucified.
We can either let the sexual abuse of children continue with our endorsement, knowing as we do that their lives will have been utterly destroyed until the day they die OR we can act to have our government curtail this horrendous crime against children very quickly.
Whatever happens to little children from this Easter onwards will be on the heads of the Australian voters. What you and I decide, these Australian children will live. Any one of us could have a child or grandchild kidnapped for sexual abuse. The baby born in the next hospital bed may be destined for rape within a year or two. We do not live under military rule as in Christ’s time. We live in a democracy and we can stop this practice stone dead – if we think first of the children and develop effective solutions.
JOIN, UPGRADE, GIVE US A HAND. Forget cricket cheats and political donations for a moment and let’s save a few hundred or thousand Aussie kids from a horror story and put an end to domestic and family violence, of which child rape is just the most extreme example.
30th March 2018
I am spending Good Friday in beautiful, lush green, pollution free, traffic free, inland nsw. Canberra is 2 hours one way. The magnificent snow fields 2 hours another way. The lovely south coast beaches, rivers and lakes 2 hours in another direction. The pleasant city of Goulburn is 2 hours away in another direction.
Very nice homes sell for between $400,000 and $700,000. On their block size they would be $1m to $2m in Sydney. The saving on a 30 yr loan would be astronomical.
From here, I can attend to the needs of voters from the Western Australian wheat belt to Hobart in Tasmania, Far North Queensland, Broken Hill mines and New England University in Armidale as well as Adelaide and Melbourne. I could deliver goods and services to anywhere in Australia and most places in the world.
There are very good alternatives to overcrowded capital cities.
Today we remember the execution of Jesus Christ. Without discussing the issue of his divinity or the behaviour of today’s religious leaders, we can learn some important lessons from his life and death.
He taught that we would all get on better if we thought about each other as much as about ourselves. He taught freedom of thinking, tolerance of and respect for others. He taught that rather than bearing grudges we would enjoy life better if we forgave others and ourselves for our inevitable mistakes.
We should value democracy, with all its faults, for it is surely better than the power of the religious leadership of his time which had him killed because he was disrupting its power base. Do we still see that today in some parts of the world?
Our democracy is better than the Roman dictatorship which had him crucified for disturbing its rule of the Jewish nation. The heavy fist of that dictatorship is seen in the crucifixion of 10,000 people along the Apian Way. Do we see similarities in the Russian, Chinese and some Middle Eastern countries today, where dissent is not tolerated at all?
How lucky we are to live in a democracy where by using our votes and our voices in unison as a network, we can control what is done with our state, territory or nation!
It does take a little bit of effort to say what we want and do it in a way that persuades politicians. But compared to being crucified for dissent against the powers that be, it has a lot going for it.
What we see in Jesus is a man prepared to stand up for what he believed and prepared to die for it.
Ordinary people like you and me in our Australian democracy can stand up for what we believe, challenge authority and not suffer any harm. I have done it for 30 years, challenging politicians of all parties and bureaucrats alike. When I started I was scared of retaliation, but none has come. I am not that important and most politicians would like to do the right thing anyway, if only voters supported them.
But doing the right thing and governing well is extremely difficult and mostly a thankless task. If we just work together as voters and with our elected MPs of all parties, but insisting that if they wish to continue in office they do what the vast majority of voters want, the result will be happiness. One difficulty is finding out what the vast majority want done. We can do that if we work together. Another is managing the very many tasks government entails and managing them well. To do that politicians need our input, for we are on the ground experiencing the outcomes everywhere.
Let’s take one hint from Jesus and treat our Members of Parliament as we would like them to treat us. I bet it will work well.
Have a Happy and Safe Easter. Drive carefully and share the driving on long trips. Men who hog the driving, do their wives, partners and adult children a great disfavour by denying them the experience whilst Dad is with them.
Role models for children
Who makes the best role models for children – sports stars, business people, sales people, film stars, TV personalities, parents, grandparents, teachers, lecturers?
Do children model themselves on people outside the family or is it primarily their parents who are their models? When people who have done great things speak who do they most nominate as guiding their lives. What I mostly hear is “Thanks to my mother...” or There was one teacher [name] who really inspired and encouraged me” Or "My father...............".
Is it perhaps the combined impact of all the adults they experience that models their behaviour?
Should the government be working to stand by parents, not necessarily financially, but to give moral support and help them over difficult situations?
Should we as the community combine with governments to see that all parents get a fair enough go at life to provide good role models for their children and expose them to people who are also good models?
27th March 2018
“Couple deliver their own baby in NSW hospital”! - Media report.
Is this seriously how Australia treats young couples?
Young couples are the solid future of Australia. They will drive the workforce and demand for decades. They will take on the challenging role of parents looking for support, child care for their babies and toddlers. What they are able to do for their young children will set those children on a path that will determine their future lives.
Young couples are looking at impossible house prices in capital cities that drive them into huge debt with unscrupulous bankers, yet have little knowledge of rural and regional cities where houses cost a quarter of the price and the air is clean to breath. They need secure jobs.
What do you think governments should do to help these young families, starting with early pregnancy and child-birth?
If you know what is required, your best course of action could be sending a Votergram to every Member of Parliament telling them what to do. You could join voters.network now and start the community talking about what is needed. If you are in an early parenting organisation you could contact FairGO to help co-ordinate a campaign for improvements.
The way democracy works is that those who put most effort into influencing government enjoy the most out of it. Young parents are often just finishing studies, looking for jobs and homes, starting families and very short of time. Voters.network, FairGO and Votergrams exist as tools for them to use in order to build better lives.
We believe that all Australians are entitled to a fair go from governments. Working with our elected Members of Parliament, regardless of what party they are in, is a very good way to ensure that all young families do get a fair go.
15th March 2018
Are governments failing the people, failing the nation, failing themselves?
Are we voters fiddling while a social bushfire is burning in our midst?
Or is it just media hype to earn money and entertain us?
Whatever it is, we need you in voters.network to help sort it out before we all suffer – our young people most of all.
You may agree or disagree with what I say below. It is what you want, not what I want that is important, so join voters.network and have your say in a more effective way. Then together let’s change the world so that Australia prospers as a fair country in which everybody is given a fair go – young and old, rich and poor, sick and healthy. To do that we must guide and control government, not let others with their own selfish greed in mind, do it courtesy of our neglect.
Free enterprise capitalism does not have to exclusively enrich the wealthy and impoverish the poor. CEO’s get paid $5.5m a year. That’s over 150 times the minimum wage of about $35,000.
We surely do not need to be an excessively welfare country, but rather a strong working country.
Homelessness has dramatically increased. NDIS seems to be failing to deliver for our most vulnerable people.
Our tax system achieves the following goals:
To enrich tax avoidance experts in the legal and accounting fields.
To ensure that the very highest income earners can buy tax favours though political donations or advertising campaigns and pay relatively low rates of tax, if any at all.
To deceive and confuse ordinary average Australians into believing that they are being fairly treated, partly by the division of taxing and spending between states and the commonwealth – a bit like the thimble and pea trick.
To seriously disadvantage small to medium sized family businesses and farmers
To allow taxpayers money to be used for many purposes for which it was not intended.
Education, electricity, water, housing, child care and aged care have suddenly become investment and profit-making ventures from which people make money, instead of public utilities for the equal benefit of all Australians.
Violence in young people from more recently immigrant families is of great concern. It is most likely the product of politicians allowing large numbers of people to immigrate to Australia, but failing to provide them with the education, careers, understanding of Australian culture and support that will assist them to happily integrate with the existing Australian community. It is grossly unfair to put these young people into such disadvantaged circumstances. Immigration needs far better management than it has received to date from its profit-driven proponents.
A government wants to spend billions of dollars of public money on stadiums for a football league that has its own $300 million stacked away and wants to put on the field a violent criminal who harassed and stalked women in America refusing to pay court ordered compensation . Is our public money seriously going to be used for this purpose, to endorse violent home invasion, assault and harassment of women? First shouldn’t the league settle his court ordered debt, with reimbursement from his salary?
Whatever we want, in a democracy we can pretty much have, but we must put in the time effort and resources needed to achieve it.
She won’t be right mate unless we make it right. Join voters.network and help your fellow Australians make it right. To do that we need to know what you want for Australia.
And we would love a little bit of your money by way of the annual conrtribution made by advanced members. That way we all share the costs and stay independent.
14th March 2018
Dividend imputation is a politically orchestrated tax fraud designed to give big investors, like big banks, big benefits and leave salary and wage earners holding the tax baby.
Why shouldn’t nab lose its banking licence with customers given a year to move to another bank?
Would a new government bank be more honest?
Why does the government pay to build stadiums for an organisation that runs sport as a business and has hundreds of millions of dollars in kitty? Is this what we want, while parents have to deliver their own baby in hospital due to staff shortages?
So does The National Retailers Association really want zero growth in wages as reported today? What about a similar zero price rise requirement for its members?
The Tax Office can’t be bothered to check company tax returns and issue assessments. No wonder people cheat. No wonder others get angry required to pay tax without supporting documentation while the tax office itself disallows deductions for lack of evidence.
Alan Jones and 2GB enjoy their well earned ratings fame. I wonder how many voters realise that they would probably solve their problems faster if they quietly sent a Votergram into the relevant parliament.
Stop, look and listen to the politicians. Assess how w
ell they are representing you. You can join voters.network FREE and rate any of them you wish to, with a tick or a cross
14th March 2018
Politicians, banking, child care, aged care, crime control, transport and duty to perform.
Our representatives, our politicians, have, through bank de-regulation and privatisation, set loose a ferocious, corrupt and ruthless profit-devouring industry, crooked as possible and not in the slightest bit concerned about the harm it does to Australians. Politicians of both major parties have lined the pockets of this industry by allowing it to sell unaffordable loans to unsuspecting customers; to accept bribes for loans; to launder money; to sell fake loan insurance; to foreclose on homes, farms and businesses at will, to sell people's loans to unscrupulous operators; given it billions in compulsory superannuation funds, guaranteed its debts despite its multibillion dollar profits and sold the government banks that once held the private moneylenders in check.
Taxpayers’ funds are pouring into child and aged care facilities run by huge enterprises to whom the well being of the clients, children or elderly is far less important than maximising profits. Huge government subsidies or grants increase private profits exponentially. Owners take the profits. We voters share the costs. Yet the voters who pay have no say. Until now.
Would it be better if government ran these services itself, returning the big profits to clients or to the government for the people? Or is privatisation a roaring success despite the higher charges needed to deliver desirable profits?
Are our politicians serving us well or badly on these matters? You can rate their performance easily by joining voters.network free. Then you can rate your local MPs or any state or federal MPs or ministers with a simple tick or cross.
Eventually a picture will be built of what the voters think of their MPs. We are not out to denigrate them. There are some truly magnificent MPs, but even they can be persuaded to make bad decisions. If voters get alongside them and quietly help them with feedback and solutions, they will improve their performance.
There are also some hopeless politicians who would be far better replaced. That applies in all walks of life.
Voter involvement in rating their politicians is a first step towards building better lives. If voters elect them and voters pay them, it is important for voters to monitor what they do and assess how well they are doing it. Then voters can use voters.network’s rating facility to provide feedback on how satisfied they are with what is being done by people elected to represent them.
Democracy belongs to and can serve the voters, but voters have to make that happen. Voters.network provides the platform. Working with politicians should be the voters’ goal.
Support the Action Forum by upgrading to advanced membership. That keeps us independent, working only for the voters.
11th March 2018
Population policy is purely political, so we voters can modify it if we wish.
But what do you think?
It will probably be the next topic for discussion on voters.network's advanced member-funded Action Forum after we conclude domestic and family violence.
The benefit of our advanced membership’s $44 annual contribution, lies in us being completely independent of both government and business. It primarily funds Hub Leaders to run the hubs that protect the network’s internal independence.
11th March 2018
60 years today
Today marks the 60th anniversary ofthe day I joined Price Waterhouse to commence my Chartered Accountancy career. What an exciting journey it has been and continues to be now that I have swapped Acccountancy for Democracy. The latter is much more satisfying.
10th March 2018
Step 1 in home hunting.
What is the main factor stopping you buying the home you want and why?
Your family size?
Your preferred location?
The style of home you like?
Your local MPs?
The answer leads to solutions!
If you are not already an advanced member, send your answer via the contact form on voters.network. First name is fine. Advanced members post on the "Home Ownership" topic on the voters.network Action Forum.
'9th March 2018
Home prices affected by 7 factors
Contrary to fake news by bankers today about zoning, home prices in Sydney are dictated by 7 factors:
Desire of residents to raise families in homes with privacy, not drug and crime infested housing estates.
Refusal of governments to develop the 30 inland cities in NSW with good road, rail and air access to match their very cheap housing, superb life-style and global internet trading reach.
Excessive property developer profit margins allowed in return for large donations to political parties.
Government stamp duty and infrastructure charges.
Developments being debt financed so buyers pay large interest and loan charges.
Government allowing foreigners to use Australian homes as safe havens for money, laundered or legitimate.
Council zonings in accordance with voters wishes.
Today’s publicity is a move to disenfranchise the Australian voters and compel them to accept the sort of housing imposed by the Chinese communist government. The thing is that Australian voters live in a democracy that they can control, not a communist dictatorship. Hence voters.network .
Time to limit developers to a 20% mark up on direct costs and get government developing all our cheaper cities through tax breaks and government re-location, directing foreign home buyers there.
Join the voters.network action forum and make a difference to your life before the powers-that-be cramp your style to make profit for others!
8th March 2018
Less talk. Ask for action on International Women’s Day! When your messages of up to 100 words goes by one $25 Votergram to every MP in Parliament, telling them what you want them to do for women, it will go direct to the decision-makers. The opposition pressures the government. The back bench pressures the cabinet. The cabinet pressures the ministers and the ministers pressure the departments. FairGO can help you word your message. Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
8th March 2018
Are governments failing the people, failing the nation, failing themselves?
Are we voters fiddling while a major economic disaster is building around us?
Or are the stories I have comment on below, just media hype to entertain us and earn money for the media?
Whatever it is, we need you in voters.network to help sort it out before we all suffer – our young people most of all. You may agree or disagree with what I say below. It is what you want, not what I want that is important, so join voters.network and have your say in a more effective way. Then together let’s change the world so that Australia prospers as a fair country in which everybody is given a fair go. To do that we must guide and control government, not let others do that because of our neglect.
Free enterprise capitalism does not have to enrich the wealthy and screw the poor.
Energy Australia is just about to equalise gender pays. Others can do the same. It is only fair.
On International Women’s Day we are told that one major step forward is respect. That is so true. But respect is usually earned rather than given. So to be respected women will need to do what earns respect and with men that is first and foremost being able to stand up for yourself. That is pretty difficult if you are physically weaker and trying to look after small children. It means being able to physically defend yourself from attack; making sure you are financially secure and owning everything 50/50 with your spouse or partner. To those who say that it is not fair to put the onus on women, I echo my widowed mother’s words to me. When I said that something was "unfair" she replied– “Life itself is not fair, so best get used to it now!” The best time for women in a relationship with a man to secure their respect and security is in the beginning.
If I could not look after myself I am sure many men would do me like a dinner. As a kid growing up without a dad, I was lucky to have male relatives and friends who taught me how to do it. Life has worked well for me and I would like it to work a bit better for most women than it did for my mother. Though she too learned how to defend herself and earn enough money for our family of 4 to survive.
Headlines scream that education funding is unfair and seek to start a fight between government and non-government schools. The SMH article compares two schools by saying what one receives and what the other spends. It defies logic. Comparing apples and oranges. Let’s not fight. If government schools need more money it comes from consolidated revenue, it does not have to be taken from other schools. Obviously the schools educating the poorest children need enough government funding to do the same things as the richest schools and the richest schools do not need any more government funding than is needed to help poorer parents send their children there if they wish. Everybody pays taxes and all parents are entitled to some educational benefit out of those taxes.
Education, electricity, water and housing have suddenly become commodities from which people make money. Voters must decide how that plays out.
A government wants to spend billions of dollars of public money on stadiums for a football league that has its own $300 million stacked away and wants to put on the field a violent criminal who harassed and stalked women in America and refuses to pay court ordered compensation to the owners of a home he invaded and terrorised. Are Members of any Parliament going to support that sort of abuse of women, terrorism, home invasion and contempt for the law? Do we voters think that providing sporting facilities for that code and its stand on violence is a good idea, or that it should use its own money to build its own stadiums from which it earns a fortune in gate money and TV rights?
Should the sport’s governing body ensure that agreement is reached with this player’s victims to pay the court-ordered damages out of his football earnings before he goes on field? His apology is not worth a pinch of anything because he has ruined one young boy’s life by his rampage and that can never be undone. This is hardly a sporting code of role models.
Is it reasonable that surgeons, accountants, lawyer, banks businesses or bookkeepers who go on TV should gain a great influx of customers, not because they are good, but because they say they are good? Or should we, the customers, rate them as we can now rate politicians on this website.
Here is the story of two banks. CBA notified me of a term deposit falling due in about 1 week for one of the companies I manage. I phoned the local branch to give them instructions to roll it over in part. No answer but a machine! I phoned the 1300 number, went through 3 or 4 tedious menus, eventually reached a live person and gave the details and sought interest rates from the friendly operator. After a while she said that as it was a company she would need to put me through to the business section. She did that. I told my story and identified myself again. Checked rates, said what I wanted done and the operator said that she could not action it because the due date for maturity had not arrived. When I suggested she could note my instructions and have the appropriate section action them on the due date she said that was impossible. Instructions had to be given on the exact due date. I asked what would happen if I was overseas, in meetings all day or out of phone range that day. She said that was irrelevant. I gave up and on the due date matured the company’s money for depositing with a more helpful bank.
Yesterday I received a phone call. “Hi Greg” the caller said, “It’s Karen from Bendigo Community Bank. I just wanted to let you know that one of the companies you manages has a term deposit falling due in a bit over a week so that you can let us know what you want done.” How pleasant! What a bank. Why would I deal with deadheads in a bank that sets out to be obstructive when I can deal with a bank that actually cares about its customers? I deal with all banks but Bendigo Community Bank is streets ahead of the others. If you want to test the waters, open an account with them and see how it works for you. Having spent much of my life in Chartered Accountancy and dealt with many banks for many clients, I have certainly enjoyed a refreshing experience with Bendigo Community Bank. So much so that I am buying just a few shares for 50 cents each in the local company that runs the community bank for Bendigo. Yes, we can actually own part of our own bank. Don’t let inertia keep you in a bank that treats you badly. But wherever you bank, do your own homework. Don’t rely on the bank to do that for you. The bank is trying to earn a profit from you. You need to protect your own interests. Don’t expect any bank to do that for you.
Housing is horrifically expensive in capital cities yet in regional cities it may only cost a quarter the price and the air is many times fresher. If governments developed regional cities with highways, rail lines and air travel to them there would be jobs galore and young people could adventure out into the most beautiful parts of Australia to live far richer lives than they ever will in capital cities. NBN will provide access to the world for businesses who set up there at far less cost than in Sydney or Melbourne. Inertia is preventing our young people from moving outside the capital city "square" and enjoying the very best of Australian lives in regional cities and towns.
What do we gain and lose from international free trade agreements? Government ministers tell us all about what we can expect to gain, but nothing about what we will lose. Most of our manufacturing has gone. What are we selling to earn money to pay for our imports. Agricultural exports are still very important, but climate change may alter our capacity to feed others at profitable prices. Service industries are important but not everybody can join them. Governments should tell us what we are giving away and put profits from what we gain into education for those losing their jobs so that they can earn money in new fields and contribute to the tax base instead of drawing on welfare.
By its system of seeking a small financial contribution each year from advanced members and allocating most of that to hub leaders, voters.network may be able to make some small contribution to future earnings by channelling those funds to thousands of hub leaders around Australia, all making our democracy work better for the people of Australia.
Why is it that according to media reports, 339,000 Centrelink callers waited more than 30 minutes on the phone and 33 million calls between July and January received no answer at all? Why have our politicians been so stupid as to concentrate so many services into one hopelessly inefficient service office? Why have they been so incompetent as to fail to properly staff the phones. The trend to automatic phone answering services robs the community of massive amounts of time for no benefit at all and those who cut jobs and costs by using phone answering technology instead of giving people jobs answering phones in a proper and helpful wa, should be dismissed from parliament at the next election and from their bureaucratic jobs.
Our time is valuable. We pay taxes for service. Governments should be increasing taxes for high income earners, not reducing them. Why are we having 33 million calls to Centrelink over a 7 month period at all? There are only 26 million people in Australia. Are we providing government services and welfare to far too many people for governments to manage? Do we need to get more people into the workforce and housing. Is there a better way than regional development? Not that I can see.
A group of teenage criminals has just been arrested. Teenagers are causing havoc elsewhere. Women need to be respected as do men and children. Whose responsibility is it to teach children to respect others? I would say it is primarily their parents. The parents had the fun of sex. Surely it is up to them to do the hard yards with the children that produces. But people cannot teach what they do not know. Parents who have been shown no respect by their own parents, by schools, by government agencies etc, cannot teach respect.
Prime responsibility for teaching children to respect all others lies with their parents. Secondly it lies with schools because children spend much of their lives at schools, so they will learn what they see and do there, whether or not we like it. It then becomes the responsibility of government to ensure that parents and schools have the knowledge, experience and resources to teach respect to children.
We pay teachers to teach respect so I suggest that government run parenting courses for all parents at various times suitable to parents and pay parents to attend and to teach respect to their children until those parents and the children can demonstrate that they understand and have adopted respectful practices. Part of that teaching will include demonstrating how much better life can work in a respectful world for respectful people. Jobs and wealth come much more easily to those who treat others in a respectful way.
"Sydney trains cuts 100 services to stop system meltdown" says the headline. The fact is that our politicians who are frantically promoting higher populations for capital cities are manifestly incapable of running cities with such high populations because such cities require far higher, not lower government expenditure per person. That is partly the higher cost of managing people crammed closer together. It is similar with cattle. Those run free-range in paddocks take a lot less care than those crammed together in feedlots. Politicians must surely have known that. It is also because in big cities every bit of land acquired for public purposes costs infinitely more and costs more to develop because of the narrow spaces in which developers have to work.
Voters have a good bit of supervising to do if our governments are going to delier better lives to our children and grandchildren, even to ourselves and even just lives that are as good as what we have enjoyed to date.
Act now or forever suffer the consequences!
7th March 2018
Between now and next International Women's Day we men can start making some helpful changes
March 8 is International Women’s Day. It comes about because many men have been treating many women very badly. Something we should change guys!
We men can start making a change in many simple ways. It is a lot more fun being in a relationship with a woman if she is an equal partner rather than the guy being the dominant one responsible for all decisions and leadership.
Here are some simple steps:
Don’t hog the steering wheel. If she drives as much as you do she will be just as good a driver and you will both travel long distances more safely. Hogging the steering wheel means she does not get the same experience as you. Sit back and enjoy it. I have for more than 50 years and sharing the driving has worked very well. My wife will handle a difficult traffic jam, parking spot, 4wd climb or creek crossing as well as I will, if not better.
Make sure she has her own bank account and investments. My mother had never signed cheque when my dad died leaving her with 8 y.o. me and twin daughters of 4 y.o. The steep learning curve left her very vulnerable to exploitation.
Make sure that she has joint ownership of the house, farm or business and her own car, if you have a car you use all day, so that she will be secure and as mobile as you.
Ensure she has more than adequate funds for spending commensurate with your combined income.She should never have to ask you for money.
Never put her down or belittle her on her own or in front of others. That just indicates that you have a self-confidence problem.
Encourage her to have as many friends and activities as possible for that broadens her horizons.
If one of you cooks meals the other should wash up. Share household duties.Never make her feel like a slave.
Never hit or abuse her. It damages her self-confidence and reveals you to be cruel, insensitive and if she is physically weaker, a coward. It certainly destroys a good relationship.
I am sure many others have even better suggestions, ideas and experience than I do, so perhaps you will join up and post them on the Action Forum discussions. Hub leaders can initiate discussion topics.
Advnced Members can send lengthier comments to email@example.com and we will look to put them up on our blog
1st March 2018
Media Controlled Democracy (MCD) and horrific living conditions for our Aboriginal fellow Australians.
Barnaby Joyce was not removed from office by voters for work failures. He was removed by a relentless media campaign about his sex life. Is this how we want our democracy to work? A person voters elect gets attacked by the media on personal matters until they resign. The removal damages the MP’s party and advantages the opposing party.
How does this affect wise community members we might want to elect to represent us? Why would they stand? Not so many people are perfect.
The reaction to the rape of a 2 y.o. in Tennant Creek is something we voters need to take up. The causes are obvious to most. Alcohol & other drugs; lack of education, careers, housing, self-esteem and development.
The fault is not all the Northern Territory’s. They have few people and few resources. We all took the land belonging to Aboriginals and we are doing very well out of it. We perhaps need to give something back. Join our Action Forum and share your views with us.
Here are some discussion starters:
Should alcohol distributors be liable for damage caused to people who consume their product or to third parties by a consumer whose mind is affected by the alcohol sold?
It is no good criticise the NT government for not removing the child from the family. Aboriginal people have never forgiven white people for “stealing” children years ago.
Should responsible parenting be taught to all people all over Australia, with them paid to attend?
Should we boost development in inland Australia to provide jobs , education, health care, housing and financial security for people living there?
Should we encourage big city residents and require immigrants to settle inland to ease the pressure in major capital cities and develop sustainable cities throughout Australia, based in part on the internet which allows us to trade with anyone in the world from almost any town in Australia.
Tear these points apart or expand them. Add your suggestions to help inland Australia and the people whose homes our forebears took by force of arms. Join the forum on domestic violence and make a difference. Don’t condemn little children to suffer for our neglect!
27th February 2018
Excessive property developer profit margins allowed in return for large donations to political parties.
Government stamp duty and infrastructure charges.
Developments being debt financed so buyers pay large interest and loan charges.
Government allowing foreigners to use Australian homes as safe havens for money, laundered or legitimate.
Council zonings in accordance with voters wishes.
Time to limit developers to a 20% mark up on direct costs and get government developing all our cheaper cities through tax breaks and government re-location.
Join the voters.network action forum and make a difference to your life before the powers-that-be cramp your style to profit others!
Voters.network is not a party-political organisation and it has no interest in party politics. Therefore members of every political party are equally welcome to give their party-oriented views via our Action Forum. Australian democracy works predominantly on a political party system. No party is any less welcome than any other.
By party members joining the network they can act as conduits between their parties or local MPs and voters. Most voters know little about what their local MPs are doing. Party members can fill the network members in on that. We need the views of party members as much as we need the views of non-party members.
The more views that we have in our Action Forum, the more we can look for the best solutions to the challenges faced by governments. The loyalty of party members to their party is not compromised by their involvement in voters.network, because the network exists to work with all voters and all MPs of all persuasions. The key is for all members to tolerantly consider the views of others and help select the best solutions for action campaigns. Party members are ideally placed to take good ideas back to their political parties for consideration.
It is important for party members to rate their local MPs because in most cases they have a deeper understanding of what is going on than many other voters. We want as many people with diverse views as possible to participate in that rating process in order for it to be fair.
The network goal is to have voters and their elected MPs working together for the benefit of as many Australians as possible. Australian democracy will improve dramatically when voters and local MPs work closely together to serve the people. Having political party members in the network hastens our progress towards that goal.
27th February 2018
Australian voters facilitate child abuse, kill kids!!
It is time we put down our drinks, got off our backsides, turned of the TV and stood up for Aussie kids who are suffering horrible abuse caused by our personal neglect. If governments could have solved this without voter input they would have done it decades ago.
The opinion piece by Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox, MLC in today’s Sydney Morning Herald is a wake-up call. I am putting this matter up on the voters.network Action Forum for those who care. Those who are happy for kids to be abused, raped, tortured and killed can just not bother to participate. I understand not everyone can afford to chip in to help find solutions and get them implemented, but others, so mean that they begrudge $44 to enable voters to consider how to help save these Australian children, can sit by and know they are personally responsible for whatever happens to these kids in the future. The rest of us can do our very best to see that all Australian children are properly protected.
To start, let us put a lot more focus on the men and women who have all the fun of sex that creates these children, but are disinterested in or incapable of loving and caring for them after birth. My opinion is not really important, but I suggest we focus on helping families rather than removing and re-settling children. If we create learning communities for men and women who create children and teach them how to be loving, caring, responsible parents, we then might create solutions for the long term future. The first people responsible for child protection are the two parents whose sex created those children in the first place!
Australians are not so selfish or ruthlessly uncaring that the only thing they want is to pay less tax. If we pay full taxes and build better families with better lives ahead of them they become better customers for Australian businesses and they contribute to the economy rather than draining it as dysfunctional families. Many have suffered in a dysfunctional family themselves and simply don’t know how to make a family function, just like plenty of people who go into business don’t know how to make it profitable, or go into farming and don’t know how to manage debt and drought. Before I was taught accounting I knew nothing about finances. Parenting needs to be taught. The instinct has been overshadowed by all our other activities and thoughts.
In part, the Tax Avoidance Industries to which I used to belong as a Chartered Accountant and CPA and which embrace lawyers as well as banks, is the monster making millions of dollars out of depriving government of the taxes that would help us build a better Australia. Politicians, on the advice of the very Tax Avoidance Industry, deliberately make tax laws so that big income earners can avoid paying their fair share of tax. That means no funds to help tens of thousands of Australian kids who are being abused and neglected daily. This is an industry that should be removed by simple tax laws with high earners taxed just like anyone else. Tax avoidance is a game business people play, not really because they need the money more than the government does, but mostly because it is a game the government invites them to play and people feel they would be silly not to play it and win.
The proposal to reduce company tax to 25% would transfer from the Australian Government, $400 million each year to nab alone. All while big business cuts out as many jobs as it can. I think nab plans to sack 4,000.
Life imprisonment should be the fate of those at any level who sell the drugs that cause much child abuse, including alcohol. It is the drug, not the person that causes the problem if the drug changes the way that person’s mind works. Drug users should not be excused, for the risks of addiction are well known and they mostly start of their own choice. Without users the drug trade would disappear. It is not the kingpins and bosses who are essential. They can easily be replaced. It is the users who buy the drugs that are essential to the trade. Light sentences for distributors are a consequence of governments not wanting to spend money on imprisonment that prevents re-offending, often because the Tax Avoidance Industry limits the amount of money the government has to control crime.
By preventing child abuse and dysfunctional parenting, we may infact remove some of the reasons people take up drugs in the first place.
Voters.network adds $4 to our advanced access contribution – to give the government some tax (GST) because we know that without taxes govenment can do nothing.
Dr. Martin Luther-King’s sentiments ring true. Evil people flourish and good people suffer because the good majority of people remain silent. Now we should ask whether that silent majority is really made up of the good people or not. Are they perhaps the cause of much evil, by their silence and disinterest, as they “cross to the other side of the street” to use Christ’s words? Let's shout out our message that child abuse is totally unacceptable and that those who make or let it hapen will be dealt with.
If you care, please help us tackle this national disgrace. Chip in your $44 if you can and upgrade to give us your solutions and support so that other voters can absorb your thoughts on what can be done. Your ideas are vital.
Only voters can make this happen because only they can determine who will represent them in the parliament that makes the decisions on exactly which children will enjoy life and which children will suffer constant abuse.
If you cannot afford the $44 right now, join as an ordinary member free, because you can still help us persuade politicians to push change through parliament and the bureaucracy. We need your "voter muscles".
It is up to you and me what happens to these Aussie kids who most of us will never know. Their lives are in our hands. Let’s network together and Advance Australia Fair for the children’s sake and our own national future.
26th February 2018
Rape of 2 y.o. demands action – but what action?
After all the rape and abuse of children by people working in some of the most respected institutions in the country, we hear of a little girl allegedly raped at Tennant Creek. What would help prevent this happening in that community ? Your ideas please. firstname.lastname@example.org .
Initiation bullying, harassment and sexual assault at publicly funded universities
What do you think of the tradition of older students bullying, intimidating, harassing and sexually assaulting new uni students in initiation rites?
Is it uplifting and character building to be encouraged? Is it a crime that should be punished by Police and courts? Is it's impact only temporary or are people scarred for life. Who should pay to look after them, the taxpayers or the attackers? Should scarce taxpayer funds be used to subsidise such practices? Is it a valuable life lesson for all concerned?
Should unis be given 12 months to clean up their act or else lose all taxpayer funding? Should offenders be arrested and tried like other offenders or should they be extended special privileges because they are uni students?
Should offenders continue to receive public funding for their studies or not?
Views can cover each extreme and many may sit in the centre. What do you, as a taxpayer, student, graduate, parent, feel should be done, if anything about these initiation activities?
Let’s give our politicians some clear direction and expect results from government. The politicians are our link to university initiations. email email@example.com . Authority goes from voters to local MPs to parliament to government departments to police to courts to gaols.
Whatever happens, happens because we endorse or ignore it!! Let's make sure that the representatives we elect and pay know what we want done.
21st February 2018
What is the best way to boost the economy?
The (Big) Business Council of Australia is said to be campaigning with the gloves off, for a tax rate as low as 25% even on a taxable income of billions and that after tax havens and tax avoidance schemes.
An individual voter earning over $40,000 p.a. pays tax at the rate of 33% or more (up to 45%) on every dollar over that amount plus the medicare levy plus 10% gst on most spending. Businesses claim back the gst they pay, out of the gst they collect from customers. If a person’s first $40,000 pays for gst exempt items and the rest is spent on gst items, the balance over that $40,000 would be effectively taxed at 33% + 10% gst = 43% compared to big businesses earning billions of dollars who are taxed at 25%.
Government contemplates giving a $400 million benefit to nab alone in that 8 cent in the $1 tax cut on its $5.3 billion profit, depriving education, health services, welfare, etc of $400m in the process.
On the other hand the Government could leave the corporate tax rate as it is and spend an extra $400 million on boosting the economy itself, including schools, hospitals, highways, port & rail links. Then we would be sure to see jobs and growth.
The government and big business lobby claim that if companies earning billions pay less tax they will invest that money in the economy. Of course the government will have that much less to spend so it will have that much less to invest in the economy. The amounts will be equal. 8 cents more in the dollar for big business to invest and 8 cents in the dollar less for the government to invest.
Which will do more for voters with that 8 cents in every dollar? Big business or the government?
Is big business boosting Australian jobs with its funds or it is paying for call centres in India, South Africa, NZ, America and the Philippines? Does Big Business spend most money where it can do the most good for the community or where it can make most money for the company?
Should the corporate tax rate be exactly the same rate on the same amounts as for individuals. After all, we all need after tax money to live and invest in homes, cars, children etc
Given that company profitability is earned by a team from the CEO to the most junior person, should all staff received the same percentage incentive bonus on their pay as the CEO does?
Would it be fairer if businesses paid gst like ordinary Australian voters do, without claiming it back again as big businesses do now?
The Business Council of Australia implies that American companies would not want to do business here if they had to pay high Australian taxes on their profits, but under the double tax agreement and common tax planning practices they would either pay lower American tax on their profits or run them through a tax haven paying almost no tax. Australian tax rates would be of only academic interest to American business owners.
Investments would always be made via a tax haven so that 10% interest on the total amount invested could be immediately claimed as a tax deduction here and attract only tax haven rates.
The sheer falsehood of the prediction that cutting the big business corporate tax rate to 25% would create jobs and growth, is well illustrated by Nab’s, $5.3 billion net profit linked to a proposed 4,000 staff sacking. This is not a criticism of nab. It is just what big business is about, maximising profits. Lowering the corporate tax rate just gives more money to the very wealthy to do with it what they will and less money to the government to spend for the benefit of the vast majority of voters who have less spare cash. Spending money on and for the vast majority of Australian voters may well do more to boost the economy than handing it to big businesses that can easily shift it off-shore. It may also reap more votes for government politicians.
Nab also announced its plan for a $1.5b investment and $1b cost cut. The investment is a one off $1.5m. The cost cutting that puts 4,000 staff out of work is an annual recurring loss to the economy of $1b. Anyone would see that in a 10 year period the economy gains $1.5b and loses $10b, a net loss to the economy of $8.5b plus a direct loss to government revenue of 8% tax on $5.3 billion or $400 million multiplied by 10 years that is $4 billion. Cash moves from government to the moneylenders.
Voters need to consider this tax cut proposal very carefully and let our local MPs know how we feel.
20th February 2018
The hounds bay for Barnaby’s blood?
It is a story of nature – love, sex, pregnancy. So why is this referred to as a political “crisis” by the media? Politicians are just like everyone else. No different.
The plan to cut tax rates for billionaires who channel their income through companies; the plan to develop a weapons export business so that governments can kill and maim their citizens or citizens can kill or maim their politicians; the health, education, housing and transport services needed for our booming population; a bank earning billions that will sack thousands to lift profits even higher!
Might not any of these cause a greater crisis in our lives than a political pregnancy ? Why is this being blown up into a major news story? Why indeed?
To understand, one first might conjure up a picture of two warring armies – French & English; North and South Vietnam; China and Japan; Northern and Southern states of America – fighting for the power and prestige of ruling a nation. Then picture them using, not swords, muskets, napalm bombs and tanks, but words, public relations, advertising and verbal attacks on each other, in their quest for power. “Sticks and stone may break their bones, but names can kill careers in politics".
Picture Parliament House as the “theatre of war”. On one side are the parties in power and on the other the parties seeking to take it away from them. Rule of Australia is at stake. Conquest is not about winning control of cities and towns, but the winning of votes from individual voters in sufficient numbers to win control electorates until one party holds more than half of them.
The two sides are almost equally matched. Their words of war grow louder and louder with the final battle for the votes that will deliver victory coming within sight. It might be next year, but if one of the ruling generals is knocked out, the government’s defences may be weakened enough to crumble earlier under a prolonged siege.
Votes of large numbers of individuals are the key to victory in a majority of electorates! The challenge is how to strip votes from the opponent when most voters are not very expert or that much interested in dull matters of government; may not have enough detailed knowledge of portfolios to form a view?
But every voter understands sex, and pregnancy. It is a topic on which everyone can express an opinion. There are other issues too of marriage and of women’s rights on which everyone has a view. If all of these can be properly exploited one side may gain an advantage.
Even within the parties there is friction. Once a person is at the top there is only one way to go – down. Plenty stand ready to take their place. Is there a chance to make a play for leadership in the midst of the confusion, as voters and party members speculate on public attitudes?
For almost all politicians, there is a little bit of good in this distraction, because suddenly the voters are looking at one particular MP and that means they are not looking at the performance of their own MPs, their ministers, the government or the opposition. How good is that for an MP used to constant criticism from the media and public?
Voters become distracted from the boredom of health, welfare, education, housing and transport and for a brief time can watch a “reality politics” struggle to see who will win, who will prove to be best under pressure.
That’s why the hounds are baying for Barnaby’s blood. It has nothing whatsoever to do with good government, but everything to do with posturing for power over the people of Australia.
Would it be handy to have an independent voters’ network equipping voters with the ability to keep government on track? Would it ever!!
Voters.network is not about doing the job for voters, but about helping them do the job themselves and building support for what they want. Then they will know how to do it for the rest of their lives. In particular it is about casting aside the fantasies of idealistic democracy and getting alongside the people we elect to represent us. Then we can help, guide, encourage and support them in using their power for the benefit of the people of Australia rather than for the small select group who currently impose their will on politicians by way of their wealth and our neglect.
19th February 2018
Don’t squander democracy! The alternative may be death and destruction!
Having just watched the appalling misery inflicted on people in Syria by warring factions I am conscious of how lucky we are to have a sensible, civilised democracy in Australia.
True it is not perfect, but most of the fault for that lies with us, the voters, who have failed to lend a hand, share some of our aspirations, experience and wisdom with the politicians we elect to represent us.
Imagine what our MPs would achieve if they each had the combined knowledge, wisdom and experience of their 100,000 voter constituents alongside them; informing them, encouraging them and supporting them against the powerful, greedy self-interest groups that currently control democracies world-wide.
Voters can command serious attention from their MPs and many MPs are only too happy to listen and assist their voters.
Some voters claim politicians will not listen, but I think those voters do not understand winning techniques and strategies or how voting works. Consider this:-
In a 100,000 voter electorate the final count after all preferences have been distributed might be:
Candidate No 1, 55,000 votes
candidate No 2, 45,000 votes, a difference of 10,000 votes, so candidate No 1 wins comfortably.
But if 5,100 voters who previously voted for candidate No 1, swung their votes instead to candidate No 2, the vote count would be :
Candidate No 1, 49,900 votes
Candidate No 2, 50,100 so candidate No 2 would be elected.
Just 5% or 1 voter in 20 could make the difference, so politicians in office will mostly heed the wishes of voters IF voters are prepared to re-elect only those who do what they want and replace those who don’t, regardless of party membership of the candidates.
Generally speaking there are good representatives and bad representatives in all political parties. There is no reason to believe that politicians are any wiser than the voters and they often lack experience.
SPECIAL OFFER: members upgrading to Advanced Access before 5 pm 28th February this year to participate in our Action Forum, Proposal selection and network funding will receive 2 Votergram Vouchers, each of which will send a 100 word message from that member to every member of any parliament in Australia on any issue, with no time limit on its use. They can also become Hub Leaders themselves after training.
11th February 2018
The greatest challenge for Australians is to realise that they, not “the government”, are in charge of their future destiny.
That is DEMOCRACY. voters.network gives them the tools to make it work for them. All Australians can join free today and make a difference tomorrow.
10th February 2018
I read an article in the Herald this week that asked the question “Are our politicians just in it for themselves?”
And I thought - What about the rest of us? Are we just in our jobs for what we can get out of them – income, super, holidays, homes, cars, friends and acquaintances, opportunities, knowledge, experience, wisdom, wealth? Are politicians any different to the rest of us? Why would they be?
John Hewson led the Liberal party from 1990 to 1994 and was defeated by Paul Keating, so he knows a bit about politics – he was a politician.
Below are extracts from his article in SMH this week. I thank Fairfax for their commentaries on government and acknowledge the importance of the press being able to reveal the dishonest and fraudulent practices that sometimes permeate politics to damage our nation.
Hewson says: “I totally agree with Shorten that “the most corrosive sentiment awash in western democracies is the idea that politicians are only in it for themselves.””
“As long as our politicians are still preselected the way they are, leading to a parliament dominated by apparatchiks focused more on point-scoring and blame-shifting instead of governing; as long as our ministers are mostly amateurs, few of whom have ever had a “real job”; as long as campaign funding is so opaque and corruptible and lobbying too is so opaque; and as long as those in government “kick issues down the road” rather than solve problems; that corrosive sentiment will fester.”
That tells it like it is. I don’t think it will ever change without voter intervention.
He then goes on to say “The tragedy is that the two major parties know what needs to be done and how to do it, to genuinely clean up our politics and while they are prepared to talk about it, even to make “promises” to fix it, neither has ever done so, basically because each believes that they can exploit the present system more effectively than the other (party).”
Then, speculating on what the leaders of each major party is likely to do in 2018, he concludes,
“This will only compound the “corrosive sentiment” that “politicians are only in it for themselves”, that politics is “their game” and they will say or do whatever they have to, to win.””
Voters take note: This is a former senior politician speaking from experience. We would all be foolish to ignore his comments and believe the pleasant fantasy that most politicians are “in it exclusively for you and me”, relieving us voters of any responsibility for what the future brings, or to perform an active role in guiding our govertnments.
The only ways that my experience over the past 30 years dealing with Australian politics and observing other democracies differs, is that - “what is in it for them “ is not their ONLY concern, but it is their major concern, a long way ahead of what is in it for the voters; and not ALL politicians are “in it for themselves”. There are notable exceptions amongst MPs. Are they, in that, so different from the rest of us? I do not think so. They are just like us – no better and no worse, no cleverer no sillier.
Once voters have clearly understood this truth – that of course politicians are primarily in it for themselves, those voters have discovered the key that unlocks the power of democracy and delivers it to the people. Here is why. It is simple logic:-
Votes are the exclusive right of voters alone; winning a majority of votes in their local electorate along with enough of their party colleagues doing the same to constitute the majority in parliament, is the ONLY way politicians can avail themselves of “what is in it for them” as the government, which is a whole lot more than if they are in opposition, where they still have to win a majority of votes in their own electorate.
Therefore when voters want good government as they see it, the best way to obtain it is to use their votes as bargaining chips to achieve it. Letting local MPs know that your vote and that of others hangs on whether they do what you want is very effective. Why would you elect a politician who did the opposite of what you want? Those in safe seats can simply move outside the box and campaign in the nearest marginal seat if the government will not listen. But if asked nicely, well in advance with supporting evidence, the politicians will usually listen, because they will know that if they do not do what the voters want, there will be “nothing in it at all” for them, as they will be voted out of parliament.
One caution – never bluff. Voters should always do what they said they would do.
Professor Hewson claimed at the start of his article that “populism always fails in the long run.”
I totally disagree with him. His claim rests on the idea that a few hundred politicians backed by government staff, will have better knowledge of what is wrong and what needs to be done, than 16 million voters with all sorts of life, career, trade, commercial and professional experience, backed by another 10 million fellow Aussies. Politicians are our representatives elected to do what we want them to do. They are not kings or queens, dictators or military rulers. They are in pariament to serve the people and my experience teaches me that they would be very happy to do that if only the people would decide and tell them nicely what they want.
“Populism “, or doing what the people want, will succeed when enough voters network their knowledge, experience and goals in a spirit of patience and tolerance, because as a body of Australians we have a great deal of knowledge, wisdom and experience amongst us. Further, we do know what we want and are prepared to pay for and we do know what we don’t want and are not prepared to pay for.
That is why I invented Votergram in 1986 to let voters tell EVERY politician what should be done, formed FairGO in 1990 to help voters campaign and have now formed voters.network to put real power to guide governments into the future, with the Australian people in network hubs throughout Australia, led by trained Hub Leaders. They will help co-ordinate a process of discussion, discovery and democracy in conjunction with elected parliamentarians that will improve all Australian lives for generations to come, when many of us have moved on.
9th February 2018
The Cost of solving social problems
Many organisations appear to be tackling Australia’s social problems. When I visit their websites I am amazed at the appeals for donations, sponsorships , money to pay those who run them on top of government (taxpayers’) funding.
FairGO’s biggest campaigns for voters cost them no more than this to win – under $10,000 each to cut road toll by 75%, beat the ID card, save the NSW snowfields; under $2,000 each to ban smoking on planes, keep Hornsby hospital open, keep Neringah hospital. Personal issues under $200 each- cross-border disability care, respite care Sth Sydney, mental health care, damages claim, $10k debt write off, $9,000 credit card w/off, victims' impact statements.
Small money, dedicated voters, solid arguments, informative Votergrams, receptive politicians. Those are the inexpensive solutions.
You can make it happen without spending big money by leveraging off the resources of democracy.
Join voters.network now.
8th February 2018
Why do Australians suffer in silence?
Governments so resolutely work against so many Australian individuals including small business that it is a wonder so many people tolerate it. Why do they?
This is what I have heard from others over 30 years:
They are so busy enjoying this beautiful land of opportunity that they do not have the time to improve their lives and those of their children and grandchildren.
They are too occupied with sport to worry about the impact government is having on them.
They reckon that if they don’t have to fight for something then it is not worth having.
They feel they "can’t win against City Hall" (government).
They believe that government would not take any notice of them.
We have proved all of those wrong.
We can enjoy this land a lot better with decent wages, more hospitals and schools, less crime and corruption, affordable housing for all.
Sport is a field in which training, preparation and determination pay big dividends. Democracy is the same and it can be every bit as entertaining as sport, with far greater rewards for the fans.
They do have to fight for the dividends paid by good government because a lot of greedy individuals will fight hard to preserve their privileged access to our taxes, infrastructure and services.
They can win against City hall anytime they care to network and press their case, because they have the votes that give control of parliament to people who represent them. Only if they ignore, give away or misuse their voting power can they be beaten by government if their cause is for the common good, fairness or justice.
There is no doubt that if a person believes they cannot win they will surely be proved right. On the other hand we KNOW that together we can win, which is why we have mostly been proved right for over 30 years.
Our politicians will be just as happy to help you as to hinder you. All you have to do is ask in the right way, with the right strategy and act with tact and diplomacy. We have some great politicians and they are our most under-utilised resources. Join us and let us Advance Australia in a way that benefits the vast majority of us.
Join voters.network and be part of the present and the future of this great country. There’s no time like now!
6th February 2018
Is this Political Money Laundering ?
Last Friday the Sydney Morning Herald reported on huge political donations. Over $200 million was paid, it said, to Australian political parties. Voters would be foolish to believe that donors did not want big favours in return.
Even then, many donations were said to be not publicly disclosed because politicians had made laws to keep secret amounts under $13,200. It is easy to have a number of individuals donate under that threshold instead of the one business making a $100,000 donation.
Most amazing, was a story on page 4 that claimed some major accounting firms and consultants donated $800,000 to two political parties in 2016-17. It was reported that these firms had received close to $500 million in government fees over about 3-4 years. Those fees would have been paid from voters’ taxes, contributed for schools, hospitals, defence, transport etc.
Two questions arise.
First, was up to $800,000 of taxpayers’ taxes laundered through major consultancy firms and subsequently deposited “clean” into major political party bank accounts as “donations”? Our tax money laundered into political party funds?? If so, there is surely a further question of whether that might be theft, fraud or misappropriation of public funds. By our elected MPs??
The second question is whether the funds donated to the political parties was bribery. That could only be determined by whether or not the donors received benefit from those political parties. If any of the donors claimed tax deductions for amounts in excess of $1,500 per year then that could only be tax deductible as a business operating expense incurred in earning income. If the payment to a politician or political party was paid in the course of earning income then it would be a bribe. As a bribe such a payment would not be tax deductible. An investigation by the ATO of all political donors may well be called for.
Nobody can tell what the intentions of the donors or parties might have been. All we can do is examine the facts. The facts seem to be that the consultancy donors received substantial fees (approaching $500 million) from the government. The government is substantially controlled by Members of Parliament who are members of those political parties.
The problem is that voters really have nowhere to go to seek justice on such issues because politicians effectively control all law enforcement agencies.
One of the options voters do have is to vote out of office MPs whose parties accept donations from parties who receive government contracts or who benefit from government laws. Corruption is only removed by removing from office those who accept corrupt payments from people who receive government contracts or benefits.
Bribery does not require the donor to first specify a benefit sought. People receiving donations of money are generally friendly and willing to assist their donors and secondly are smart enough to know that one good deed (like a donation) deserves another ( like a profitable contract).
The best way to stop corruption in Australian politics & government is to vote for local political candidates individually on the basis of their past performance and to ignore advertisements and publicity which try to “sell” us political parties or party leaders, on the basis of “promises” which sometimes are not fulfilled. Voters.network makes that objective assessment easy by letting voters rate their MPs in between elections then refer back to that rating before casting a vote.
This money laundering scandal, if that is what it is, may explain why some federal MPs are intent on cutting corporate taxes for the richest and biggest earners in Australia on top of already giving them back the gst they pay. That extra tax break would most benefit the clients of the accounting firms and consultants who donated the $800,000 to political parties. What went around would have come around!!
Hopefully some MPs will take this up and voters will vote according to what they think is right.
VOTERS.NETWORK ACTION FORUM REPORT 5TH February 2018
Our Action Forum on Domestic violence and violence against women has offered the following range of possible solutions. Advanced access members will soon have a chance to indicate which solutions they support for campaigning. It is advanced access fees that make the network forum and decision-making possible as they involve a lot of time, effort and cost.
A more appropriate title is “Domestic and family violence”
Avoiding violent disputes,
Self defence courses at or after school
Government Advertising on (4)
Anti-violence laws and practices
Violence from alcohol & substance abuse
Safe reporting facilities
Ban violent pornographic film/video/ computer games
Dispute & anger management courses for offenders
Compulsory alcohol counselling for alcohol offenders
Mandatory reporting by witnesses
Reduce alcohol outlets in high offender areas
Make suppliers liable for damage caused by alcohol & substance supplied.
Marriage/partner vows & contract “and I promise that I will never be violent towards you”.
Non-violence agreement before recipients receive welfare ”.
More support & accountability for anti-violence organisations
Mediation/ court hearing within hours of reporting incident.
Safe place for victims to confidentially report violence
GPS monitoring of offender
Home security systems for victims
Longer gaol sentences
No parole for offenders.
Offender compensates victim financially
Life imprisonment for group (gang) offences.
Heavier sentences if alcohol or other drugs involved
Immediate gaol for breaching any AVO
Surgically performed castration in case of absolutely proven violent sexual assault
Prosecution of on-field assault by professional footballers
30th January 2018
In the same way, voters can train their governments to provide solutions instead of problems. They could stop spending time and money on wild unwanted projects and attend to the most important needs of the people in the Australian community.
That is what voters.network is about.
Why does access to the full voters.network suite of services cost $40 annually plus gst?
It amounts to 12 cents a day or 85 cents a week. To be able to persuade politicians and guide government properly, voters.network needs to be completely free of any outside financing. To share the load of assisting people it also needs to be decentralised so that trained hub leaders can look after smaller groups of people and thus assist them better.
To rely on volunteers trying to stretch their income to cover their expenses, pitted against very highly paid professional big business lobbyists, would be fatal. For that reason, three-quarters of each annual contribution by a member goes to that member’s hub leader and another quarter goes to mentor Hub Leaders 2 generations back. Only one quarter of the contribution towards annual network costs goes towards network administration.
If Australia is worth enjoying it is worth enjoying fully. It is worth spending 85 cents a week to have government working with you rather than against you. FairGO and its Votergram service have remained independent for 30 years. Our voters.network will do the same. We aim for you to get a lot more out of it than $44 worth.
Join now for free and upgrade any time you like to make it all possible.
26th January 2018
I don’t know that I “celebrate” Australia Day any more than I “celebrate” Anzac day or Good Friday. I joined a community breakfast this morning and met many neighbours who I don’t often see. It is governments and commercial enterprises who want us to “celebrate” these days.
Would changing the date just ease our consciences about how much most of us have gained by treating the previous inhabitants of Australia so badly? Would it make existing Aboriginal Australians feel happier about our failure to include them and their culture in our everyday lives?
Moving beyond the date, - what should and could we do to ensure that Aboriginal Australians are given just a bit more opportunity than others in health care, housing, IT, education and career opportunities than the rest of us, to catch up on 200 years of neglect.
Of course plenty of Australians could not care less – about anyone other than themselves. With any sort of luck they are in the minority. Plenty of others run a “gang” mentality of abusing or denigrating minorities not strong enough to battle their “gang”. That probably applies equally to people of most races and cultures.
We constantly see politicians looking to benefit the super-rich (corporate tax cuts, recover gst paid, limit pay increases boost profit increases, overcrowd the cities, build tunnels and expressway and multi-storied unit blocks) on the basis that this creates jobs. The wages paid to the workers are a pittance compared to what the owners get out of it.
We all value our homes, offices, factories, shops etc. Should we not estimate the market value of our capital city lands that were taken from the Aboriginal owners by force and never paid for? Should we not set that as a target to be paid to the Aboriginal community by way of education, health and career opportunities over the next 100 years out of federal and state budgets apportioned according to total population?
Australia Day is a day to recognise how lucky we all are to live in this beautiful land well described by Dorothea Mackellar in her poem " A sunburnt country", with a superb system of western democracy where the majority of voters controls government and government controls or affects a much of life.
It is a day to recognise how badly previous governments and some of our own forebears treated the Aboriginal people.
It is a day for every Australian to help shape this country’s future, their own future and the future of the people who were here before us for 2018 and the next few decades.
My thoughts are that having decided that we owed the Aboriginal community $1 trillion or so for capital city land stolen from them, payable in benefits over 1oo years we would:
Construct and staff many top quality hospital in Aboriginal towns or centres and make them training hospitals to train Aboriginal medical staff to serve the broad community, but particularly the Aboriginal community.
Construct and staff many top quality primary schools, high schools, universities and Tafe’s in Aborginal towns and centres, again training and educating Aboriginal people to work in them as educators to serve the widest community but particularly the Aboriginal community.
Construct and staff a fourth level of education facilities in Aboriginal town and centres to provide specific education in every type of career from the most popular trade to the most challenging profession and train Aboriginal educators to work in them.
Establish or subsidise an existing not-for-profit micro-credit bank to lend small amounts to Aboriginal people particularly women who wished to commence their own micro-business, whether in art, craft, clothing, health, law or accounting.
Connect all of these facilities to the world online by NBN satellite services for educational and networking purposes.
The returns in productivity and savings in welfare would be great but a minor part of the benefit to Australia.
Australia is such a great place to live that we can afford to be generous and make up for the misdeeds of earlier governments by providing our Aboriginal community with opportunities so that at the end of this century there will be no difference in the quality of life between Aboriginal people and those who came to Australia after them.
What do you think? You are one person in the majority of Australians who will control what government does simply by how you communicate with your politicians and how you vote. It is as easy as that.
Whether you agree or disagree with my ideas, please let us know. If you would like this matter to be raised in the voters.network Action Forum please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to please put up a discussion topic in the Action Forum on “A Fair go for Aboriginal Australians”.
That is, in part, what the National Anthem means by “Advance Australia Fair”.
10th January 2018
Action Forum proposals for prevention of domestic violence and violence towards women.
Politicians should legislate automatic compensation paid by the offender to the victim (over time if necessary) and not wiped out by bankruptcy of $100k per act of violence but for rape it should be $1m.
A verbal or written threat of violence should have the offender exiled from the state or territory in which the victim resides and GPS chip monitored and arrested on entry into the prohibited area with the penalty 1 to 5 years gaol.
An instant domestic or sexual violece court should be convened within 4 hours of the crime being reported so that injuries can be easily identified by professionals.
Victim and offender should be seen on a monitor and cross examined that way so that they or their respective legal teams never meet physically during the hearing.
Join voters.network and upgrade to help fund the network. Become a Hub Leader and use your share of the annual member contributions in your hub to run it for the benefit of your voters. We avoid government funding. It would prevent us campaigning about government neglect of victims and potential victims.
Join voters.network and make your solutions known. By February we hope to have the basis of a year-long campaign of political persuasion. If the Australian people want this violence dramatically reduced it will be but if they are too busy to care, it will continue and the blood will be on their hands as much as on those of the politicians who let it happen. The suicide of a teenage Australian girl reported tonight suggests that we might seriously tackle cyber-bullying some time in the future. Again as many of the causes and solutions rest with governbment, we have the advantage of not being hampered by government funding.
9th January 2018
Politicians cause domestic violence
They make the laws.
They determine the education available to all young and old Australians.
The set the rules to keep offenders away from intended victims.
They determine how long offenders spend in gaol.
They determine what compensation is paid to women by a rapist.
Domestic Violence & violence against women will stop when the consequences for offenders are infinitely greater that the enjoyment, satisfaction and power the perpetrators derive from violently abusing those who are weaker than themselves.
This is the ultimate act of cowardice – to violently abuse a weaker person.
If you have any thoughts on this or other matters join the advanced membership of voters.network and join the discussion that will lead to effective action to make this violence a thing of the past in Australia.
Petrol Prices & voter expectations
.Request for ACCC investigation/action with NRMA support
The issue is that they act as a cartel. Politicians have promised control. Just one of the many things on a long list, like poker machines and greyhound racing that voters expect MPs to FIX.
I think a good federal issue at the moment is PETROL PRICES. Oligopoly dictates to consumers. No competition. Rudd promised didn't he. Others promised? NRMA are doing their bit.
Politicians affect most aspects of our lives through their decisions on services, laws, taxes and infrastructure.
Voters affect the lives of all politicians by the way they cast their votes in elections.
Thus voters can control their own destiny by using their voices to influence politicians and their votes to re-elect the best and replace the worst.
Voters must do so in sufficient numbers to counter the Big Business self-interest lobby.
Voters.network exists to help you achieve your dreams for Australia.
For free, on www.voters.network , you can rate whether your local MPs in their political parties are representing you and your views well or badly. The combined electorate view can be shown as well as yours. Only you see your own ratings, but you and the other voters can refer back at election time and see the ratings over a long period of time, before casting a vote.
Subscribe to Advanced Access and you can launch a community consultation on your favourite topic, like perhaps:-
Increasing the density of capital cities Vs developing regional cities where housing costs a quarter to half of what it costs in Sydney or Melbourne, land for future transport needs is dirt cheap, solar and wind power exist in abundance, the air is clean and children can enjoy the wide open spaces. Government might gain more for each dollar spent on roads, rail, airports, schools and hospitals than doing that on expensive city land . NBN could enable residents to sell goods and services to the world from very inexpensive premises.
Using cheap debt to build Vs the risk of economic collapse and unaffordable debt combining to destroy wealth. Debt stress is reported to be very high. Banks are earning billions of dollars in profits which means their customers are losing those billions.
Governments using voters’ money to cover debt the major banks cannot repay if they ail, yet politicians allow banks to sell up customers who cannot pay. Is this fair? Should voters money be used to cover the failings of major banks earning billions of dollars a year?
Should Australian taxpayers’ money be used to defend Australians who illegally take hidden drugs into foreign countries where they are banned? Under what circumstances, if so?
Is it fair for NSW politicians to grant foreign owned property developers exemption from the new land tax and stamp duty surcharges those politicians plan to impose on NSW voters who own homes or land. A newspaper report stated the NSW Government was concerned about developers like A V Jennings, the former Australian developer now apparently based in the tax haven of Singapore. Should AV Jennings instead be subject to full Land Tax, Duty & GST (by removing input credits) and Australian company tax on estimated profits earned in Australia.
Should company tax rates for those earning billions and millions in profits each year be reduced to 25% as planned by federal politicians? That rate is less than the marginal rate of 32.5% applied to a voter on every dollar earned over $38,000.
Are politicians running a political protection racket for big business operators who export taxable profits to tax havens, depriving schools, hospitals, police, defence, roads and welfare of the tax funding prescribed by law, in return for money or favours to individual MPs or political parties? If so is that okay or not?
Are voters fair to elect people to parliament then completely neglect them by not telling even their local MPs what they want; criticizing the MPs over what they do wrong and remaining silent when they do what is wanted, instead of thanking them. Does negative reinforcement really work in politics or anywhere else? Are voters really to blame for bad government? If so, do they then have the power to fix it?
Voters affect the lives of all politicians by the way they cast their votes in elections.
Thus voters can control their own destiny by using their voices to influence politicians and their votes to re-elect the best and replace the worst.
Voters must do so in sufficient numbers to counter the Big Business self-interest lobby.
Let’s live better lives in this beautiful country of ours
Australia is a great place to live. It is a nation of opportunity and fairness. Most Australians want to live better lives than their parents and pass on improvements to their children and grandchildren.
It is likely that whatever you want out of life, it will be in some way impacted by government. To enjoy better lives, we must also have better government. The image on our home page shows some aspects of life that are affected by our governments. The appealing fact about our government is that it is a democracy. In a democracy, voters can relatively easily influence what is done. Many people do not even try because they think it is not possible.
30 years success at driving better government
When Greg Bloomfield established the Votergram service more than 30 years ago, he did not really expect it to be so easy. Voters then were expected to be ruled but not heard. Now voters all over Australia use Votergrams to gently guide government policy and action. It does not matter whether it was the campaign to ban smoking on commercial airlines, to stop the ID card, to make banks behave better, or to have a voter’s daughter receive proper mental health care, to have the factory foreman receive his back operation a year earlier so that the factory could continue operating or to arrange cross border respite care for a young man with cerebral palsy. In every case Members of Parliament responded magnificently and had their departments provide what was needed.
Of course politicians did not all respond or assist. Different ones responded to different messages and some always responded and helped the voters.
It is not that hard to guide government to do what is wanted
We wondered why it was so easy. Over the three decades we have come to understand, along with thousands of Australians. The prime reason we do not always enjoy good government is that voters have not seen it necessary to guide government to do what the people want. On reflection its is obvious that our elected politicians cannot possibly know what we want if we do not tell them. What is not quite so obvious is that parliament makes decisions on the basis of votes, so if we want to more easily influence government then we must tell ALL Members of Parliament what we would like them to do, in addition to making a special effort in communicating it to our local MP.
Further reflection will tell our 14 million voters that our less than 1,000 politicians will not possess all the knowledge and wisdom in Australia. Nor will they have all the good ideas about how to build better lives for our people or a better future for our country. The rest of the population knows a lot too and we were surprised to find how much politicians value that input.
“I want to have my say”
It is almost always the ideas and suggestions of individuals that change the world. Every single Australian can make some contribution to shaping our future and many do. The best way to do that is to leverage off the huge power and resources we give our governments.
It is not just a case of “ I want to have my say “. Words without action are a waste of time and energy. So many people want to have their say (or complain) and that satisfies them without making the slightest improvement in anyone’s lives. It is no good complaining to friends, family and neighbours when the decisions are made in parliament. We need to complain to the decision-makers. When we do, it will be more likely to make a difference if we take a more positive approach. A voter is more likely to influence government by giving politicians the solutions than by giving them problems. It is fine to stand up for what we believe in and speak out about it, but we need to speak out with a solution, to the actual decision-makers, at the tight time. There is always a good time to ask and a bad time to ask; a good way to ask and a bad way to ask. “Praise in public and criticise in private” is a good motto to adopt. Ask those who can say “yes” rather than those who can say “no”.
Apart from explaining your issue to all Members of Parliament, focus on your local MP as well. You have one in state or territory parliament and one in federal parliament. Whenever you see or hear of them, say to yourself “ They represent me. They work for me. It is not the other way around!” Many people, voters and politicians alike, feel that the people must do what their politicians say. In fact if voters accept their role in democratic society as choosing who they will elect to parliament, they will see that the politicians actually need to do what the voters want if they are to retain office. That particularly applies if those politicians want to remain in parliament with enough colleagues to form government rather than sitting on the opposition benches.
Rate the how well your MPs represent you
It is to make this process easier and more objective that voters network allows voters to rate their local MPs monthly so that at the next election they can look back and see whether overall each MP represented them well or badly. Look at the Rating page. The indicators also reflect the overall ratings of the local electorate as a whole. One voter cannot expect a local MP to agree with them all of the time. Nobody in the electorate of 100,000 people might do that. But one can expect the local MP to agree with them at least more than half the time. If your MP is on your side most of the time, which you can check from your voters.network record, it would be reasonable to re-elect them. If they are not, replacing them might be a good idea.
For democracy to be successful it is important that we elect good MPs, for each of them gets one vote in parliament. That is more important than who the party leader is. Party leaders are featured in election advertising because it costs less to advertise one person across the whole country than to advertise each of the 150 party candidates in their own 150 electorates. However, voting on the basis of a party leader would only be appropriate if we were electing that party leader as a dictator. That might work in Russia or China, but it is not what happens in Australia. The party leader only gets one vote in parliament and one vote in the party room.
To Influence Government vote for the person, not the party
For those voters wanting better lives for their friends, families and neighbours and wanting to guide government into doing that, an even sillier course is voting just for a favourite party. The flaws in that are that the MP elected that way owes all allegiance to the party. They have not been chosen by their electorate voters, but by the party and the party has been chosen by the voters. The voter who votes for candidates on the basis of the party rather than the candidate’s qualities has a major problem when it comes to influencing government. Faced with really awful government that voter must remove the whole party from office, but he or she does not even vote for most of the party members sitting in parliament. That voter is stumped, stuck with awful government. That voter has forfeited much of their democratic muscle. Only by persuading a large number of voters to join them in voting against that party can they achieve improvement. It also means that when elected, the governing party spends all its time helping its party members and residents of its “safe seats” and much of its time dumping disasters on the residents in electorates it did not win. It is why the party in government continually blames the other party for every failure, like a bad workman blames his tools. It needs to blacken the name of its political opponents in order to convince more voters to vote the opposition last and leave itself in charge of the vast resources of government for as long as it can. In some cases that is so it can feed out taxpayers money to its supporters by way of policies, administration, wages or contracts.
That is the norm in Australia and it is why that voter will need to persuade politicians in bulk to rectify bad policy, service or infrastructure. That is where Votergrams come in to assist, as they send a message to every Member of Parliament. Votergrams have no party-political connotations. They are politically neutral. So is voters network.
Local MP is Key to Good Government, whether in government or opposition
A voter’s greatest strength is the ability to either re-elect or replace their local MP. A parliament consisting of negligent, incompetent or uncaring politicians, virtually unknown to the bulk of voters will inevitably be a disaster for the country and its people. It is vital that voters know their representatives well and that is what voters network sets out to achieve. A parliament of competent, conscientious, wise and skilled politicians will build better lives for all Australians.
Voters often treat politicians as if they were Gods, fighting to shake their hands or receive their blessings, whilst talking about them as if they were gutter trash. They are neither. They are ordinary Australians representative of the broad community, who behave just like the rest of us. They do not hold all wisdom and knowledge on this continent. Nor are they thoroughly corrupt or any more self-interested than the rest of us.
We Elect and Neglect our MPs
Voters the world over “ elect and neglect “ their parliamentary representatives. The voters go to the polling booths every few years and cast their votes. Then they go home and forget all about the poor sods who get elected until the next election comes up. For most voters, government is so remote that they have never even met the candidate for whom they voted. Government is our greatest untapped resource.
The big business community, following tradition in the UK and US has always known and used this political resource to boost profits. Big business lobbying is a multi-million dollar industry in Australia and that is another reason why voters are missing out. Our huge resources are being channelled towards big businesses who see tax avoidance as simply a natural part of the business game. That people suffer or die because of it is not of any consequence to them or the politicians who support them in return for big donations or for fear of big advertising campaigns.
Voters, by their “Elect and Neglect’ policy have, failed their elected representatives. They have not supported those representatives when they did what was wanted, but they have been loud in their condemnation of their MPs when they have done what was not wanted. If we voters do not support our MPs when they do what we want, the big business lobbyists will be quick to say that we did not want that at all.
Voters Network will work hard with hub leaders to build far better relationships between voters and their politicians. That is why this is a hub-based network. When you look at the home page image and see the number of areas which are dominated by government, you will realise how vulnerable we and our children are unless we build strong independent hubs for our network right across Australia reaching into every local electorate. Australian voters will live better lives by working with their elected politicians than they ever will by working against them. Jointly we should Advance Australia Fair.
It is because of the dominance of big business for the benefit of the richest 5% that we have structured the network as a micro-business model for the other 95%, so that those who act as Hub Leaders can be funded from the modest subscriptions. This way all members chip in their subs and those who take on leadership roles with hubs are funded automatically. In all our 30 years of helping voters get a fair go from government we have never been government, industry or philanthropy funded. Those individual voters who have used and valued our services have made it possible for us to continue and they will do that into the future as we introduce this Third Phase of Democratic Reform –voters recording whether they think their individual local MPs represent them well or badly .
Please join. It’s free; rate the performance of your local MPs; upgrade to enjoy Advanced access; help fund the movement and perhaps become a Hub Leader funded by subs from your own hub . We have a membership potential of 14 million Australian voters. Go for it !
We will provide all the training Hub Leaders need and we are always happy to help any voters with problems that government can solve.
Women of abusive partnerships living in cars with the kids? No way!!
Of course they should not be. There are so many aspects to this issue and so many different solutions, but in the end it takes our politicians to solve it using the taxes we contribute.
If you want to protect women and children reasonably quickly, join voters.network now. It has 30 years experience in solving such issues.
We voters elect and pay politicians who control government funds, laws and services. Networking gives the voting numbers who add strength to any campaign.
These women and children deserve to enjoy better lives. Let’s work with them and for them to see they do.
Young Australians will never be able to own their own homes? What nonsense!!
Of course every Australian should be able to own their own home and it does not necessarily have to be in a high rise made of flammable material, or in a capital city.
There are many solutions to the housing crisis that threatens to stop Australians enjoying their most basic right and their best path to reasonable wealth, their own homes.
This problem is directly caused by the actions and inactions of the politicians we voters elect and pay. They can just as easily fix it, but we will need to persuade them to do it.
Voters.network is about voters persuading politicians and networking is about building the numbers of votes that make some politicians more responsive.
Join voters.network and help make it happen. Together we can do it!
Do you wish they built better lives for Australian instead of politicians fighting each other for power?
If any of the stories in today’s media worry you and you want to influence government policy and action, please join voters.network.
The fact is that we have some extremely good Members of Parliament who will go out of their way to help you, if approached in the right way. FairGO is a specialist at helping voters influence government. It started with the Votergram service which has operated for the past 30 years, quietly taking any voter’s message to all members of parliament. So much has been achieved by active, concerned voters. That is why we know a diversified network controlled by hub leaders is the way to go. Whilst ordinary access is free, and advanced access will fund hub leaders through a subscription that will provide advanced access for up to a year to community consultation facilities for everyone in the community. We have no political party favourites or connections. We exist 100% for the well being of Australian voters. We don't do it for profit. We do it because democracy is a very good, but very much misunderstood form of government. Voters can guide government to do what they want if they do it properly.
If you are worried about energy prices and climate change, then let us help you make your views known.
Do you resent big business controlling government, lobbying to cut its own taxes to starve our governments of money for infrastructure and services so that big business can then provide them at a very handsome profit margin and the banks can finance the projects to earn their own super-profits on top of that. Cost blowouts will simply enrich the businesses and banks whilst at the same time impoverishing the government coffers further.
Will the new head of ASIC change the banking culture of lending customers into profit then bleeding them dry or will his past career with Goldman Sachs during the GST make him more on side with the banks, as ASIC has been for years?
Is it good enough that the NBN is the subject of over 100,000 complaints or should we put pressure on our politicians to get this mess cleaned up fast so that Australia does not fall behind the rest of the world in IT services?
Did you see the comment by the Treasury Secretary that people were realising just how inexpensive housing is in regional Australian cities and buying there? In the past week I have visited Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Narromine and Parkes, all in NSW and seen the huge increase in the size of these beautiful cities. One could afford housing there on a lot less pay than in Sydney and raise families in far more freedom and a much cleaner environment. They are made for renewable energy and low energy transport. It is truly amazing to see what these cities have to offer instead of the fire-prone high-rise home units and office blocks in capital cities that are nothing less than death traps for those unfortunate enough to occupy them and the continually clogged roads that waste our time. With all our space, let's spread the population around a bit.
If you want better government or better lives for your family, consider joining voters.network with access to FairGO’s expertise at persuading politicians to do the right thing and Votergrams to make sure they all know what you want and why it will be good for the vast majority of Australians , or perhaps good for your relative who is being denied proper service by a government body.