Johnes Disease
Seatbelt Hazards

14 March 1999
weekly opinion

The Federal politicians Abbot & Costello ran their case before a federal judge who gave an award that many commentators found to be excessive.  Contrast Victorian state Premier Kennett's loss weeks later of a comparable case in front of a jury.  The Kennett result clearly shows what ordinary Australian's think about the defamation rorts of politicians.

It was suggested on channel nine on Friday that politicians would not appeal in future to juries, but instead to judges.   At some later date the judge might be considered for appointment to the high court .

What's next?  Clearly justice is not seen to be done.  This is the way to end up with a Singapore or Matahir style of government.

In Australia we need legislation requiring that any defamation matter (especially where politicians are involved) must go before a jury.


My recollection is that student unions are a rort for student politicians.  The services provided by union subsidy could more fairly & economically be contracted out on a "user pays" basis.  My memories from student days are of the magnificent ($200 a plate) feasts that were given out freely to the student politician's mates for trivial reasons.


I had expected that Indonesia would depart Timor in such fashion that the Timorese people were left with regrets at the loss of a helpful colonial power.  If the departure is (as reported by the Australian press) a withdrawal of infrastructure and a sowing of dissent, then one can infer the style of government that brought about the urgent desire of Timorese that the Indonesians withdraw.  It makes comprehensible the dissatisfaction in other parts of Indonesia with the Javanese yoke.

I entreat the leaders in Indonesia.  Timor will be your neighbour.  Try to mend the fences now.


The close sympathy between an appointed judiciary and the appointer is again evident (as written in the DEFAMATION paragraph above) in the management of this trial.

The reason for the faith that the US founding fathers placed in Jury trials as opposed to judicial trials is again evident.


It is easy to understand why Baywatch would want to film at Avalon in Sydney.  I can imagine why Avalon might not want Baywatch, & I can understand why Batwatch might not want Surfers' Paradise.

That's the sort of place Avalon is.  That's the sort of place Surfers' Paradise is.


Australian wage earners are not allowed to deduct superannuation contributions from income.  Politicians and self employed people can deduct superannuation contributions from income.

This has resulted in two types of superannuation schemes.  The "undeducted" schemes of wage earners, where no tax is payable on the already taxed superannuation income stream, and the "deducted" schemes, where income tax is paid on a much larger income stream.   After tax, the taxed income stream from the deducted scheme should equal the untaxed income stream of a comparable "undeducted" scheme.

We were told it was just a way for the federal government to collect the tax a bit earlier.  Otherwise, the two were equivalent.

When the GST is levied we will all be given an income tax break to make up for the extra expense of the GST.   Except, oh oops!  Horrors!   Undeducted superannuants paid the income tax decades earlier.   Now they can't get an income tax cut!

Not to worry.   Deducted superannuants (politicians and the self employed) who haven't yet paid income tax on their superannuation sum will be able to get the income tax cut.

The health care rebate will be available to deducted superannuants, not to undeducted superannuants.

Good one Mr. Howard!  Good one Mr Beazley!  Good one Democrats!  You made a real killing with double taxation there!  You taxed wage earners while they were saving their superannuation, and now you get to tax them when they spend it as well!  And it doubly lets off the "deducted" contributors like the self employed and politicians!

I just wanted to let you all know.  Some of us out here in voter land can see your brilliance.