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April 2013

'Budget black hole' vs 'fall in tax revenue'


Everyone's covering it today.

Business Spectator  - ‎1 hour ago‎
The West Australian  - ‎2 hours ago‎

If we have a look at the wording of each headline you get a sense of what story leans in what direction.

I think it's important to note that this fall in revenue isn't a fall when compared to last year. Revenue is up on last year. The decrease is based upon the forecast.

I've been in the corporate world and held responsibility for multi million dollar contracts. I too had to provide forecasts to senior executives to be passed to the board, ASIC and shareholders.

There was always hell to pay when you were wrong but you avoided being wrong through good financial and operational management. If this was replicated in the private sector there'd be one CEO and one CFO living on the Newstart Allowance.

Putting the management hat on briefly I have 2 questions:

Question 1 is 'who provides the forecast?'.  I assume it's a Treasury Department which is staffed by  impartial Public Servants, fair enough.

Question 2 is 'who provides the assumptions and policy for the forecasts?'. This question will no doubt lead us up the hill to the current cabinet room, and that is precisely where the buck should stop.

No doubt our more experienced financial readers have calculators and pens poised for analysis and I'm looking forward to reading them!


While the cat's away..

Still me

Update: added flash fallback for Firefox and Opera Browsers.

To ensure Michael's audio remains Michael's property I've been developing the MPS Audio player to provide complete control over the recording, posting and advertising associated with any of his audio work. Basically, if you use a third party platform you sign your content away and I think this site and Michael's Audio need to remain protected as his.

If it stands up to this little embedding test the mobile version and app will flow. Hopefully we'll just run out of bandwidth on the media server. Don't get too excited... It's a re-run, but a relevant one.

ALP Plunges 14% in Primary Vote

It's still Sauce,

Our good friend Jim001 has been looking into the Lyndhurst results and brought this AAP piece from the Daily Telegraph to my attention.

The key here is that there was a 14% swing away from Labor and there was no Liberal candidate for the election.

This leave the Victorian Parliment with as close to a hung parliment as you can get.

The Government must now rely on the  former Liberal MP who is now a cross bencher and under police investigation for misconduct in public office - Mr P. Slipp Mr Geoff Shaw.


Lyndhurst warning for Vic Labor: expert

  • By Melissa Jenkins and Melissa Iaria 
  • AAP 
  • April 28, 2013 5:38PM
Labour Party candidate Martin Pakula

Labor's Martin Pakula has claimed victory in Victoria's Lyndhurst by-election. Source: AAP

THE slump in Labor's primary vote at the Lyndhurst by-election may be a warning the party faces a tougher road than expected to the Victorian poll.

Labor's Martin Pakula claimed victory in the south-east suburban seat on Saturday with about 41 per cent of the primary vote - 14 percentage points weaker than at the 2010 state election.

The coalition did not run a candidate in Lyndhurst, which is classic Labor territory with a strong manufacturing base and high percentage of ethnically diverse voters.

Monash University political scientist Nick Economou says it can be difficult to draw broader conclusions from by-elections but the dive in the primary vote is a worry for the party.

"The message coming from Lyndhurst isn't that good," he told AAP.

"It's a warning to the opposition ... there are some in Labor who think they can win the next state election.

"I don't think it's going to be that easy."

read the full story here


Good Leaders are invaluable to an organisation, Bad Leaders will destroy it

Sauce says..

Amy Rees Anderson seems to have a handle on leadership. As the founder and CEO of MediConnect Global, Inc.  She led a worldwide workforce of over 1,000 employees and achieved over 1,500 percent revenue growth, leading the company to be acquired for $377 million in 2012.

Writing for Forbes Magazine she also has a firm grasp of the effects of Leadership on morale:

"Bad leadership can be felt throughout the entire organization – only not in a good way. Corporate culture becomes a meaningless term where leaders claim it exists while employees shake their heads in frustration.

There is a lack of clear, consistent communication from leadership to the employees. As a result, the office is run by rumor mill, politics and gamesmanship.

Employees are uncertain of the company’s goals and objectives for success and they have no idea how they fit into that picture, or what their level of importance is toward making it happen.

Decisions for promotions are not based on integrity or talent, but rather they are based on who can talk the biggest talk or who is deemed to be the least threatening to the current leadership team.

Employees are taught play dirty against coworkers to get ahead by watching as it is continuously rewarded by leadership leading to the Lobster Syndrome of tearing one another down throughout the organization. The result of bad leadership is low morale, high turnover, and a decreased ability to have any sustainable success.

To become a truly great company it takes truly great leaders. And there is a huge difference in bosses and leaders."

You can read the full article here.

Coincidently, News Limited is reporting Julia Gillard intends to head back to Western Sydney to address an Election Morale Booster...

PM to address election morale booster

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will reportedly head back to western Sydney on a morale-boosting trip ahead of the September federal election.

News Limited says NSW ALP headquarters has organised for Ms Gillard to address a special one-day meeting at Parramatta's Rydges Hotel on Saturday, May 25.

Top secret invitations have been sent to MPs, candidates and campaign teams, requesting confirmation of attendance.

Labor luminaries such as former prime minister Bob Hawke and foreign minister and former NSW premier Bob Carr have also been invited.

Full article available here.


Hedley Thomas on the Scandal, the PM and the Media

Sauce says...

Hedley Thomas appears to have the same questions many of us do.

'Australians should ask hard questions about why large sections of their media, and particularly the public broadcaster, still baulk at reporting the AWU scandal?'


Who knows PM Julia Gillard is under investigation?

  • From:The Australian 
  • April 27, 2013 12:00AM
ALP State Conference

Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces continuing questions about the AWU slush fund scandal. Picture: Hamish Blair Source: Herald Sun

IN the days after a heated 2GB radio interview in March, during which Julia Gillard was questioned closely about the AWU slush fund scandal, a detective in Victoria's Fraud Squad, Ross Mitchell, made a strategic decision.

One answer the Prime Minister gave during a dogged tussle in her interview with Ben Fordham stood out. Mitchell knew it when he heard it. The other detectives knew it too.

Although seemingly innocuous to those not involved in the probe, Gillard's answer was new and pivotal. It meant police in Melbourne would need a sworn statement from Fordham in Sydney, even though as a journalist he would be expected to subsequently disclose some key facts.

The actions that Mitchell and other police took in seeking further information from Fordham led to him stating in unequivocal terms on his radio show this week something that had been previously cryptically and very carefully inferred - the Prime Minister is under formal Victoria Police investigation as a result of the 18-year-old Australian Workers Union fraud. Fordham has kept a pledge to police to not publicly reveal more than this.

Read the full article here.


Some detailed analysis on the incorporation documentation

Sauce says...


Michael has always sought and treasured the detailed analysis and hours of  'brain time' that are provided by his readers. "Seeker of truth" has been busy looking at the incorporation documents for the AWU Reform association. This type of analysis shows the depth the detectives need to go to investigate this matter.


seeker of truth said:                            

                                Relying on the incorporation forms submitted to the WA CAC under number A1002116 then A1002203E and finally A1002262E, one can see that Julia Gillard was involved in this fraud from the time it was decided to go with an incorporated association.  These incorporation documents remained unchanged from the first attempt to lodge (A1002116) to the last attempt (A1002262E),except for the date 22nd April 1992. The original date looks like it was 1st April 1992 and has been changed to 22nd April 1992.   
Documentary evidence shows that Julia Gillard was involved in the preparation of the original incorporation documents of AWU-WRA presented for lodgement at the first attempt. She had inserted the name of the association on the Application at item 1 and had also completed part of item 2. She didn't just tidy up the original incorporation documents of the AWU-WRA to make them acceptable after they were rejected by the WA CAC, as Bruce Wilson has suggested.  They hadn't even been rejected when she made the insertions. In fact, it appears that there was nothing amiss with the incorporation documents as presented to the WA CAC. They did not need to be changed and were not changed and the incorporation documents prove this.
If you look at the Application for Incorporation of Association and the documents accompanying it (ie Draft Certificate and Rules), there are three handwritten numbers on top of the document, two of which have been ruled through (A1002116X, A1002203E.) From this we can assume that at least more than one attempt was made to incorporate the AWU-WRA using these application forms before it was lodged and registered under the number A1002262E. There has been no attempt to insert another name. The name "Australian Workers’ Union – Workplace Reform Association" has remained unchanged.
That handwritten name appears on the documents at the first attempt for lodgement. This name was written twice by Julia Gillard on the forms – it matches her handwriting, and Bruce Wilson said in his 7.30 Report interview - BRUCE WILSON: “I tried to do something to get the association established; didn't work because of some technicality. I went to her and said, "Look, can you fix it? Whatever it is that needs to be fixed." And “Simply there was some forms that needed to be filled out in a different manner. It was a bit like going and asking... for example, "This form didn't look right, that one didn't, what do we need to do?" She made the necessary changes. I told her that Ralph was going to then re-lodge the forms. She said, "Well, jeez, if that's the case I better fill this out," and that's where everyone makes a fuss now because she's got handwriting on the form. It's not a real big deal, to be honest with you.” The Western Australian newspaper’s Notice of 6 March 1992 of Intended Incorporation of AWU-WRA refers to application to apply for registration will be lodged on or after 6 April 1992.  That notice states that - ‘The Association is formed for the purpose of promoting and encouraging workplace reform for workers performing construction and maintenance work’ Whereas the Application for Incorporation document states it purpose as “Development of Changes to Work to Achieve Safe Workplaces”.
This is written in Bruce Wilson’s or Ralph Blewitt’s hand. The wording on the Notice is written in a legalese fashion and aligns itself to be words in the Rules of the Association that Julia Gillard has admitted that she prepared based on the Socialist Forum model. We can therefore assume that Julia Gillard was involved with the incorporation of the AWU-WRA right from its inception prior to the lodgment of the Notice in the Western Australian paper on 6 March 1992 and not later.  The same association application forms were used from the first attempt at lodgement which could possibly have been 1st April 1992, right through to the last attempt (stamped as lodged 23 April 1992). Note that on both the Application for Incorporation and the Draft Certificate the date has been changed by Wilson or Blewitt to read 22nd April 1992. Bruce Wilson was lying about Julia’s involvement, and we know that now.  The forms and documents were OK. The evidence shows that the forms submitted under numbers A1002116, A1002203E and A1002262E were unchanged except for the date 22nd April 1992

Time in Lieu

Sauce says..


On 24 August 2012, Michael Smith started a blog. Between 12 to 20 hours a day, every day for the past 8 months have been spent researching, reporting, talking and writing. I'm pleased to say that today he's put his feet up.

the world hasn't stopped,


Mr Clare's reported another 'intercepted-assist' we're still waiting for the half pike.








26 April 2013

Border Protection Command intercepts vessel


HMAS Glenelg, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel west of Christmas Island this morning.


Initial indications suggest there were 86 people on board.  


The vessel was initially detected on the Christmas Island radar, operating under the control of Border Protection Command.


Border Protection Command has transferred the passengers to Australian Government authorities on Christmas Island, where they will undergo initial security, health and identity checks and their reasons for travel will be established.


People arriving by boat without a visa after 13 August 2012 run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country.


Media Adviser:  Ryan Hamilton – 0414 599 468




Ryan Hamilton 

Press Secretary

Office of the Hon Jason Clare MP

Cabinet Secretary | Minister for Home Affairs | Minister for Justice | Federal Member for Blaxland

' (02) 6277 7290- CBR | ' (02) 9251 1336- SYD | (  0414 599 468 | : [email protected]

Ralph's request

Sauce:  20:35

There are many song's associated with today that touch people in different ways.

The one embedded in my (young) head is Jimmy Barnes' "No Second Prize" that accompanied a motivational video shown to us at 1RTB.

Jane Smith hears another:



Ralph has another that I think pulls the heart strings of anyone, at any age who has any understanding of the Vietnam War.

Ralph writes:

"Would you please do something special form me 

Please Michael post an audio of the song "I was only 19" In memory of the diggers we lost.

Thanks mate."

John Schumann wrote and performed this song after hearing first hand experiences of the war from Mick Storen (his brother in-law) and about Frankie Hunt ("frankie kicked the mine the day that man kind kicked the moon")

Anyway, Ralph... of course.