AUSTRALIA CHRONOLOGY 3 / Blog , Just World Campaign 


• Jailed for lying to CCC.  [sentenced at private hearing]     

Jailed for lying to CCC

   The West Australian, www.thewest.com.au , by Kate Tarala, p 4, Tuesday, January 6, 2009
   PERTH – A former prison nurse was sentenced to eight months jail yesterday after giving false testimony to the Corruption and Crime Commission.
   Helen Louise Knight, 47, of Forrestfield, pleaded guilty to five charges of giving false testimony to a CCC hearing into alleged drug taking by prison officers last August.
   At a private CCC hearing she was sentenced to four months on each charge, with the first two to be served cumulatively because of her early guilty plea.
   The investigation by the CCC continues. #

   [ORIGINAL COMMENT: And there are Anglo-Celts around the world believing that "private hearings" by the Common Law court system had been abolished somewhere around the time the Star Chamber court in England was abolished by the Parliament during the reign of Charles I in 1641 .  Well, well !  And non-Anglos too had basked in the belief that "Australians all" were "young and free." ("Advance Australia Fair," national song.) COMMENT ENDS.]
   [FOLLOW-UP COMMENT: The newspaper on the following day, January 7, corrected itself, saying that the sentencing was by a Magistrate in the Perth Magistrates' Court.  A protest letter had been e-mailed to that paper and other news media on January 6.  Error corrected on this webpage 8.36 am on Jan 7, 2009. Error in "Meta" contents and keywords corrected on Mar 25, 2009. ENDS.]
   [ALSO SEE (with no error about "private hearing": http://www. news.com.au/ perthnow/ story/0,, 24875798- 2761,00.html . ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#jailed_for_lying
[Jan 6, 09]

• Public Sector Commissioner wrong, not
CCC     

Public Sector Commissioner wrong, not CCC

 
   Letter SENT TO The West Australian, letters§wanews.com.au , from John C. Massam, Greenwood, WA; Thursday, February 19, 2009
   The State public service protects its own yet again, it seems in the Peter Millington case (New blow for CCC as top public servant cleared, 19/2)
   Let us thank the Corruption and Crime Commission for exposing yet another public servant who broke the confidentiality and/or commonsense rules.
   To tell anyone, let alone a retired commercial fisherman, that he was being investigated for illegal crab fishing, ought to have led to him being dismissed with little ceremony.
   The fact that various other bodies ruled against the CCC opinion for other public servants is proof that they protect their own, and shows how seriously dissimulation has spread in the general community.
   Lately we read that a man under a cloud over a wrongful murder conviction and imprisonment of Mallard, has skipped into a different government department on good pay.  So the top policeman says he can't go into the matter further!  Shades of the Brian Burke WA Inc years!  Is the new Liberal-National-Independent ministry slipping into the old bad ways?
   Keep up your good work, CCC, not matter how much mud comes your way.
   By the way, I have been both a public servant (told not to reveal secrets) and a journalist (whose job is to inform the public, even if that is uncomfortable to a few) during my long life. #

   [PUBLISHED: Except for the phrase "Shades of the Brian Burke WA Inc years!" this letter was published under a heading "THANKS GO TO THE CCC" in The West Australian, p 22, Saturday, February 21, 2009. ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#public_sector_commissioner
[Feb 19, 09]
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www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm

• 'Denuded' claim misleads.
 

‘Denuded’ claim misleads

 
   The West Australian, letters § wanews com au , Letter to The Editor, from the Western Australian Corruption and Crime Commission, p 22, Tuesday, February 24, 2009
   Julian Grill claims in his letter (Denuded of legal rights, 20/2), that he and Brian Burke have been "denuded of their legal rights", particularly in relation to the Corruption and Crime Commission's Smiths Beach investigation report. This is untrue and misleading.
   Individuals affected by the commission's investigations have the chance to respond to matters raised and are protected by the commission's procedural fairness obligations. The commission has more than exceeded its obligations for the provision of procedural fairness to Mr Grill.
   Mr Grill made numerous and detailed representations to the commission, which it considered before completing its Smiths Beach investigation.
   In this process, Mr Grill had a large amount of material available including a complete copy of the draft report's comprehensive executive summary and all the material that was either put to him directly in the commission's public and private hearings or put to others in commission public hearings.
   As a result, Mr Grill could not possibly have had any doubt about the implications for him of the commission's investigations.
   Mr Grill's letter focuses on his invitation to Dr Wally Cox, the then chairman of the Environmental Protection Authority, for lunch with him and Mr Burke. He asserts that his invitation was "entirely innocent".
   As part of the WA Court of Appeal's unanimous rejection of a challenge by Dr Cox to the commission's treatment of him, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Steytler, said about the lunch:
   "Dr Cox must have known that he was invited to lunch only because of his position. He knew that Messrs Burke and Grill intended to discuss the Smiths Beach development. He knew that this would be done at a private lunch with no one else present. It was him who tried to avoid a perception of a conflict of interest by asking Mr Grill to shift the proposed location for the lunch to somewhere more discreet. It was undoubtedly up to the CCC to form the opinion that this lack of impartiality, on the part of a very senior public servant in a position of substantial influence, was serious misconduct of a kind that could constitute a disciplinary offence providing reasonable grounds for the termination of a person's office or employment as a public service officer under the PSM Act."
   Mr Grill also says that the commission has "yet to produce any indication of any law, regulation or policy I have transgressed" in relation to this lunch. That is a red herring. The commission does not need to.  It has not formed any opinion (finding) about Mr Grill who, despite being a Justice of the Peace, was not a public officer over whom the commission had any jurisdiction to form an opinion of misconduct, for the purposes of this investigation. The focus was on Dr Cox, who was a public officer and who, in the commission's opinion, engaged in misconduct. The Court of Appeal supported this view. L. W. Roberts-Smith, Commissioner, Corruption and Crime Commission.

   [RECAPITULATION: … his invitation to Dr Wally Cox, the then chairman of the Environmental Protection Authority, for lunch with him and Mr Burke. He asserts that his invitation was "entirely innocent". ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: How could a meal with two lobbyists, and leaders of WA Inc of the past, EVER be "entirely innocent," if one is a leader (or even the humblest employee) of any arm of government?  Or of private businesses, for that matter?  Why would a more discreet site be requested by the inviteee, if transparency, honesty, and good government were the aims? COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#denuded_claim_misleads
[Feb 24, 09]

• One-sided.
 

One-sided

 
   The West Australian, Letter to The Editor, p 22, Tuesday, February 24, 2009
   I take issue with John C. Massam's letter (Thanks go to the CCC, 21/2). He said very clearly that any investigations conducted by public service departments into allegations of misconduct are worthless. Not only is this defamatory of the authors of those investigations, it implies that those investigated by such processes should not have been cleared of the allegations. Having been the victim – I use the word advisedly – of a CCC inquiry which led to a departmental investigation, I can see Mr Massam clearly has no idea of either the CCC's methodology or the contrasting rigour involved in departmental inquiries.
   The CCC processes involve investigating one side of the story.  At the public hearing in which I was involved, the CCC selected the witnesses to be called, the CCC was the only side asking the questions, I was not allowed legal representation in the sense of being in a position to cross-examine anyone and I was not made aware I was under any suspicion of wrongdoing.
   This sort of process is fundamentally incapable of unearthing the whole truth and leads inevitably to flawed conclusions. Mr Massam is presumably aware of a number of reports by the former parliamentary inspector, Malcolm McCusker, which demonstrate exactly that point. Clearly, he has not read them.
   Contrast that with departmental inquiries. I should explain that after a recommendation from the CCC, these inquiries are undertaken at the initiation of the relevant department because the Director-General is the employer.
   However, certainly in my case, the investigator was not an employee of my department, but conducted the investigation at the request of the Director-General and reported to him. Mr McCusker, in his report on me (March 2008), said that the investigator "conducted an admirably thorough, objective and professional investigation into the allegation of misconduct, in contrast with the CCC which had not taken into account the evidence of an important witness, failed to interview key witnesses whose evidence was obviously (and admittedly) relevant, and relied heavily on hearsay (i.e. from Brian Burke)".
   In the face of such a damning indictment of the CCC, I am alarmed that Mr Massam should say "the fact that various other bodies ruled against the CCC opinion for other public servants is proof that they protect their own". Where is Mr Massam's evidence to support this ridiculous contention?
   With its extensive powers, the community has every right to expect the CCC will not make mistakes, but time and again the opposite has been clearly demonstrated. No wonder its credibility is questioned. Mike Allen, Hillarys.

   [COMMENT: The letter-writer is suspected of "attacking the man, and not the ball," in the above letter.
   Granted, the secret phone tapping and other surveillance powers of the CCC are against civil liberties, but its exposure of the infamous "wogs and sprogs" remark exposed the "multiculturalism" hypocrisy of a WA Inc. former leader, and how the Establishment has no scruples as to whom it deals with.  Money is $upreme! COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#one_sided
[Feb 24, 09]

• Our police must be given respect.
     

Our police must be given respect

 
   The West Australian, letters § wanews com au , Various Letters to The Editor, p 22, Tuesday, March 17, 2009
   As a young policeman I was counselled by an old sergeant that when I attended volatile and dangerous situations by myself I had only one protection, and that was fear. This fear was based on the knowledge of the consequences to be suffered by anyone who would harm a police officer carrying out his duty.
   Any offender would know my colleagues would soon come and he would be incarcerated in the local lockup and likely to be imprisoned by the court.
   I, like my colleagues, attended alone at violent drunken fights on native reserves and with no police vehicle walked offenders back to the police station. I have broken up brawls at hotels of many people who required no more than a loud and strong demand, with offenders leaving or co-operatively getting into the police van.
   I was assaulted on occasions, but all were of a manly type in that they were front-on and could be dealt with in a similar manner.
   With the lowering of the drinking age and the subsequent development of a binge-drinking culture, coupled with the use of illicit substances, manliness has suffered and dangerous cowardice now prevails in physical confrontations, even by older individuals who are graduates of this brain-damaging culture.
   The judiciary currently boasts a plethora of social activists who view police unfavourably. They have, through their rulings, denied police meaningful interrogation of offenders, complex rules of evidence gathering and near impossible investigation procedures. The presentation of evidence is often denied by courts on technicalities, prosecution witnesses are subjected to intense disrespectful questioning while the accused is given undue deference.
   The accused is provided all evidence against him before the hearing while the prosecution receives no advice from the accused. His counsel then prepares his defence, psychologically manipulates juries and increasingly the accused are walking free or, if convicted, they still walk free or are given a token sentence.
  [Picture] No justice: Const. Matthew Butcher  
   Our judiciary has been a social-engineering department for some time and is to blame for our dire levels of criminality and disorder. Although aware of our declining situation, our judiciary's social advocacy agenda has seen insignificant penalties which fail to rein in this malaise of disorder and violence now distressing our society. The judiciary must accept its duty towards the community and return to the right side of justice.
   The police and community would then be protected by the return of the fear of the consequences of breaking the law. Kevin Moran, Hillarys.

More power


   Over the years our politicians and courts have let our police service down very badly.
   If our politicians do not do something very quickly, in a few years we will not have a good police service. People will not join the police service any more and the ones already in the force will resign and those who stay will not risk their lives – and who can blame them?
   I am wondering why the police are given laser guns if they are not allowed to use them. I think police officers should not have to risk their lives when attending an incident.
   I also think Parliament should give officers who are attending these incidents the power to fire their revolvers once into the air and call on the offenders to stop and surrender; if they do not stop then the officers should be allowed to fire their taser guns at the offenders until they surrender.
   I do realise that if some offenders have a medical condition a short from a taser gun can be very dangerous.  To that I say tough bikkies.  If they have a medical problem they should not be getting involved in pub brawls. Joe Pintaudi, City Beach.

Fight for justice


   After hearing of the verdict in the Const. Matthew Butcher case I have come to the conclusion that the citizens of this country must take matters into their own hands.
   Our legal system no longer speaks for us. We can no longer sit on the sidelines. We can no longer wait. We must act – today.
   Each and every person in Australia has a duty, and a moral obligation, to stand up for what's right. To sit back and do nothing can no longer be accepted by anyone but the most left-wing coward crying out for criminals' rights.
   Perhaps we can begin by making our voices heard. Pick up the phone, write a letter to The West Australian, email your local representative. Whatever it takes. And don't stop until the next verdict handed down is a true reflection of the crime committed.
   It will take many years (trust me, the do-gooders will come out in a few days) and many setbacks.
   But this has now become a fight for justice, and the very fabric of society that we value so highly.   We cannot afford to lose it.
   To Const. Butcher, you are a hero and I am nominating you for a bravery award. Kenneth Hart, Kalamunda
OUR SOLUTION

[Adversarial system needs reconsideration]


   Surely it is time to reconsider the current adversarial system which pits defence against prosecution and the outcome depends very often not on the merits of the justice of the case, but on the "reasonable doubt" raised by the defence lawyer. A defence lawyer seeks to get his client off by whatever means possible and his main skill seems to be to create this reasonable doubt by confusing a sufficient number of jurors.
   A better system, in my view, would be a judicial review board which considers the evidence, hears the witnesses (supported by their lawyers) and then delivers a verdict. The board would comprise legal personnel as well as suitably experienced laymen.
   Common sense and justice would then most likely predominate in trials rather than the current circumstances which have led to some surprising and unbelievable verdicts in recent years. John Smith, Currambine.

[Black day in W.A.]


   It was a black-day in the history of the WA legal system when the McLeod men were acquitted. This verdict reinforces the message to the community that it's OK to attack police when they are trying to do their lawful duty and it undermines the authority and confidence of all serving police officers.
   It has been suggested that the police used excessive force in this case. Maybe in future when police officers are faced with similar violent situations they should take out their notebooks and inquire: "Allo, allo, allo – what's goin' on 'ere?" Or, as Const. Butcher's mother suggested, let them fight it out. Brian Regan, Lesmurdie.
IN SHORT

[Say No to thugs]


   Words fail me at this injustice. There is no respect for authority and the justice system has failed the innocent. The police put their lives at risk for us and it is time for the people to say thank you and support them. This country is slipping into lawlessness, which is very sad to see. As a nation we need to say "no" to these thugs and their behaviour. Matthew Butcher, in his interview, showed he is a man of integrity. Anna Tawo, Morley.

[Let brawling end before acting]


   It is obvious that in the future, police and paramedics should act in the following way. When they are called to a brawl, they should wait until the fighting has finished. Only then do the paramedics move in to attend to those injured or killed and police take up positions to protect the paramedics. This would be the only way for police and paramedics to operate under current circumstances. Laurence A. Butterly, Kelmscott.

[Police need more training]


   In my opinion there was no other possible verdict the jury could have delivered. The police service needs to look within. Its officers need to be trained so that when they do attend an aggravated situation, they have the skills to assess and act properly and lawfully. In this case the jury thought they did not. Heather Turner, West Leederville.

[Salute to Const. Butcher]


   Const. Butcher, your courage, determination and dignity are an inspiration to us all. Your example to your other officers simply reflects your values and extraordinary commitment to your profession.
   I wish you continued improvement and happiness. Leave the anger, outrage and disgust to the people in WA who support and respect our police officers. Helen Baker, Ferndale.

[Our attitudes wrong]


   Changing our laws will not protect our police officers. Changing our attitudes may. Graham Waideman, Greenwood.

[They'll assume they can injure police]


   My son is a young and enthusiastic police officer who, like many officers, puts his life on the line for the safety of the public on a daily basis.
   The message that the verdict relating to Const. Butcher sends is that the system "doesn't give a damn".
   The side effects will be that an element of society will assume they can intentionally injure our police officers and get off scot free. I fear for the welfare of my son and all police officers doing frontline duties. Mardi Dungey, Morley.

[Don't vilify jurors]


   There may be some in the community who want accused people to be denied a fair hearing, but I'm not one of them. Vilification of jurors is contrary to justice. Alf Campbell, Beckenham.

[Justice system not working]


   What are the police expected to do when called to a melee? Form a circle around the fracas, join hands and sing "the bullies and the brawlers should be friends"? The whole justice system needs a review. It is not working. B. L Buchanan, Dianella.

Don't blame the jury system


   Outrage and disgust. Yes, outrage and disgust at those who think the jury made the wrong decision against the McLeod family. Whether the decision was right or wrong, that is our legal system. It's still the best system we have. You win some, you lose some. If the police had won the case, would all the knockers be supporting the jury and singing their praises and writing nice letters to the paper?
   I can only guess that most of the knockers have not sat on a jury and therefore have had no experience of jury service. People who criticise the jury system never seem to have an alternative that works any better.
   If the police continue to fire their taser guns at people they will continue to lose respect from the public. People are not cattle to be prodded with electric shocks. If we tasered a dog the RSPCA would make sure we were locked up or heavily fined and yet we accept that it's OK to taser people in public.
   We now at least have a justice system and jury system that keeps the police accountable. Next time you may be on a jury. What will your decision be? Doug Wasley, Australind.

Protect them


   The police see the worst of society and now it seems they get the worst of justice, too. Police need protection from thugs like those who injured Const. Butcher.
   It is wrong that they have got off scot free when the footage of the incident to me shows his intent to injure the police officer. If we can't protect the police, what hope is there for the rest of us? Paula Orr, Bunbury.

A fine example


   The outpouring of disgust at the "justice" accorded Const. Butcher says it all. But let us praise Matthew Butcher's quiet humility at accepting the very disappointing verdict.
   Let us acknowledge his outstanding courage and moral fibre in asking his colleagues not to resign and give these men and others like them satisfaction, because it will be to the detriment of the community.
   He is the face of all that is right with our police service and the fact that he is lost to the front line is a great loss to the service and the community. But let his example be one to look to in times of turmoil. His outstanding courage and conviction in the face of such a tragedy is truly inspiring.
   He would be my nomination for Australian of the Year. Chris Lavender, Alfred Cove.
Today's text
My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. – JAMES 1:19. (The Bible for Today). From the Bible Society.

   Letters to the Editor, WA Newspapers, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843. Fax 08 9482 3830. E-mail to: letters /§/ wanews /./ com /./ au

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#our_police_must
[Mar 17, 09]

• [Ownership 51%, protect jobs.] Wake-up time; Planning vital.
   

[Ownership 51%, protect jobs] Wake-up time; Planning vital.

   The West Australian, letters § wanews com au , Letters to The Editor, p 22, Monday, April 27, 2009
IN SHORT

[Ownership 51%, protect jobs.]


   There used to be a law which clearly said that no foreign company / country could own more than 49 per cent of that which was Australian.
   Is that no longer the case?
   If not, when was it changed and were Australians consulted?
   Also, just whose jobs will be protected? Or have all the 487 Visa workers gone home? Tricia Gibson, Wembley Downs

Wake-up time


   Our political and business leaders are unable to acknowledge that the era of unfettered economic growth is over. You don't need to be a genius to realise that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.
   Political and business spin that we can continue to consume relentlessly, and that we will all be rich from a "growing" economy, is at best fallacious and at worst insanely irresponsible.
   We are facing an unprecedented global crisis and we respond with the same old tired and ineffective short-sighted policies that got us into this mess to begin with.
   Are we ever going to take our common future into our own hands? The time has truly come for a global paradigm revolution if we are to have a global future that is sustainable, equitable and peaceful. Julian Sharp, Pemberton.

Planning vital


   The headline on Andrew Probyn's opinion piece (Infrastructure before handouts, 24/4) highlights a popular misconception about what governments can and can't do. Infrastructure projects don't come before, they come later. Much later.
   After community consultation, planning approvals, environmental approvals, native title and heritage issues, negotiations with stakeholders, enabling legislation, design work, public tenders and appeals processes, the recession will be well and truly over by the time an infrastructure project puts workers on the job.
   Building infrastructure is certainly a worthwhile use of government money, more so than handouts or tax breaks, but the process needs to be started in boom times by long-term economic planning, just when politicians and voters are least likely to see the need. Robert Blackham, Leeming.

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#ownership_51%_protect
[Apr 27, 09]

• Buswell queries vacant lots.  [W.A. has 20,000 vacant blocks of land.]    

Buswell queries vacant lots

   The West Australian, www.thewest.com.au , letters § wanews com au , By YASMINE PHILLIPS and SHANE WRIGHT, p 18, Wednesday, October 28, 2009
   PERTH (W. Australia) – Housing Minister Troy Buswell has asked the property sector to explain why 20,000 vacant lots that could be developed are sitting idle across WA, despite growing speculation Perth is on the verge of another boom.
   Emerging from a crisis meeting yesterday, he revealed he had asked for an urgent list of "subdivisional opportunities" that could be fast-tracked to prevent middle income workers being priced out of the market.
   "The Government has agreed to work with industry to identify a range of subdivisional opportunities that we can fast-track … to make sure that we don't see the massive spike in house prices that we saw between 2004 and 2006," he said.
   The meeting was called over growing concerns that another property boom could make Perth the nation's most expensive capital.
   It came as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned that Federal funding for major infrastructure projects might be held back if States failed to release housing blocks, encourage inner-city living or take into account the impact of climate change on their big cities.
   In what he described as a new effort to improve major cities, Mr Rudd used a speech to business leaders last night to unveil how Canberra would press the States to change their approach to development. #

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#buswell_queries_vacant
[Oct 28, 09]

• Long-lasting speculation holds back development.
     

Long-lasting speculation holds back development

 
   The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), Letter SENT to The Editor, Wednesday, October 28, 2009
   Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned that Federal funding for major infrastructure projects might be held back if States failed to release housing blocks, encourage inner-city living or take into account the impact of climate change on their big cities, according to news reports.
   WA Housing Minister Troy Buswell hit the nail on the head yesterday when he asked the property sector at a housing "boom" crisis meeting about why were there 20,000 vacant lots in WA.
   The answer is that people are holding these blocks until the price goes up so far that they will make a huge profit.  The way taxation and other laws are framed, elements of the middle class as well as the seriously rich are involved in what they are told is "wealth creation," but it is really "gatekeeping."
   That is, pushing land prices higher, and refusing to let would-be users build homes or businesses.
   The way to open up such land, such as the 171 in the small municipality of Claremont Town Council in Perth, is to adopt unimproved capital value rating, or if that is too hard, double-rates on vacant land. This latter has had good effects in small pockets of the USA.
   Vacant houses could also be charged double rates.
   But before doing that, let us first of all get our policing in order, so that vacant houses that are being vandalised will attract secret police cameras and real detective work to allow and encourage landlords to put them on the letting market. John C. Massam, Greenwood, W.A. #

http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#long_lasting_speculation
[Oct 28, 09]

• Developers blamed for housing shortage.     

Developers blamed for housing shortage

   The West Australian, www.thewest.com.au , letters § wanews com au , by Yasmine Phillips, page 12, Friday, November 6, 2009,
  [Picture] Up in arms: Catholic Social Justice Council boss John Hollywood is angry vacant land is being wasted.  
   The head of the Catholic Social Justice Council has weighed into the debate about the social impact of Perth's urban sprawl, accusing developers of sitting on more than 3000 vacant blocks in the northern suburbs.
   Council chairman John Hollywood said he had identified 2995 vacant blocks in the City of Joondalup but warned the total would be much higher if potential high density developments were included. He said developers had no incentive to build houses because it was cheaper to sit on the land and wait for its value to soar.
   "These blocks are selling for between $500,000 and $1 million each," he said.
   He called on the [State] Government to allow councils to set their own rates on vacant blocks, which would penalise developers who failed to build within three years of buying the land.
   In this way you'd have 20,000 more people living in the metropolitan area using the local schools, shops, everything," he said.  "That's why we're going right out to Butler and Yanchep to build houses because there's nowhere for people to live."
   Housing Minister Troy Buswell asked the property sector to explain why there are 20,000 vacant lots across WA that could be developed. #

   [RECAPITULATION: ... it was cheaper to sit on the land and wait for its value to soar. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: His call for councils to be allowed to set rates on vacant land has a problem -- some councils might reduce the rates, instead of increasing the rates.  Britain's tax laws are such that some property owners sit on vacant land or empty buildings, and instead of being penalised, are not charged their fair share of rates and taxes for the community amentities provided out of rates and taxes, and which will cause the PRICE they can later get for the vacant property to be much higher. COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#developers_blamed_for
[Nov 6, 09]

• Buckeridge attacks LandCorp 'inaction'  - 90 jobs at risk.    

Buckeridge attacks LandCorp ‘inaction’

   The West Australian, Business, www.thewest.com.au/business , By Peter Kerr, p 59, Thursday, November 19, 2009
   Building magnate Len Buckeridge has launched a blistering attack on LandCorp, accusing the taxpayer-owned agency of "having its foot on the throats" of WA home builders because its slow release of land was keeping suburban lot prices high.
   Mr Buckeridge, one of WA's richest men, said yesterday he was also concerned about LandCorp's role in thwarting major infrastructure projects through mismanagement of industrial land supply as well as its discouragement of development in the North-West, which was costing the State the chance to change the "fly-in-fly-out" culture of the region.
   Mr Buckeridge's foray into the WA land supply debate came after Labor spokesman Mark McGowan on Tuesday called on the State Government to intervene in a dispute between LandCorp and Malaga-based manufacturing firm Complete that may see the company axe 90 jobs and move offshore to China. Complete says it cannot get land to build a new factory because of LandCorp's inaction.
   It also follows an attack two months ago by transport mogul Lindsay Fox's development arm, which called for LandCorp's "monopoly" over industrial land supply to be broken because the State-owned agency was frustrating its expansion plans.
   Mr Buckeridge said yesterday he was most concerned about LandCorp's participation in private land subdivisions.
   "You have a situation where LandCorp controls so much land that they (effectively) control the market," he said. "They take so long to create land with services and the like, so the price of the house-and-land package goes up enormously."
   Mr Buckeridge said the situation in towns such as Port Hedland and Dampier was "embarrassing" and holding back development of the North-West as well as costing families a chance to enjoy the lifestyle of the area. He called for the head of LandCorp, Ross Holt, to step down for "failing" WA taxpayers.
   Lands Minister Brendon Grylls backed Mr Holt but said he would take Mr Buckeridge's criticism on board.
   Mr Grylls said while he had previously been a critic of LandCorp, its new board was "heading in the right direction" in ensuring the agency stepped aside where private firms were willing to develop properties.
   Complete managing director Emanuel Dillon said that unless the Government intervened to force planning changes by tomorrow, his donga-manufacturing firm would have to shift its operations to China.
   Planning Minister John Day said the matter was before the State Administrative Tribunal. #

   [EXPLANATION: LandCorp is the "jazzy" name of what used to be called something like the Lands Department or the Titles Office, which used to have the duty of policing subdivisions and the like, in the interests of the Crown (read, "the people of Western Australia").  It proudly reports so-called profits. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: Wouldn't housing would become more affordable if less immigration occurred, and if the birthrate returned to replacement rate?  COMMENT ENDS.]
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/australia/austchron3.htm#buckeridge_attacks_landcorp
[Nov 19, 09]
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE NEWS FEED
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE NEWS FEED

ANCHOR LIST, i.e., CONTENTS (After reading an article, use Browser's "Back" button to return to Anchor List)
Buckeridge attacks LandCorp 'inaction'. W. AUSTRALIA: 90 jobs being lost because no approval for a subdivision. Nov 19, 09
Buswell queries vacant lots. PERTH, W. Australia: Letter. The State has 20,000 vacant blocks of land. UCV and double-rating suggested. 28 Oct 09
'Denuded' claim misleads. Corruption and Crime Commissioner replies to Mr Julian Grill's claim he was denuded of legal rights.  The Court of Appeal supported the view that Dr Wally Cox, chairman of the EPA, had seriously misconducted himself by accepting a luncheon date with two lobbyists, and asking for the luncheon location to be more discreet, knowing that the Smith's Beach development application was likely to be discussed.  Mr Grill was not being investigated. PERTH (WA). Feb 24, 09
Developers blamed for housing shortage. W. AUSTRALIA: John Hollywood speaks out. Nov 6, 09
Jailed for lying to CCC. PERTH, W. Australia: [sentenced at private hearing]. Former prison nurse, Helen Louise Knight, had told lies to the Corruption and Crime Commission. Jan 6, 2009
Long-lasting speculation holds back development. Letter to editor praising Housing Minister Buswell asking why there are 20,000 vacant lots in WA, while land prices rise look like rising again. Oct 28, 09
One-sided. Mr Mike Allen writes that John C. Massam was wrong in supporting a recent CCC finding, and that he was a victim of the CCC. PERTH (WA). Feb 24, 09
Our police must be given respect.  Response to the jury letting a family off for attacking police who were breaking up a brawl outside an alcohol-serving premises. PERTH, W.A. Mar 17, 09
[Ownership 51%, protect jobs.] writes Tricia Gibson, Wembley Downs.  Wake-up time; writes Julian Sharp, Pemberton.  Planning vital; writes Robert Blackham, Leeming.  AUSTRALIA. Apr 27, 09
Public Sector Commissioner wrong, not CCC, writes John C. Massam. PERTH (WA). Sent February 19, 2009

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