Posts Tagged ‘Independent’

How much does AUSTRALIA donate in foreign aid?

June 12, 2014

How much does Australia donate to other countries?

 

Australia donates Billions of dollars every year in foreign Aid, even if it has to borrow to meets its obligations.

Australia 1

The amount Australia presently donates is not in line with our UN masters, the following graph shows the massive increases we are being told to make.

Australia 2

The following graphs are the current “AusAid” donations, these do not include massive military costs, the huge Carbon tax payments and various other costs amounting to billions exposed in my articles from last year.

 

5.6 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO SOUTH AND WEST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Afghanistan 165.1 29.1m 172 of 187 Basic service delivery (health and education), rural livelihoods, governance, support for vulnerable populations
Pakistan 92.8 184.8 million 145 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth; governance
Bangladesh 92.0 164.4 million 146 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Sri Lanka 43.5 20.4 million 97 of 187 Humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; education and scholarships; economic growth; climate change and environmental sustainability; governance
Nepal 26.6 29.9 million 157 of 187 Health, education and scholarships
India 25.0 1.2 billion 134 of 187 Climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Bhutan 8.0 708 484 141 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Maldives 5.0 313 920 109 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Regional Programs 7.1 Multiple countries varied Economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Source: AusAID.

 

5.5 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO EAST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Indonesia 558.1 240 million 124 of 187 Education and scholarships; economic growth; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; civil society, justice and democracy; economic and public sector reform; climate change and environmental sustainability
Vietnam 137.9 89 million 128 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability
Philippines 123.1 93.6 million 112 of 187 Education and scholarships; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; climate change and environmental sustainability
East Timor 123.7 1.2 million 147 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Cambodia 77.4 15.1 million 139 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Burma 47.6 50.5 million 149 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 42.1 6.4 million 138 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, governance
China 35.7 1.4 billion 101 of 187 Equitable development, health, climate change and environmental sustainability
Mongolia 12.2 2.7 million 110 of 187 Education, water and sanitation
East Asia Regional Programs 108.0 Multiple countries varied Economic growth; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; health; climate change and environmental sustainability
Source: AusAID.

 

5.4 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO THE PACIFIC—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Papua New Guinea 482.3 6.9 million 153 of 187 Education, health, law and justice, transport infrastructure
Solomon Islands 261.6 515 817 142 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth, equitable development and governance
Vanuatu 70.1 245 786 125 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Samoa 43.7 178 943 99 of 187 Economic growth, health, education and scholarships, governance, climate change and environmental sustainability
Fiji 37.5 854 098 100 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, equitable development, economic growth
Tonga 32.1 104 260 90 of 187 Governance, health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Kiribati 28.2 99 547 122 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth
Nauru 26.2 10 254 unranked Governance, education and scholarships, health, economic growth
Tuvalu 9.9 9 970 unranked Contribution to the Tuvalu Trust Fund, with a focus on improving health and education services
Cook Islands 4.4 19 933 unranked Contributions to NZ aid program, focusing on education, infrastructure, private sector development and water and sanitation
Niue 4.6 1 438 unranked Contribution to the Niue Trust Fund, support for the delivery of essential services
North Pacific 10.7 Multiple countries varied Minor, targeted interventions such as in the environment, public sector strengthening, and water and sanitation areas
Pacific Regional Programs 149.7 Multiple countries varied Education, climate change and environmental sustainability, economic growth, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.7 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Africa Regional Program 291.3 Multiple countries Varied, but comprising many of the lowest-ranked countries Health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Iraq 36.6 31.5 million 132 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Palestinian Territories 56.0 4.4 million 114 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth
Arab Spring Countries 99.5 Multiple countries varied Food security and rural development, post-conflict stabilisation and recovery, humanitarian assistance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.8 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Latin America Regional Program 27.2 Multiple countries varied Rural development, human resource development, natural resource governance
Caribbean Regional Program 20.7 Multiple countries varied Climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

Helping others is not an issue, until you are expected as a nation to go with out the very same services, or the money is borrowed on behalf of your children, but that is a decision for the reader, the latest Liberal governments federal policy, already has people up in arms, and these facts show they will have to find even more money to appease the UN directives.

So did you vote for the Liberals, maybe you voted for Labor, but none of us voted for the UN, and they it appears are dictating policy, I dont see that as democratic.

 

Mark Aldridge

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South Australian state election 2014 results

April 1, 2014
STATE ELECTION RESULTS QUICK GUIDE;
 
There were 1,142,419 voters registered for the 2014 SA state election.
 
Just before the SA 2010 election there were 1,093,316 enrolled voters, yet just before the election this number was reduced to 1,015,386, confirming 77,930 regular voters names temporarily went missing from the electoral rolls?
 
It is possible after attending in 2010 to find ones name no longer on the roll, may have had an affect on voter turn out in 2014. I used regular radio spots to try and ensure people knew the rolls may have been fixed and explain this, but was no longer allowed on air on most stations and time slots, neither were any of my supporters when it came to election conduct.
 
The 2014 election resulted in 1,017,865 votes being cast for the lower house, resulting in 124,563 voters not turning up to vote for the lower house.
 
Interestingly those who did not turn up to vote for the upper house was 95,563, so somehow 28,717 people were able to vote in the upper house but somehow decide to sneak out with the lower house  ballot paper?
 
The counting for the upper house also went up and down, this interesting issue, we are told was due to a few polling booths counting ballot papers twice. I can assume this mistake also will not be made public. 
 
The turn out for the upper house, even though it was somehow higher than for the lower house, was the lowest in recent times which has in itself raised a few eyebrows.
 
I was leaked a winning margin in December 2013 of 1873 votes, although the liberals could have taken 3 extra seats and taken government for around that amount (1984 votes) is all that would have been needed to change 3 lower house seats. In 2010 the winning margins in the required seats was 1250.
 
The final result for the lower house in first preference votes was Liberal 455,797, and Labor 364,420, seeing Labor take office. (In 2010 it was Labor 48% to Liberal 51% in the 2 party count)
 
Coincidentally in 2007 an Independent who had sworn to back the Liberals in his advertising, also backed Labor to take government (for the job of speaker of the house)
 
In 2010 nearly 17,000 postal ballot papers went missing, questions as to where they went have never been answered,  the 2014 election in regards to such issues wont usually be known for at least 6 months, in most cases results like this are not made public.
 
I attempted to find out where missing ballot papers were going during the conduct of the 2014 election to try my best and safe guard peoples votes. However the official P O Box address 666 for the electoral commission (very interesting number) was not used, all up we cam across around 60 different postal and replied paid addresses, too numerous to follow.
 
In 2010 Labor had registered some interesting reply paid addresses including one with the name Isobel Redmond, I have more leaks to follow up to expose what has been done this election.
 
Shamefully these practices are now common place, and changes to electoral law by the 2 major parties continue each year further undermining voters rights. In December 2013 SA electoral law was changed to make it near impossible for minor players and Independents to run, in 2010 the Attorney general (Labors Michael Atkinson) introduced laws to stop people from making online comment with out publishing their full details and home address.
Full details of all electoral law changes will be in my YouTube overview.
 
Informal votes; In the upper house there were 39,636 informal votes, the lower house will take a little work, as an overview is not being published.
 
Several dodgy practices were exposed during the campaign, but the biggest ones in the seats that mattered were kept silent by the media, a usual occurrence.
 
It was here supposedly personal letters were sent to thousands of voters, yet did not carry the usual “Authorised by” information, in each case these letters asked voters to back Labor in both houses.
 
I had run a campaign over the past few elections for voters to use a Pen when filling in the ballot paper, simply because many scrutineers reported to me, what appeared to be modified votes, marks on the ballot paper in pencil simply rubbed out and re-done.
 
This resulted in the Electoral commission during the 2014 election running a massive campaign called “The power of the pencil” to promote people using a pencil, I will leave that as a question for you to ponder.
 
Personal information already provided to me has again made the use of pencils a concern, but those who were privy to these issues are contracted to remain silent by the commission in the same way they were in 2010, so whistle blowers are unable to come forward.
 
Issues are as usual flooding in, names missing from the rolls, names appearing twice, multiple voting, dodgy advertising, flyers and promises, posters being stolen and even dodgy posters.
 
Reports of missing postal ballot papers, dead people remaining on the roll and the like appear to be as bad as previous years, reports from those counting the votes in regards to changed ballot papers showed an increase.
 
In several booths I have received video evidence of an assortment of issues from Labor members in the booths to parties standing right by the entrance door, and a variety of electoral breaches, in the most these were Labor members and supporters.
 
Other interesting new tactics that have come up include; Party buses (political) bringing in the elderly, extensive use of recorded phone messages and unique counting times and procedures.
 
A brief YouTube documentary will be available in the coming weeks.
 
Mark Aldridge
 
Please see below for previous exposes, photos and links.
Mark Aldridge exposes massive electoral fraud at the SA Public launch of the Australian Alliance
The day after this speech it was revealed the state government amended electoral law once again to ensure they face NO opposition in the upper house, with leaks exposing they intend to introduce assoc…

 

Labor party in SA take an Axe to Democracy

December 1, 2013

The day the government destroyed democracy

By the Australian Alliance

 The south Australian government take to democracy with an axe, having only scraped in to government over the past few terms; the Labor party in SA push though laws to ensure they face less opposition.

New laws passed last night will limit the number of candidates on the ballot. The changes will mean only registered parties or groups with 500 nominees can lodge a preference ticket. Independent candidates will now need 250 nominees, instead of just two.

 

This is a massive change when you add in the fact that our electoral rolls are a mess and electors are reluctant to endure the scrutiny of the electoral commission if they dare endorse a candidate, would mean minor players would need double this amount of nominations, the major parties would need NONE.

The cost to nominate has also increased from $450 to $3,000. And the existing parties that passed these laws will be given preferential placement on of the left of the ballot paper, over independents, undermining any resemblance of fair play or democratic practice.

This massive increase in costs on top of the huge costs of trying to compete with the 2 major parties makes ones candidacy basically out of reach, more so when we add in time of work, petrol and the many other costs associated with running as a candidate.

The massive issue here that goes beyond this attack on our democratic process and the virtue of our constitution is that these very changes were sought by the very party that dared use dodgy tactics to gain power in the first place.

With the major parties also using their political connections with in local councils, to even attack vote one poster placements of minor players, it is all but game set match in their favour.

The upper house is indeed the house of review, the very place that independent voices are needed, and these recent changes replace the fact the government have wanted to abolish it for year, now they just want to make it their own rubberstamp.

 It also takes time to get the true results of an election, well for the people, and even then it is never made public, seems it is best we don’t know what happens in our Democracy.

The last SA state election was in March 2010, some of the true facts were uncovered in the court of disputed returns a few months later, but there remains little to no reporting of the facts. 

Only a year later, facts on the huge multiple voting that occurred were published in a back room article, but the tens of thousands of missing ballot papers and the fact over 77,000 missed out on their vote, because their names went missing of the electoral roll, uncovered within a couple of months of the election is seemingly not newsworthy.

The electoral commission would have been well aware of such a huge mistake, but chose not it appears to make this fact public.

It is also not worthy of exposure that the court confirmed “regardless of the conduct or count of a general election, the results cannot be invalidated, something I find atrocious, let alone the many other hidden facts, like the governments own crown solicitors arguing that our common law rights of elections no longer apply to have my case struck out, even though they bloody well do and parliament had confirmed that! 

So let’s get down to the facts and figures; 

1,093,316 people were enrolled to vote in South Australia by the latest reports, yet during the election the figure was 1,015,386. The AEC confirming that over 77,000 names went missing of the rolls, and many who did vote received fines for not voting, in fact had voted? Was this the result of the introduction of the new I-rolls or simply total mismanagement? 

“I believe the new I rolls being used for the first time, resulted in these 77,000 long term voters missing out on their vote, either way, the amount of people who missed out is unacceptable, and the results of the election should therefore be invalid”.

Multiple voting ran rife, but the figures have not been published, just as the many dead people who voted, or the many registered at addresses that no longer exist. 

For me it was the lack of information on how to vote and who was running, my how to vote website went from 50 hits a month to over 30,000 in a couple of days, the Electoral commissions web services went from 70,000 at the 2006 election to near 250,000 in 2010, coincidently the same year the how to vote booklet was no longer sent out, even though the Act itself demands the electoral commissioner ensures you are well informed.   

“No Person, government department or the media are expected in any way to inform people of their choices, not even the electoral act ensures that” 

Declared institutions were reduced, resulting in many of our most vulnerable missing out on their vote, let alone the many reports of undue influence. Some voters in Hospitals and nursing homes, reported they were asked the question “Labor or Liberal” from their room door, and the ballot filled in for them? 

Postal voting had a major increase due to the major parties sending out hundreds of thousands of postal vote applications, up near 40,000, of which over 6,500 applications were dismissed as dodgy, and over 16,500 ballot papers that were sent out simply went missing, a number far in excess of the winning margins. (25,000 applications failed or ballots went missing, enough to change the results of many seats) 

I note here the state Labor party had registered the name of the opposition leader “Isobel Redman” as a reply paid address, so as to intercept voter information, prior to the election, this it seems is acceptable practice to the Labor party officials, in the same way as dressing up as another party and deceiving voters at the polling booths.

The 2 party preferred counting, a system resulting from the structural biases of letting the 2 major parties control electoral law, resulted in 48% to Labor and 51% to Liberal, despite that fact Labor were elected, against the preference of the South Australian people. (1250 votes the winning margin)

44,100 people failed to vote, 22,807 were excused and 21,293 were fined, add these figures to the missing ballot papers, the invalid votes, the 77,000 missing names and the any other abnormalities, then consider the result votes wise now matches the electors, and something sinister has occurred. (Over 10,000 people were send enforcement orders)

“Consider these figures when we take in the fact, many attended to vote and found their names missing of the rolls, the new I-rolls, and the many reports of those who did vote, receiving letters from the electoral commission saying they did not”?

“Just a note here, the recent bi-election for Ramsay was decided on 70% of the vote, because around 30% of people entitled to vote, either did not show up, their vote was informal or more likely conduct issues arose, the media in this case again ignored the outcome and indeed any other candidates besides the Labor candidate” google and see for yourself, articles in the Ramsay election only covered the Labor candidate!

The political parties themselves handled over 58,632 postal vote applications, remembering the Labor party had the name Isobel Redmond registered as a reply paid address, so information sent to Isobel, actually ended up with in the Labor party offices, so they knew the preference of tens of thousands of voters. 

There was also a 71% increase in complaints received by the commission, plus a vast amount of complaints of an ethical nature, a clear indication, and the election strayed from what we believe to be a democratic process. 

In the legislative council ballot, near 6% of votes were informal, a massive figure even though the Electoral commission made it clear many of these people had tried to cast a valid vote, again in excess of winning margins, and many voters simply didn’t even try to cast a vote. 

Over 20.5 % of informal votes, would have been formal under optional preferential voting, consider; our chief justice Murray Gleeson, confirmed our entitlement “if change be necessary, must be made by the Freewill of an Informed electorate” interesting enough, the Act actually says such votes should be counted, but that would offend the 2 party systems? (38% in the Adelaide district alone) 

The Electoral Act clearly states “if a ballot paper is not filled in a manner required by this act, but the voters intention is clear, then the vote will count” yet the voters intention is able to be guessed by the commissioner, who the hell can guess a person’s intent beyond what they have marked?

“And yes this guess favours the 2 party system”

58,714 upper house ballot papers were informal; with get this a 2.2% Administration error?  34.6% informal votes again were confirmed as attempts to vote formally, enough votes in doubt to change the government is SA in many ways on its own. 

Total costs to us of this debacle 8.9 Million   Labor dressed up as another party, and gave out dodgy information on the day of the election to dupe voters, and this is the party leading our state, deplorable.

I took all this to court self represented to try and restore democracy, not only was my hard work ignored by our media, after I lost on a technical issue, which was later found wanting, some of the media labelled me a nut job.

This raises and question of ethics, if a journo lives in SA, one would think that such abhorrent practices would affect themselves and their family?

 For the next 2 years, I received letters from the court offering me money, even though I supposedly lost, raising another question also ignored by the media.

During the trial I was shown video that would have resulted in jail terms for many members of a particular party, but this was only offered as evidence if I could secure a trial, because the person that had it, feared reprisals.

The Outcome is simple the Labor Party won by a hand full of votes, yet informal votes massively exceeded their winning totals, dodgy postal ballot applications also far exceeded their win, missing ballot papers could have well changed the outcome, let alone a host of other major issues, even the multiple voting standing alone could have changed the result.

I was contacted by Electoral staff on a variety of issues, yet they are signed to confidential clauses, so could not come forward in public, one of those was the checking of the rolls where they found massive issues during spot checks, again this was silenced.

The Labor party were caught red handed impersonating another party to dupe voters, and their registering of the opposition leaders name as a reply paid, also allowed them to intercept voters information, statutory decelerations in the hundreds described a mired of other dodgy practices, which never made court scrutiny, therefore remaining un proven, including undue influence, misleading advertising and many other issues. 

The Electoral Commission is well aware of all these issues, and I can only assume dozens more, the list of departures from ideal and legislated conduct are huge including;

  • People being turned away from the polling booths based on the dress standards.
  • Polling booths running out of ballot papers.
  • People being denied their right to both replacement ballot papers and absentee ballots.
  • Dodgy practices outside the polling booths.
  • How to vote information and preferencing information absent from the booths.
  • The How to vote guide which used to be posted to every home was dropped.
  • Candidate access to other candidates information for Preferencing unavailable in time.
  • Previously declared institutions missed out on mobile polling.
  • People were asked to vote under others names.
  • The list is endless and I mean it

Under Common law the people have certain voting rights, yet this election was not one that was comfortable at law, it strayed so far from the legislated requirements it was not in fact a legal election, so the results should have been invalidated and a new and honest election ought to have been held, while we are at it, let’s debate reforms, so future elections are democratic.

1.   77,000 long term voters missed out on their vote (ask your friends)

2.   16,500 postal ballot papers went missing

3.   6,500 postal ballot applications were invalidated

4.   An unknown quantity of people were turned away for various reasons and many did not receive a ballot paper

5.   Many made mistakes and were refused replacement ballot papers

6.   People who did vote were fined for not voting (what happened to their votes?)

7.   58,714 upper house voters ballot papers were deemed invalid and not counted, even though most tried to cast a vote (if the information was available to assist them what would have happened to their votes and the outcome in general?)

8.   Nearly 200,000 extra on line hits seeking how to vote information, proves the electoral commissions lack of information expected under the Act, had an influence on the outcome.

  “So much for our entitlement to a free and informed vote”  

Compare the results of the election with the above figures:

1.   In the upper house count candidates were excluded by votes as low as 17 in total

2.   In the lower house seats were won by votes of around 2000 in most cases, from 167, many under 1000 votes, so the swing created by a legal and fair election, could change the whole political landscape

3.   There are well over 120,000 votes in doubt.

The state election was not a valid election by way of either the dodgy legislation or our common law right to a vote, even our constitutional entitlement was ignored well in excess of the winning margins, the State Labor party have NO right to lead this state, and the tens of thousands of voters who missed out or had their ballot papers go missing, deserve their right to a free vote!

We now see issues with missing ballot papers finally in the news, albeit minor cases, the 2013 federal election appears to have endured similar diversions from democratic practice, but I note facts and figures for most seats are now NOT BEING RELEASED to the public or the candidates!

All preference flows and final results for the federal election from south Australians federal electoral commission are not to be released, even upon request from the candidates themselves.

So our constitution is now so down trodden, that its values are extinct, to run as an independent or minor party is now out of reach, which results in the genuine voice of the people all but banned from parliament.

This ensures applications to the court of disputed returns cannot be lodged in event of irregularities.

The sad fact is this; if this conduct explained here is to remain covered up, what conduct will we expect to see during the South Australian 2014 state election?

Mark M Aldridge

Independent candidate and spokesperson for the Australian Alliance (electoral reform division)

82847482 / 0403379500

QLD becoming the police state of Australia

November 5, 2013

 

QLD is leading the world in abhorrent laws, now the new laws passed to deal with the G20 summit in QLD next year show the true direction for civil liberties in Australia

Police Minister Jack Dempsey says people living inside special security zones in Brisbane and Cairns will be barred from their homes and given up to $200 to stay elsewhere if they are identified as a risk by federal authorities.

The G20 bill passed by the state parliament late on Tuesday, approved payments covering accommodation for those with a criminal background, plus their dependents.

In a massive list of items prohibited in the security zones between November 14 and 17 next year include eggs, a bag of flour, manure, kites, surfboards, canoes, kayaks, toy cars and model aircraft as examples

Weapons including longbows and slingshots will also be banned, and get this “reptiles, insects or other animal capable of causing physical harm if released”.

Background checks would be based on local and international intelligence and would affect anyone with a criminal history or those that have attended rallies or protests in the past.

The offenders need not have past offences in the state of Queensland.

“We are expecting 99 per cent of people will be able to go freely once they have had their crim history checked,” reporters were told by police on Wednesday.

“If there are people who the authorities think will put the operation at risk, those people will be advised that they will not be able to go into those restricted areas.”

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman said the removals seemed extreme; the Australian Alliance has also raised issues with the new laws and their impact on civil liberties.

“If you have a conviction for a terrorist offence then that may be a justification,” but to include any person with criminal history which may include traffic offences, then these laws have stepped well over the mark.

If one has an undefined criminal history and is then moved from their homes for the G20, that is not the type of actions we need in this country.

Officials have used previous G20s in Toronto in 2010 and Russia this year as their guide.

The new laws, which are to lapse after the summit, make it easier for officers to strip search and arrest troublemakers, the issue here is how we define trouble makers.

New offences for actions such as disrupting meetings and crossing barriers have also been created.

Mr Dempsey the police minister said police could detain people if they had reasonable suspicions a crime may be committed.

The Police went on to say “We are making sure that obviously the rights and liberties of the community are protected, in that people will be able to protest but, protest in a way that does not bring fear or apprehension to other people who are here visiting from the G20.”

People do indeed have a right to protest, as well as to feel safe in the community, but these laws tread too heavily on the rights and liberties of everyone.

The ideal police can come through a person home, removing eggs, flour and even surfboards, is ridiculous, let alone restrict people from entering their own homes.

Other recent laws in QLD resulted in police asked to break the law, mandatory sentencing regardless of criminal actions, intimidation of the innocent, association laws, laws that keep a person from their home or business et al.

It seems QLD is becoming the police state of Australia, where the rights and freedoms of the people, now come second to parliament and the corporate sector, a very frightening direction for all Australians.

Mark Aldridge

Who to vote for in Wakefield electorate “Federal election 2013” by Mark Aldridge

August 17, 2013
To the people of Wakefield, I entered the political arena over 10 years ago to fight to keep Australia on track, to maintain the ideal that we were the lucky country and ensure my children enjoy the very same freedoms and opportunity’s I had as a child.
Since then taxation continues to be applied without respect to equity, we now have more taxes, levies, fines, rules, and laws. We pay higher rates, fee’s, and utilities than nearly every nation and we mow face more red tape than ever.
Our human and civil rights are eroded every time new legislation is written, our education and health care receives lest funding every year and our education system fails more than acceptable levels of our children.
Over recent years we have spiralled down from 17 hospital beds per thousand Australians to under 3, and there is no end in sight.
The basic cost of living and our nation’s debt are rising out of control, while our services and basic infrastructure falls behind, an issue our children will pay heavily for if we don’t reverse the trend.
I also learnt very quickly that our system of democracy is undermined by the very fact those that write the laws, have the most to gain from the inclusion of structural biases.
So I decided many years ago to try and lead by example, I took action in the courts to empower our voting rights, uncovering tens of thousands of missing votes and ballot papers, along with many dodgy practices, yet the courts told me “the results of a general election stand, regardless of the conduct or the count”.
I held rallies on many topics including support for children with disabilities, carers, law and order, environmental and carbon trading, democracy, animal welfare, water resources, farming and a variety of rights based issues.
I then stepped heavily info the farming and primary production industries, firstly taking on the might of Woolworths and Cole’s, and opposing their excessive slice or the retail trade and unethical their treatment of our farmers and producers.
My work grew from rallies and on line protests, and attempts to secure honest product labelling to both supporting and opening my own markets to unite the community direct with the farmers and growers themselves “Farm Direct” community markets.
The outcome has been a great success, new farms are being planted, producers are getting a fair price for their produce and the community reap the rewards of more affordable and fresh produce all heaped together with in a safe family atmosphere.
I speak on behalf of many groups and alongside many compassionate and caring people, and have spoken all over the country for over 14 years self funded, I do not back down from a fight or overzealous red-tape, and I always honour my promises without consideration to personal costs.
Nothing will stop me from fighting for what I believe or helping those in the community in need, the only benefit of being elected will be the extra resources and a stronger voice to ensure our voices are heard.
Here is a list of a few of my ideals in brief;
  • Electoral reforms, to empower free and informed voting, abolishment of full preferential voting, improved services, increased security and complete up to date electoral rolls.
  • Stop the sale of our land, farms, water and vital infrastructure to foreign investment.
  • The regulation of our grocery industry, to ensure genuine competition and protect the best interests of our farmers and consumers.
  • Increase financial assistance to rebuild the farming industry to make Australia’s food bowl one of the world’s major food exporters.
  • Improved product labelling and shelving allocation including place of origin.
  • An overhaul of the animal welfare laws, and support services for private rescue groups and shelter operators.
  • Equity in taxation between local and offshore based industry.
  • Protection of our aquifers and the increased adoption of storm water harvesting as a national recharge system.
  • The relief of cost of living pressures through lowering staple food costs, cheaper access to potable water and energy regulation and innovation.
  • The introduction of a national buy back scheme with government guaranteed low interest rates to restore Aussie farms and infrastructure, back into Australian ownership.
  • Fight to reduce local red-tape by the abolishment of payroll and land tax, to stimulate the economy, as well as reigning in council bi-laws.
  • Lobby for a “Bill of rights” which would be debated in public hearings then be attached by referendum to our constitution. The bill of rights must override all government legislation and must become a part of the national curriculum.
  • Increased investment in the disability and mental health sector, in education, carer services and support, the abolition of all critical waiting lists. The introduction of NIDS and further investment in social inclusion programs are essential.
  • To demand reform to our court system to bring back affordability and equity, with a strong public consultation process in regards to the family courts.
  • Work-Cover reforms with in management, board positions and contracts to improve services and the cost affects on small business.
  • A more compassionate and equitable approach to border security and immigration, which takes in the best interests of the applicants and that of the Australian people and their way of life.
  • Tackle the increased lack of internet security including on line gambling and social networking accountability.
  • The restoration of registration labels.
  • Address the shortfalls in funding to our pensioners and veterans to bring them back into line with the cost of living and ensure future increases keep up with CPI.
Like most small business owners, paying the bills has become hard enough on its own, and the fact my wife and I also fund our native wildlife sanctuary, simply means I will not be able to keep up this pace forever without your support.
I won’t ask for your money, what I do need is your help, your time and your precious vote as a reward for my actions, and if you entrust me with it, I will do my very best to make you proud you did.
Mark Aldridge
Independent federal Candidate for Wakefield.

Referendum 2013 “Local councils are not government” VOTE NO!

July 23, 2013
Local councils and the 2013 referendum
THE VOTE NO ARGUMENT
I have written a lot of articles on the issue of local councils and the constitution, but here is a quick overview that relates to the up and coming referendum.
The date of the referendum is up in the air as of this week, with the change from Gillard to Rudd, as the referendum must be held 2 months after passing the senate, the date must be after the 24th of August, the G20 summit is a week before the original date of the 14th of September, and Rudd will want to be there, so September the 14th or later would be an educated guess.
In the past 40 years local councils have grown into a powerful corporate structure writing laws, issuing taxes, fines, charges, licences, registrations, building development and a host of increasing red tape all being inflicted on both the community and Australian small business.
It is interesting that councils have obtained the power to do all this from state government legislation, not by way of the public debate nor constitutional recognition, in fact when the people of Australia were asked if we wished to see the “establishment and continuance” of local councils, we said NO?
Since around 1920 local councils have been funded by the federal government via the states, simply because it is state legislation that empowers and police’s local councils, not federal legislation nor the constitution itself.
“This funding arrangement still exists and has served us well for nearly a century; it ensures the separation of powers in our constitution are upheld.”
Without this separation of powers, the commonwealth would be able to bypass the state and impose their own ideals on local governance using the power of their considerable local funding promises to manipulate local policy.
The reason councils were never included in the constitution is that local councils were never considered a level of government, so in recent years the federal Labor governments have tried to side step the states to intervene in local issues, in 1974 (Whitlam) and 1988 (Hawke) called for referendums that asked the Australian public if we indeed wanted the establishment or continuance of local governments and the Australian people voted a clear No!
When the people by way of a referendum say NO, to words like “establishment and continuance” it should mean just that, yet these private corporations have continued to flourish and expand their powers over most local community issues, using bluff over substance.
The 1974 and 1988 referendums were funded by the commonwealth with both the Yes and No arguments receiving equal funding, to ensure transparency, even though private donations fell behind the Yes argument.
Interestingly the 2013 Labor government backed referendum has led to some interesting funding arrangements, first of all the LGA started pooling rate payer’s moneys over 12 months ago,  well before we the people were aware of the impending referendum.
The federal government then showed their true cards, by a 95%/5% split in allocation of funding, 9.5 million to back the yes argument, and only 0.5 million on the no side of the debate, even the booklet going out to every Australian home has the no argument buried at the back.
Our Constitution was created through open and honest debate, so any changes to it must be made in the same manner, and from that stand point it has already failed!
For any federal government to disregard democracy at such a grass roots level is a disgrace, in the same way allowing rate payers money to be used to empower local councils without the approval of their constitutions just goes to prove where this referendum is going, and what the results will be if we dare vote yes.
The issue here is one of 3 strikes and you are out, so the YES argument is going to be sold any way it can, and we all know what that means, when questioned on the issue Anthony Albanese said “If the outcome is a NO vote it won’t matter” that being the case, why spend all the tax payer and rate payers money, on asking a question the Australian people have already clearly answered twice.
When the 74 and 88 referendums failed the state government exceeded their powers under the constitution, and wrote legislation that purported to empower local councils that were now a corporate structure, in an attempt to have them seen as a third tier of government.
An interesting side note here is that the states have no right to raise taxes, yet the legislation written in an attempt to empower local councils, allows them that very right, because rates are indeed a tax.
How can a state government pass on powers it doesn’t even enjoy in its own right?
The big sell on voting YES is nothing more than a load of rubbish, the LGA quote a recent high court case that restricts the commonwealth from directly funding local government, and of course that is the case, because local councils are not a tier of government, and secondly the commonwealth has no right to fund them, because that is what the protections found in our separation of powers is all about.
The commonwealth funding has always passed through the state governments hands, and so it should, when questioned on the looming referendum, Labor made it clear, if the referendum ends in another NO vote, nothing will change, so the LGA’s sell, that it will affect its funding is nothing more than fear mongering.
What many people forget, Labor for many years has used local councils as a training ground for their budding members, so empowerment of a local corporation into the realm of governance has the ability to impede in many ways the federal structure of our nation.
The most important issue supporting a NO vote is the ability to police local councils, because the only power to do so is the State governments, should the Commonwealth get control of the councils, then who polices them? We have state governments, state laws, state courts and state authorities, we have federal governments, federal courts and federal authorities’, if local councils corporations become a quazi form of local government, who would police their actions?
Dare we the Australian people risk another tier of government that has no independent checks and balances, let alone continue to allow the councils to act in the ways they presently do, from my point of view, we should take way some of their powers, or at the very least define what they are, because the constitution and the people clearly give them none.
Never forget that local council CEO’s are paid more than our Prime Minister  just in case you wonder where your council rates end up. story here
Writing laws that are used against the people, issuing taxes where they have no rights and the increased intrusion into our lives has already become unacceptable conduct, so the last thing we need do is give them more power.
As a Community advocate and a small business owner, I could and will list some of the issues we are already confronted with when dealing with a corporation who think they are tier of government.
Wanting to enter private properties with out warrants, tell us how to clean our homes and even our garden sheds, how long our grass will be, what colour we paint our walls, how we conduct business, where we place signs, how many pets, the issue of fines, rates, registrations, development planning, how we use our parks, our car parks and our land, applications to hold a family get together, demands to have liability insurance to hold a family BBQ in a public park, I could go on and on and on.
“The fact we must have checks and balances is one thing, intrusion into every aspect of our lives is another, but giving local corporations the power of government will only bring with it more red tape and massive increases in the cost of living”.
Try selling your excess eggs, bake a cake for a fundraiser, or sell tomato sauce from your front lawn, and you will find out exactly how far their supposed powers have taken them, voting yes will only make it worse. Imagine local wannabe politicians wielding even more power without any credible checks and balances.
Imagine the federal government being able to side step our state government and enter our homes through local corporations they control, without local authorities being able to protect us.
There are rafts or reasons to vote NO, since 1906 only 8 out of 44 referendums have passed, simply because changes to our constitution can have huge ramifications, because what may appear as simple word changes can bring with them a raft of interpretations, which I cover in detail on my website.
The people that debated the words in our constitution did so in the best interests of our nation, and even though successive governments have done all in their power to water down its protections, it still remains a very powerful tool and indeed.
“It is more than evident that those who now wish to change our constitution do not have those same best interests in mind, so I will vote no for that reason alone”.
Mark Aldridge
Independent candidate for Wakefield
82847482 / 0403379500

What is “The Australian Constitution:

November 8, 2012

What is the Australian Constitution?

The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Constitution was approved in referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), originally an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

“The Australian people helped write and pass the constitution as a document to protect the people and the integrity of our system of politics and justice”

Royal Assent was given by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900, upon which date the Constitution became law. It came into force on 1 January 1901 by virtue of a proclamation issued by Queen Victoria on 17 September 1900, pursuant to section 3 of the Act.

The Statute of Westminster 1931 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom, freeing Australia from legislation of what was becoming a foreign power, the UK.

The Australia Act 1986 removed the power of the United Kingdom parliament to change the Constitution as in force in Australia, and the Constitution can now only be changed in accordance with the prescribed referendum procedures.

Australia referred to two Acts at the same time, respectively, as the Australia Act 1986 (Cth) and the Australia Act 1986 (UK). These nearly identical Acts were passed by the two parliaments in Australia and the United Kingdom to come into effect simultaneously, because of uncertainty as to which of the two parliaments had the actual authority to do so, or maybe because neither wanted to wear the consequences.

The Australia act and the previous Statue of Westminster 1831, slowly took the power away from the queen to invalidate legislation, or makes demands on our parliament, something very few Australians were privy to.

“These acts also took away the powers of the queen to sack either representatives or the government, which empowered those who enacted the Act, rather than improved the position of the people or the nation as a whole”.

The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act made Australia an independent nation (though it had been a de facto independent for many years before then), while the Australia Act was written to sever the last remaining constitutional links between Australia and the United Kingdom.

Under Australia’s common law system, the High Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia have the authority to interpret constitutional provisions. Their decisions determine the interpretation and application of the constitution.

Changes to the constitution are only possible by referenda, where the people directly vote on any proposed changes, while the constitution itself protects the Australian people against its own governance, and provides power to the judiciary, over recent years both the courts and the government have attempted to water down those protections.

Since the enactment of the Australia Act, it appears the governments have come to believe they can now write legislation that tries to skip around the protections inherent in our constitution, in fact it is also worth noting that the judiciary also at times forget the importance of this founding document, clearly showing a preference to back government legislation even when it clearly is outside the powers of the government to so write.

The very fact that the constitution is out of sight out of mind, and in fact very much unknown to the people of Australia, in recent years parliament and our court system act as if it no longer exists, the words “The constitution no longer applies in this court” have been heard by my ears on many occasions, yet when legislation is questioned in the high court, it has become a regular occurrence to see poorly written legislation fail.

What the people of Australia dare not forget, is the constitution was written by us, to protect not only the people but to ensure a fair system of justice, the very fact that our present parliament and indeed our prime minister have turned their backs on our founding document, diminishes their position, not the protections and value of the Constitution itself.

“In recent times attacks on our constitution have been many, the demise of our property rights, commercialising water, the existence of local government, any taxation imposed that is not issued by the federal government like for instance council rates, the structural biases in our electoral system, inequity in laws between the states, legislative attacks on minority groups and many more”.

The government register all their departments as corporate entities, like the NRM (National resource management) which at law appears to mean we must be in contract with these government departments or supposed local governments, before we interact with them, yet the legislation that empowers such organisations provides them powers that appear beyond the scope of our government to so issue.

You will also find by way of a simple Google search that the Australia government has also become a corporate entity registered in the US, the governments answer to this unique situation is one of “We have to register our nation to be able to do business with other nations”, what a load of garbage, Australia has successfully dealt with other nations, as a sovereign nation, without the need to be dictated to.

I will make note at this stage on the need to consider an easier method of the protection and understanding of our rights, simply because years of casual study still leaves the air of uncertainty for even those considered experts on the issues of civil and human rights, let alone acceptance of our legislative agenda.

“A simplified bill of rights that can become a high school subject, and become retrospective on current legislation, appears the most educated way forward.”

The greatest issue facing our long and short term future is the known fact that those in a position to bring change, and those we elect to protect our best interests, are the very same people working to take your rights and liberty’s away.

Our present Prime Minister Julia Gillard did not take the oath under the schedule of our constitution to be sworn in as prime minister, an issue which our constitution deems “Representatives incapable of sitting”

Section 46;  Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.

 

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 42 Oath or affirmation of allegiance  

                  

Every senator and every member of the House of Representatives shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor‑General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution. 

 

The question worthy here, is if our own prime minister can become ignorant of our founding document, then are we the people left with no protections in our own country?

 

On 3/9/1988 a referendum with the following context (provided by the AEC) was put to the Australian people. It was (3) Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 1988. The legislative proposal was,

“119A. Each State shall provide for the establishment & continuance of a system of local government, with local government bodies elected in accordance with the laws of the State & empowered to administer, and to make by-laws, for their respective areas in accordance with the laws of the State.”

 

The result of this referendum was the people voted NO, yet local government now write law, without the right, the knowledge or the capacity to police or administer, tax their constituents (rates), issue fines, and cover local business in expensive red tape.

 

Yet these organisations never existed before the Constitution, they were not involved in public debate when writing the constitution, and their attempts to be recognised or even continue to exist, were knocked back by the Australian people, so not only do they have no right to exist, any legislation that attempts to empower them is invalid, if indeed the constitution still holds any value.

 

We see headlines that the councils are considering taking people’s homes for non payment of the Taxes, yet if like me you read high court cases, the outcomes beg to differ, so could it be considered that most law being used is only as valid as the peoples lack of knowledge, or have our rights genuinely been taken by stealth.

 

The constitution also covers taxation, in fact not so long ago, the high court acknowledged that only the federal government could collect taxation,

 

“The High Court of Australia ruled that “State Governments could not raise ANY TAX” and because of this the ‘State Excise on Fuel, Tobacco & Alcohol’ was removed.”

 

Clearly in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution and confirmed by the Constitutional Commission (1985 – 1988) report that the power of taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.

 

So consider some of the massive costs that affect our lives, starting with Councils, who charge us rates and believe they have the ability to dictate local policy, is a state government cannot tax its people, how can the local council tax us, or are they bluffing?

 

“John Winston Howard, Peter Howard Costello & ’Commissioner for Taxation’ Michael Joseph Carmody all stated before the introduction of the infamous “Goods and Services Tax”, Quote:  “Local government Council Rates will attract no GST because Council Rates are a tax and we can’t tax a tax”, similar questions could be asked about land tax!

 

“If the Parliament of the State did not have the powers to empower local government before the Referendum, they were most certainly prohibited from having them after the Referendum.”

 

Note; A ‘rateable person within the meaning of the local government act 1995’ did not exist at the time of the federation of the states into a commonwealth. It can be seen then, that since ‘local government’ did not exist at the time of Federation, then there can be no continuance of local government or its laws beyond the NO of the Australian people?

 

When as citizens we try to grasp exactly what our rights are, we are not only confronted with a mired of information, it is the interpretation of words and understanding of precedents that empowers self determination in our judicial system and our ability to deal with government, something I consider the sole domain of societies wealthy, leaving us at the mercy of misinformation and what could easily be described as “Stand over tactics”.

 

So let’s look through a few more sections of the constitution, and consider whether its ideals are still protecting us as a sovereign nation, and if indeed our representatives are still acting in both the constitution and our best interests.

 

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 80

Trial by jury

The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.

Yet we see trial by jury denied in many cases, where indeed it can only be denied by the mutual decision of both parties to an action.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 47

Disputed elections

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any question respecting the qualification of a senator or of a member of the House of Representatives, or respecting a vacancy in either House of the Parliament, and any question of a disputed election to either House, shall be determined by the House in which the question arises.

The Parliament no longer hear such cases, and state electoral legislation now allows disputed returns to be heard by a single judge, overriding once again our constitutional protections, in a case I held in 2010, the outcome “Regardless of the conduct of an election, a general election cannot be invalidated” even when the election under common law strayed so far from the legislative protections it was not an election at law.

Going further, the aforementioned case evidenced tens of thousands of missing names, tens of thousands of missing ballot papers and over 25 offences of the protections of the act itself. (Full details under the article “Democracy the whole truth” on my website

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 117

Rights of residents in States

A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State.

Therefore issues like the trial of the basics card in underprivileged areas, is again legislation that offends this Act, it also implies that the bill of rights enjoyed by the Victorian residents, by way of this section, applies to all Australians, which would undermine most recent legislative changes, which all have sections that are ignorant of the protections we deserve, or would apply under a bill of rights.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – CLAUSE 5

Operation of the Constitution and laws [see Note 3]

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.

If referenda are of value to the constitution and its primary goals, then referenda results apply across the Nation in every parliament and court.

I have heard the words many times in all levels of our court system “The constitution does not apply in our courts” begging the question, “can our courts exist without it?”

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 8

Qualification of electors

The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once.

The constitution allows one vote, not a vote that can be devalued and or passed on, without the will of the elector being known, in fact recent election conduct, has exposed that an electoral commission may “guess and electors intent beyond that they have marked” allowing a single vote to be transferred, even if the electors mark determines a different result of their will. (see result of court of disputed returns 2007 SA supreme court acting as)

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 109

Inconsistency of laws

When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

Yet go to court over say a speeding fine, to find the devise that is telling the court you were committing an offence, does not comply with commonwealth legislation, but it does comply with state legislation, and the later is upheld, we indeed have issues.

Recently in the courts I proved a current devise did not comply with law, state or commonwealth, yet the outcome was the fine still stands, so has the law become an ass?

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 128

Mode of altering the Constitution [see Note 1]

This Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner:

The proposed law for the alteration thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of each House of the Parliament, and not less than two nor more than six months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall be submitted in each State and Territory to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.

But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority, and the other House rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with any amendment to which the first‑mentioned House will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the first‑mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House, and such other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first‑mentioned House will not agree, the Governor‑General may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first‑mentioned House, and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed to by both Houses, to the electors in each State and Territory qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives.

When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes. But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one‑half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.

And if in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approve the proposed law, and if a majority of all the electors voting also approve the proposed law, it shall be presented to the Governor‑General for the Queen’s assent.

No alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State in either House of the Parliament, or the minimum number of representatives of a State in the House of Representatives, or increasing, diminishing, or otherwise altering the limits of the State, or in any manner affecting the provisions of the Constitution in relation thereto, shall become law unless the majority of the electors voting in that State approve the proposed law.

If the people say NO, that means NO, if the constitution is to be altered, then we have the final say, we the people, the terms are simple.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 100

Nor abridge right to use water

The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.

 

AUSTRALIA ACT 1986
– SECT 5
Commonwealth Constitution, Constitution Act and Statute of

Westminster not affected

Sections 2 and 3(2) above:

(a) are subject to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act and to the Constitution of the Commonwealth; and
(b) do not operate so as to give any force or effect to a provision of an Act of the Parliament of a State that would repeal, amend or be repugnant to this Act, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, the Constitution of the Commonwealth or the Statute of Westminster 1931 as amended and in force from time to time.

It appears parliament misunderstood the application of the Australia act 1886, because the act does not impede but rather support the protections and separation of powers that accompanied its proclamation.

The mere fact the Australia Act took away the powers of the queen under the constitution, did not with its application take away any of the people’s rights under the constitution.

The debate surrounding the introduction of the Australia Act were based around the removal of the queens powers found in the constitution, but did not go as far as affecting the schedule, or in fact the oath, and in respect an Act that changes the substance of the constitution, ought to have been approved by the people as part and parcel of the protections the constitution awarded in any respect.

With our a clear referenda supporting the Australia Act, it seems debatable such an Act is valid without consent by referenda, but in any respect its affects do not and never could support the current actions of state, federal of local governments.

As a sovereign nation, we have never had to stand up for our rights, other than the eureka stockade where many stood proud for our right to vote, so it is time now to stand behind our constitution, to demand its protections are upheld, and to look for an educated way forward in respect of our rights and liberties.

My position is we need to make our rights and liberty’s known, a new bill of rights attached to our constitution, which spell out in lay terms exactly what protections we have, to ensure our judiciary and our representatives also know the limits of their actions.

 

 

Mark M Aldridge

Independent candidate for South Australia

THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONS VALIDITY……(local government and law)

November 4, 2012

THE AUSTRALIAN CONSITUTION, DOES IT EXIST?

 

The question relating to recognition of local government/councils must be asked!

Statement #1:

The High Court of Australia ruled that “State Governments could not raise ANY TAX” and because of this the ‘State Excise on Fuel, Tobacco & Alcohol’ was removed.

It can be clearly seen that the authors of the Constitution were not allowing for any Parliament other than the Federal Parliament to impose a tax. Therefore, the only land rates/tax that can be imposed within Australia is one imposed by the Federal Parliament through the Commissioner for Taxation.

Unless we receive a “Rates Notice” from the ‘Commissioner for Taxation it is INVALID and UNLAWFUL.

Clearly in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution and from the Constitutional Commission (1985 – 1988) report that the power of taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.

Since parliaments of Australia has no powers under the Australian Constitution to impose taxes, which has been, determined where The High Court of Australia ruled, “State Governments could not raise ANY TAX” and therefore, “Land Tax” is unlawful.  The state governments will have to lodge an appeal to the High Court of Australia to overturn the previous decision before they can legally impose such tax upon the people or have the federal Government hold a referendum to alter the constitution.

Section 109 of the Australian Constitution states:

“When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.”

 

Because the Parliaments of Australia are subject to the Commonwealth Parliament and also subject to the Commonwealth Constitution, the states cannot lawfully impose a ‘Land Tax’, ‘only the Commonwealth Government holds such taxation authority’.

“The very same applies to local governments continuance and application of rates and taxes issued on their behalf”

(State governments cannot be awarded powers from the commonwealth that are not theirs to hand over)

Until the State’s of  Australia can provide a legal authority either from the High Court of Australia; or from the Federal Government giving authority to raise taxes, to comply with your intentions would be in breach of the law itself, that you are bound to uphold. When you present such legal authority we will certainly provide the information you request.

Statement #2:

COUNCILS ILLEGAL UNDER THE CONSTITUTION

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE ILLEGAL UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH CONSTITUTION DETERMINED BY TWO REFERENDUMS

 18 May 1974 & 3 September 1988

The Australian Electoral Commission on their CD “Australian Referendums 1906—1999” have advised the following points:-

  1. “Under the Australian Commonwealth Constitution any powers not delegated to the Commonwealth are the prerogative of the States UNLESS THEY ARE SPECIFICALLY DENIED.”
  1. The Referendum on 18th of May 1974

Q4. Local Government Bodies – The fourth proposal sought to amend section 51

of the Constitution to give the Federal Government power to give financial

Assistance to lend and borrow money for any local government body.

  1. The people voted NO.
  1. Q4. The referendum was NOT carried.

One State recorded a YES vote (NSW), however; nationally only 46.85% of electors voted YES.

TODAY WE HAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING LOCAL GOVERNMENT INDIRECTLY THROUGH LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL WILL OF THE PEOPLE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT TAXING  THE PEOPLE AGAIN WITH OUT LEGAL AUTHORITY.

  1. The Referendum on 3rd of September 1988

                Q3: Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 1988.

Q3.To alter the Constitution to recognise local government

  1. The people voted NO.
  1. Q3. The referendum was NOT carried.

No States recorded a YES vote. However; nationally only 33.62% of electors voted YES.

  1. The legislative proposal was, “119A. – Each State shall provide for the establishment and continuance of a system of local government, with local government bodies elected in

Accordance with the laws of the State and empowered to administer, and to make bylaws, for their respective areas in accordance with the laws of the State.”

  1. Unlike a plebiscite, a referendum is binding on the government.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

 

The Commonwealth Government is funding Local Governments directly contrary to the Constitution.

All local government has been constitutionally illegal since 3-9-88 when there was a referendum to incorporate local Government into the Australian Constitution, and prior to the referendum, there has never been any implied legality.

This means that all local government authorities now operate without a lawful head of power. The legal bind is that states cannot retain legislation that condones any form of local government.

Thus all levels of government are operating illegally ignoring the instructions of the people.  If the government will not obey the Constitutional Will of The People and thus democratic law, why should the people obey parliamentary law?  The precedence has been set.

FURTHERMORE Local Government Rates are deemed a tax thus no GST is applicable.

Clearly in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution and from the Constitutional Commission (1985 – 1988) report that the power of taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.  No states have authority under the constitution to impose a tax. Clearly in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution and from the Constitutional Commission (1985 – 1988) report that “The power of taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.”  Thus Local Government Rates being a tax are unlawful and in breach of the constitution.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT RECOGNISED WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION AND WAS REJECTED

AT REFERENDUM OF THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE IN SEPTEMBER 1988 THEREFORE LOCAL COUNCIL HAS NO LAWFUL BASE

 

 Thus Councils Should Be Dismissed And Local Government Department Administrators Appointed Permanently.

1.       In no section within the Australian Constitution is there provision for the Federal or State Parliament to establish a third level of government without the permission of the people via a Federal Referendum.

2.       The High Court of Australia ruled that “State Governments could not raise ANY TAX”, and because of this the ‘State Excise on Fuel, Tobacco & Alcohol’ was removed.

3.       It can be clearly seen that the authors of the Constitution were not allowing for any Parliament other than the Federal Parliament to impose a tax. Therefore, the only land rates tax that can be imposed within Australia is one imposed by the Federal Parliament through the Commissioner for Taxation.

4.       Unless we receive a “Rates Notice” from the ‘Commissioner for Taxation it is INVALID and UNLAWFUL.

5.       Clearly in sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution and from the Constitutional Commission (1985 – 1988) report that the power of taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.

6.       The Courts of Australia have long held that council rates are a tax. Yet, under the Australian Constitution, the Parliaments of the States do not have the power of taxation.

7.       “John Winston Howard, Peter Howard Costello & ’Commissioner for Taxation’ Michael Joseph Carmody all stated before the introduction of the infamous “Goods and Services Tax”,

        Quote:  “Local government Council Rates will attract no GST because Council Rates are a tax and we can’t tax a tax”.

 

8.       The organizations known as ‘local government’ did not exist at the time of the federation of the states into a commonwealth.

9.       A ‘rateable person within the meaning of the local government act 1995’ did not exist at the time of the federation of the states into a commonwealth. It can be seen then, that since ‘local government’ did not exist at the time of Federation, then there can be no continuance of local government law.

10.   Since ‘local government’ did not exist at the time of Federation, then there can be no continuance of ‘local government’ law. Similarly, as ‘local government land rates tax’ did not exist at the time of Federation there can be no continuance of ‘local government land rates tax’ from that time to now.

11.   Following a recommendation of the Constitutional Commission of Inquiry (1985 – 1988) a Referendum was held in September 1988. (“The Constitutional Commission found that there was no basis in law, contained within the Constitution for the provision of ‘Local Government”). They found that barely 50% of the population even knew of the existence of the Constitution, let alone its contents, and that only a few percent of those under 25 years of age knew of its existence at all.)

12.   Question 3 from the referendum was:  A Proposed Law; ‘To alter the Constitution to recognise local government.’  Do you approve of this alteration?

13.   The specific (federal Referendum) proposal was:-

(3) Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 1988…. 119A, “Each state shall provide for the establishment and continuance of a system of local government, with local government bodies elected in accordance with the laws of the state, and empowered to administer, and make by-laws for, their respective areas in accordance with the laws of the state”.

“Note; the word CONTINUANCE, implies the Australian people voted NO to the existence and continuance of local government, full stop”

14.   It was recognized that the Parliaments of the States did not have the power to establish a third tier of government via ‘local government’ and an amendment to the Constitution was necessary for them to obtain these powers.

15.   If the Constitution had to be altered to allow for the establishment of ‘local government’, before there could be a continuance of ‘local government from the time of federation, then it is clear that these powers did not exist at the time of the Federation of the States into a Commonwealth.

16.   Therefore, if the Constitution had to be altered to allow for the “establishment and continuance” of ‘local government’ these powers did not exist at the time of Federation or sections 106 to 108 of the constitution would have applied and the constitution would not have had to be altered.

 

17.   For the Constitution to be able to be changed, there must be a majority, (either for or against), in each state and a favourable majority must be returned in a majority of States.

The Australian Electoral Commission advice:-

“Referendum results – 3 September 1988”

“(41) Local Government”, being totally reject by 3 084 678 votes of the Australian people.

“Question 3”.

“A Proposed Law: To alter the Constitution to recognise local government.”

“Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

“The Constitution recognises government at the Commonwealth and State levels but makes no mention of local government. Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 1988 sought to give such constitutional recognition to local government.”

18.   “Obtained majority in no State and an overall minority of 3 084 678 votes.

19.   Therefore the continuance of Local Government in defiance of the referendum vote of the people is unlawful?  Thus the Ministers would be acting in accordance with the Australian people’s referendum results if they dismissed any local Council.  In fact it is encumbered upon them to explicitly follow the instruction of people’s referendum and dismiss all councils.

20.   No other conclusion can be derived from this result other than that Local government was not legally recognized by the people of Australia, who are the Government of Australia through their agents in Parliaments.

21.   The Parliament of the State did not have these powers before the Referendum, and they were most certainly prohibited from having them after the Referendum.

22.   This was confirmed by the Parliament of NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee (No 5), Report 19, Local Government Amalgamations, December 2003 which states on page 51, at 4.78: “Local Government is not recognized in the Australian Constitution. In 1974 and 1988 constitutional recognition of local government was considered in referenda to change the constitution but neither referendum was successful.”

23.   The members of the various Parliaments of the States and the Commonwealth are the elected representatives of the people of Australia. They are not there as representatives of the Parliaments, but as elected servants of the people. Twice, in 1974 and in 1988 the people of Australia (the Government) told their elected representatives that they did not wish to constitutionally recognize local government.

24.   Since the people do not wish to recognize ‘local government’, and since the Constitution does not recognize or grant the power to establish a third level of government, then under Section 109 of the Constitution it was illegal for any Parliament of  Australia to enact the Local Government Act’s.

25.   The 1988 Referendum was a public act under the Federal Constitution. Sections 106 and 108 subject the Constitutions of the States to the over-riding authority of the Federal Constitution and Section 118 requires that full faith and credit be given throughout the Commonwealth of Australia to the laws and public acts and records of every State. If full faith and credit is given, there appears to be NO LEGAL WAY any States can overturn the specific outcome of a Federal Referendum

26.   The Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act of 1906-1973 is a Commonwealth of Australia Act. The Schedule of the Referendum Act provides the wording of the “Writ for Referendum” and includes the words:

27.   “We (the Electorate) command that you (the parliament) cause a proposed law entitled… ……… to be submitted, according to law, in each State to the electors qualified to vote for the election of Members of the House of Representatives” (for each of the six states). It is clear that a “Writ” directs that a Federal Referendum must be by way of a vote state by state. This has the same effect as a state referendum, but under the Federal Act, by doing so invokes Section 109 of the Australian Constitution as an authority that over-rides any inconsistency in the legislation of the States.

28.   Since the state parliament’s of Australia has no powers under the Australian Constitution to create a Third Tier of Government, and since they were twice told by the people they serve that the people did not wish to recognize Local Government, then the enactment of the Local Government by-laws and and state government legislation relating to local government/councils is illegal.

 

29.   The Constitution was formatted to protect the Australian people from a number of things, and also to give the people of Australia the ability of Self Determination of Government.

I make note at this stage, that the above issue is one that has opened the door to many similar issues, as a direct result of the people being unaware of their rights, all be them confusing and hard to understand for the lay person.

The judiciary of this country make a habit of undermining what little rights the Australian citizen is entitled to, using such words “The constitution has no place in the courts” yet the constitution Act is what empowers the courts, and clearly by way of Clause 5 of the Act.

NOWHERE DOES IT PERMIT THE PARLIAMENTS, OR THE JUDICIARY, TO OPERATE OUTSIDE THESE GUIDELINES.

Here is a brief list of other offending statements and actions seen on a regular basis in Australian courts and parliaments, which attack the core values of our constitution.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 80

Trial by jury

The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.

Yet we see trial by jury denied in many cases, where indeed it can only be denied by the mutual decision of both parties to an action.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 42

Oath or affirmation of allegiance

Every senator and every member of the House of Representatives shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor‑General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution

Juliar Gillard ignored section 42, as have several representatives, which makes a mockery of our highest laws, and clearly shows many supposed representatives are not elected and or have any right to hold office. (full article on my site http://www.markmaldridge.com

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 47

Disputed elections

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any question respecting the qualification of a senator or of a member of the House of Representatives, or respecting a vacancy in either House of the Parliament, and any question of a disputed election to either House, shall be determined by the House in which the question arises.

The Parliament no longer hear such cases, and state electoral legislation now allows disputed returns to be heard by a single judge, overriding once again our constitutional protections, in a case I held in 2010, the outcome “Regardless of the conduct of an election, a general election cannot be invalidated” even when the election under common law strayed so far from the legislative protections it was not an election at law.

Going further, the aforementioned case evidenced tens of thousands of missing names, tens of thousands of missing ballot papers and over 25 offences of the protections of the act itself. (full details under the article “Democracy the whole truth” on my website

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 117

Rights of residents in States

A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State.

Therefore issues like the trial of the basics card in underprivileged areas, is again legislation that offends this Act, it also implies that the bill of rights enjoyed by the Victorian residents, by way of this section, applies to all Australians, which would undermine most recent legislative changes, which all have sections that are ignorant of the protections we deserve.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – CLAUSE 5

Operation of the Constitution and laws [see Note 3]

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.

If referenda are of value to the constitution and its primary goals, then referenda results apply across the Nation in every parliament and court.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 8

Qualification of electors

The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once.

The constitution allows one vote, not a vote that can be devalued and or passed on, without the will of the elector being known, in fact recent election conduct, has exposed that an electoral commission may “guess and electors intent beyond that they have marked” allowing a single vote to be transferred, even if the electors mark determines a different result of their will. (see result of court of disputed returns 2007 SA supreme court acting as)

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 109

Inconsistency of laws

When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

Yet go to court over say a speeding fine, to find the devise that is telling the court you were committing an offence, does not comply with commonwealth legislation, but it does comply with state legislation, and the later is upheld, we indeed have issues.

Recently in the courts I proved a current devise did not comply with law, state or commonwealth, yet the outcome was the fine still stands, so has the law become an ass?

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 128

Mode of altering the Constitution [see Note 1]

This Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner:

The proposed law for the alteration thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of each House of the Parliament, and not less than two nor more than six months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall be submitted in each State and Territory to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.

But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority, and the other House rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with any amendment to which the first‑mentioned House will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the first‑mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House, and such other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first‑mentioned House will not agree, the Governor‑General may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first‑mentioned House, and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed to by both Houses, to the electors in each State and Territory qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives.

When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes. But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one‑half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.

And if in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approve the proposed law, and if a majority of all the electors voting also approve the proposed law, it shall be presented to the Governor‑General for the Queen’s assent.

No alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State in either House of the Parliament, or the minimum number of representatives of a State in the House of Representatives, or increasing, diminishing, or otherwise altering the limits of the State, or in any manner affecting the provisions of the Constitution in relation thereto, shall become law unless the majority of the electors voting in that State approve the proposed law.

If the people say NO, that means NO, it the constitution is to be altered, then we have the final say, we the people, the terms are simple.

 

Mark Aldridge Independent Candidate

AUSTRALIANS NEED TO LEARN “HOW TO VOTE”

October 20, 2012

Learn how to vote please Australia

For years now it has been all about Abbott and Gillard, yet very few Australians can vote for either, in your electorate it will be a candidate chosen by one of the two major parties, in fact a candidate chosen who they believe will do the will of their respective parties.

The media will continue to debate the leaders, Abbott or Gillard, but fact is, regardless of which party wins, they can simply change leaders, so who are you voting for?

The 2 major parties representatives take orders from their parties, but who gives these orders, in the most people we do not see or have an opportunity to elect.

Neither of the leaders has to honour their promises, in fact history tells us they rarely do, so are you voting for a false promise, a leader who may be changed, a party who lie, or is your vote going to empower a person you have never seen, whose ideals are not for the public to debate?

To cast an informed vote is near impossible, as the media will concentrate on the leaders, to cast a free vote is impossible, as you must preference all the candidates, even those you do not know or in fact oppose.

The two party count, which is part of the two party electoral system, ensures in most cases they get your vote, so democracy is easily seen as a failure from the onset, simply because those who write the laws have the most to gain from structural biases.

The closest you can come to an informed and democratic vote, is to scrutinise those candidates who will be on your electorates ballot papers, and preference them based on their ideals, but trust me, this is not how the big two want you to vote.

We as a society cannot expect to see change if we continue to vote as we always have, we can’t send a message without changing how we vote, in fact unless we unite and make our vote an educated one, we have no right to even complain about the state of play of our fine nation.

Two party politics and the media, like the system as it is, so do not expect either to level the playing field, or help you cast an informed vote, in every respect it is the other way around, they will silence any opposition and belittle what they stand for.

Your countries future is worth the time it takes to cast an informed vote, so do the best you can, any less makes you part of the problem rather than part of the cure, forget the sell a vote for a minor party or an Independent is a wasted vote, as it is a well funded message from the entrenched 2 party system

Treasure your vote, become informed and vote for the best candidate, for unless we change the way we vote, our nations direction will continue on the same path.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent

See my website for a full expose on dodgy elections under the heading “Democracy the whole truth”

COLES & WOOLWORTHS The Boycott 20th July 2012

July 10, 2012

Australian Boycott of Coles & Woolworths 20th July 2012

Standing up for hard working farmers and producers by the Aussie public is a worthy cause on many fronts, weather it is to ensure hard working Australians get a fair go, demand clean fresh and healthy produce, or to simply ensure we maintain a fair and competitive market, the price of inaction is indeed a price to high to pay, says Mark Aldridge, local community advocate & Independent candidate.

Australia has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world. Woolworths and Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) account for almost 80% of supermarket sales, 60% of alcohol retail, 50% of petrol retail and 40% of all retail in Australia. The more market share they gain, the more influence they have over suppliers, and the easier it is to stamp out our smaller independent retailers.

Ironically West farmers originated in the early 1900’s as a coop to support farmers and producers, yet in recent times, have been accused more than once of using their new found power to rape farmers of their hard earned rewards.

*Supermarket giant Woolworths has been accused of using “brutal negotiations” to squeeze price cuts from suppliers to help fund a price war with rival Coles.*

Just recently many producers and growers have come forward with reports of unfair market manipulation, where Woolworths themselves have demanded a lowering of the wholesale price so they can enter a price war with Coles, those that refuse have been told they will be taken off the shelves, and we all know the risk of replacements coming from some foreign growers and producers.

“My investigations go much further showing all sorts of deceitful practices” says Mark

Recent legislation proposed by independent Senator Nick Xenophon would give power to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to apply to the courts to have the chains’ duopoly broken up. Says Mark “I sincerely hope such a move is in line with my original calls last year to limit the big 2 to a 30% to 40% share in line with most OCD countries”

“We the people must back such a move to ensure the future of our farmers and growers, that they are given not only a fair go, but a long term future with the added growth we so desperately need in Australia” said Mark, and Nick being a lone elected voice for common-sense needs the backing of the whole community, I certainly back him 100%.

Having met with many local producers and spoken to the experts in the agricultural industry, what I am hearing is simply un-Australian, from undue influence, market manipulation to our right deceitful and misleading conduct.

Most countries offer their primary producers government subsidies to help them compete on the world stage, our farmers and growers are by far the most productive, yet the governments only input is excessive red tape to achieve “Fresh food accreditation”, which most overseas governments ignore, begging the question “If imported foods take over where local fresh production once supplied all our needs, what exactly will we be eating?”

Hearing personal stories from so many growers brings a tear to my eye, months tending to their crops, careful picking and packing, shipping it off to one of the big 2, only to be told their produce is rejected, but wait we can take it of your hands for half price or less, yet the same produce hits the shelves at full price, wiping out producers on a weekly basis, this type of conduct is nothing more than criminal.

Woolworths “The fresh food people” have their hands in many pies, they are also Australia’s largest owner of poker machines (13,480 machines) and the largest seller of tobacco and alcohol, so their huge advertising budget selling them as supporters of local families appears to be more about their wallets, rather than what is best for the Australians themselves.

Wesfarmers operates in the areas of retail, coal mining, energy, insurance, chemicals and fertilisers, and industrial and safety products, buying up Coles Group in 2007 for $22 billion.

These supermarket giants have been blamed for Australians paying the fastest growing prices for groceries in the developed world, so it is as usual all about the money, it is not about the quality of the produce or the protection of hard working farmers and producers, and it is definitely not about our countries best interests.

“Woolworths and Coles are a $100 Billion a year duopoly with a retail market share unmatched in the developed world, and our politicians are doing nothing to stem their growth or market dominance” Says Mark Aldridge, so it is time we the people did!

With a reported 80% of the market in groceries, they have a massive impact in Australia, England’s largest 2 enjoy 48% and the US a mere 20%, so it is fair to consider our government should have put the brakes on long ago, and more than enough reason for we the people to do it for them in the circumstances.

Make no mistake their market share continues to grow, at the expense of smaller operators, hard working family farms and local producers, and most importantly the quality and availability of our fresh produce.

We have lost a huge slab of farming land to international interests, most of our larger manufactures and mass food packaging companies have also found their way of shore, so it has become imperative that those that remain are not only protected but we build an accountable system, which will reward increased investment in the vital production of our food stocks, not just for us, but also for future generations.

Have many noticed that most big shopping centres only have one or maybe both of these grocery stores, yet none of their competitors, well that is not a coincidence, their huge money ensures they can now control competition.

The impending price war may seen a godsend to those suffering on a tight budget, but as the saying goes “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”, what do you want your children and future generations eating in the future, let alone what they may be forced to pay?

It is not only about how our producers are treated and even paid, it is also about the rights of consumers, my wife and I prefer local products and Australian made items, yet it is far from easy to tell the difference, labelling is less than satisfactory, and some home brand products are deliberately misleading, shelf placement also makes a huge difference.

So many issues arise when we simply wish to make an informed choice, Australian made, GMO, even Halal certification, as if we need not know, yet it is our money, our bodies and our long term future, so it should be our choice, China is known to treat its cabbages with formaldehyde and some foreign apple growers used the antibiotic streptomycin on their apples to control fire blight, do any of us want our children exposed to this?

“23 cents in every dollar Australians spend ends up in this duopolys pockets” begging the question “Where the hell is our government and their ACCC.

Dare we allow this to continue, our farmers, growers and producers are being forced to live on as low as 5% of what you are paying at the counter, so the supposed huge discounts on offer are smoke and mirrors, and it becomes unbelievable the big 2 want to reduce their meagre 5%, do the sums, only then will you get a true picture facing those on the land.

“The story I heard today of an area with 27 growers being reduced to 2, due to dirty practices, in less than a year is simply unacceptable”

On the 20th of July I call on every Australian to stand behind our farmers and producers, by boycotting both Coles and Woolworths, until this issue is resolved, or they at least come to the party with a fair system and treatment of their Aussie suppliers.

We must also demand easy to read labelling to allow us to support local produce and priority shelve locations, if they are all about serving the Australian public, then these demands should be perfectly acceptable.

Protests will be held all over Australia on Saturday the 21st of July to ensure all Australians are well informed about this very important event.

For more information please contact the writer.

Mark M Aldridge

Community advocate and Independent candidate

aldridgemark@bigpond.com

www.markmaldridge.com

08 82847482 / 0403379500