Inside the system

Joe DeBruyn and SDA earn the Liberals’ praise

The long-time leader of the notoriously right-wing Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), Joe De Bruyn, has stepped down from his position as National Secretary.

In comments that say everything about the uselessness of the SDA, he received parting words of praise from Liberal federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz. “Joe de Bruyn is a role model of trade union officialdom”, according to Abetz, “He is the type of official that gives trade unionism a good name.”

He got a different kind of parting message at the ACTU Congress, where a tribute to De Bruyn was dumped from the proceedings. This reflected anger at a recent sell-out by the SDA in negotiations over a national agreement with supermarket giant Coles. The Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union says the deal, which captures hundreds of meat-workers currently on state agreements, would leave new butchers at Coles $12,000 a year worse off if they work Thursdays to Sundays.

Sydney housing affordable say millionaire Liberals

People should stop complaining about the skyrocketing price of housing in Sydney according to Joe Hockey and Liberal MP Craig Laundy. When questioned about increasingly unaffordable housing at a recent press conference Hockey told those struggling to afford a home to “get a good job”.

Craig Laundy, a Liberal MP whose electorate covers part of Western Sydney, backed him up. When asked if he thought Sydney housing was unaffordable he responded “the short answer is no”.

The comments gave many the impression that the duo must live on another planet. This is pretty close to the truth. The Treasurer has no less than four properties: one valued at $5.4 million in Sydney; a cattle farm up for sale at $1.5 million, a holiday home and a house in Canberra.

Craig Laundy, meanwhile, is the son of BRW Rich List multi-millionaire Arthur Laundy whose wealth was estimated to be an astronomical $310 million in 2013.

Vic Police edit Wikipedia page about fatal shooting

A Fairfax investigation has found that Victoria police repeatedly edited a Wikipedia page about the fatal shooting of mentally ill teenager Tyler Cassidy.

The 15-year-old was shot dead by police at Northcote skate park in 2008. There were 17 anonymous edits from a computer whose IP address was registered to the Victoria Police Network. The edits included the removal of a reference to a 2008 Age article that revealed poorly planned and executed operations had led to several fatal police shootings.

A line that said that, “The incident was blamed on a lack of training and information gathering performed by Victoria Police” was also completely removed. A police spokeswoman repeatedly tried to deny that the edits were linked to the police network, but a spokesman later admitted this was the case, saying “there was no intention for the edits to misrepresent the facts”.

Cops and Immigration get Opal card data

Scores of Opal card users have had their personal information handed over to police and immigration authorities since Sydney’s Opal system became fully operational in December 2014.

Registered Opal cards contain information that can be used to track a user’s journeys on public transport matched to their name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Most of those targeted were only “under suspicion of criminal offences”, meaning that Transport NSW handed over the information without authorities obtaining a warrant.

Between December and May police made 166 requests for information while the Department of Immigration made 15. Transport NSW released information for 30 per cent of requests. According to Stephen Blanks, President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, this suggests that police are systematically attempting to abuse their access to the information. Opal customer information is stored by transport authorities for seven years.

Uni Vice-Chancellors rake it in

Recent analysis shows that Australia’s Vice Chancellors are raking it in like never before. The same gang of university bosses that lobbied for Abbott’s fee deregulation are regularly pocketing salaries in the millions.

Sydney University’s Michael Spence topped the pile, seeing his salary package increase by $120,000 last year to $1.3 million. He joins six other VCs with salaries topping the $1 million mark, including the University of Melbourne’s Glyn Davis who is taking home $1.08 million. The lowest paid VC enjoyed a $540,000 salary—roughly the same as that of the President of the United States.

Things they say

There is almost no-one who has done more to promote community harmony, who has done more to promote Australia as a cohesive multicultural society than Phillip Ruddock
Tony Abbott explains why he has brought back Ruddock to join his citizenship campaign

Your family are good people…You are a family Australia needs
Barnaby Joyce offers his opinion on the Rineharts, in an email to one of Gina’s daughters over their multi-million family trust battle

When they get the power, they exercise the power. I have a number of friends now before the anti-discrimation tribunal who are being persecuted by homosexuals in this state.
Homophobe Fred Nile is living in fear of persecution

It’s the sort of thing you would expect of the loony Left
Former ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty on criticism of Shorten’s dodgy deals as AWU secretary, that left union members worse off

Self-confidence, a winning personality and the ability to sell yourself and your projects can take you a very long way
John Beveridge, Economics columnist at News Ltd, puts an interesting spin on convicted fraudster Alan Bond

I can not even have my point of view without being labelled a bigot or a racist
Sherman Burgess, aka “The Great Aussie Patriot” and former Australian Defence League and Reclaim Australia leader, is finding it hard to conceal his racism

I’m someone who has over the years felt a bit of mortgage stress
Tony Abbott explains how life is tough as an MP


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