Australian Politics 2022-10-31 08:49:00


Queensland title deeds no longer valid

This should be a big issue before the election especially in Queensland as it affects ALL property owners but hasn’t got any media coverage and not sure if other states have or will do the same.

Queenslanders can no longer prove property ownership using a Land Title certificate, even if they have one.

All land title certificates were cancelled by the by a new section (215 ) that was inserted into The Land, Explosives and Other Legislation amendment Act 2019 Queensland which not makes Land title Certificates legally void.

The new Section 215 in the Land Title Act 1994 states:

Certification of title cease to be instruments:

(1)  On the commencement, a certificate of title-
a)  Ceases to be an instrument under this Act; and
b)  Ceases to  be evidence, conclusive or otherwise, of the indefeasible title for the lot for which it was issued.


The amendment takes all the evidential power away from landowners and gives it to the state.

The state could alter your records, illegally, or a hacker could and you have not way of proving ownership unless your ownership rights were reinstated by a Court.

This amendment allows the State to prevent you from selling or buying property unless you comply with additional terms related to digital identify certification.

The Amendment was passed in Parliament on 06 April 2022.

<i>Via email from</i>


Netball Australia rescued by the Victorian taxpayer

The deal was announced on Monday morning by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan.

“Victoria is a proud sporting state and we are delighted to announce a new partnership with Visit Victoria,” Ryan said.

“The partnership will guarantee Victorians the opportunity to experience more netball across the next five years.

“This investment will benefit all levels of netball – from our pathway system to the Suncorp Super Netball League and the Origin Australian Diamonds.”

The $15 million partnership will run over four and a half years.

The Diamonds will wear Victorian branding on their kit for home and away fixtures and all staff will take part in tourism campaigns for the state.

It was also confirmed that the 2023 Grand Final will be played in Victoria as part of the agreement.

“We are really thrilled today to be able to announce a four and a half year sponsorship deal where Visit Victoria will become a significant sponsor for the Australian Diamonds netball team,” Andrews said.

“This is a coup for our state. This is all about supporting netball.”

Mr Andrews said other states and private companies were competing for the deal, with Victoria putting forward a “very competitive” bid.

The Premier stood by the $15m deal, despite Victoria’s mid-financial-year update revealing the state is on course to record a $9.7b deficit in 2022-23.

“Netball boasts the highest level of participation among young women (of) any sport in Australia – and as one of the nation’s most popular national teams, the Diamonds are an inspiration for women and girls across all levels of sport.

“We’ve already supported netball very, very strongly. We know how important that is. And to be able to have the world’s very best netball team wearing our logo projecting all that we offer to the world and to the rest of our country is absolutely fantastic.

“From a grassroots level all the way through to attracting more and more visitors to our state tourism is such an important part of the Victorian economy.

“(It is) great for jobs, great for investment, and obviously fantastic for netball and female participation.

“It is unique, it’s absolutely fantastic and a really big win for Victorian jobs and our tourism sector.”

The news comes just over a week after a player revolt forced Rinehart to revoke her sponsorship of the team.

It is understood that players were uncomfortable with the company’s links to the abhorrent, racist views expressed by Rinehart’s father and Hancock Prospecting’s founder Lang Hancock.

Members of the Australian side refused to wear the new sponsor’s logo on their uniforms in the series against England.

“Reports of a protest on the part of the players, on environmental grounds and a split within the playing group are incorrect,” the players’ statement read. “The singular issue of concern to the players was one of support for our only Indigenous team member.”

The Victorian lifeline will be welcome relief to Netball Australia after Ryan last week alluded to financial issues soaring if Hancock’s decision prompted others to walk away.


Superannuation  delusions: Future retirees risk being shortchanged by politically correct fund management

In an interview with Company Director, the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ magazine, Dr Don Russell, chair of AustralianSuper, says, ‘Being able to influence companies in their decisions around board governance, climate risk and disclosures, are all mechanisms we see as improving investment returns.’

‘We’re heavily engaged in that because we think it lowers the risk associated with everything we’re invested in.’

Well, with 2.5 million accounts, a quarter of a trillion dollars under management and $650 million a month in new contributions, no one can doubt this fund has clout. Nor that much of that clout, whatever the investment returns, comes from increasing payments from the same companies Dr Russell seeks to influence. Having started at three per cent of workers’ salaries, these are soon to rise to twelve per cent.

As a principal adviser to former prime minister Paul Keating, Dr Russell helped design the compulsory scheme. No doubt he and Mr Keating knew what an enduring gift it would be to their friends in the trade union movement. And what a gift it has proven to be!

In three decades it has enabled a handful of unions and employer associations, with no capital backing, to account for around 30 per cent of Australia’s $3.1 trillion superannuation assets, earning some $30 billion a year in fees. This firepower has greatly leveraged organised labour’s capacity to influence boardrooms through shareholder activism.

Unions also benefit from sponsorships and advertising deals which aim to encourage workers to join their funds. According to the Financial Services Royal Commission, while not itemised, these inducements totalled more than $30 million in the five years to 2019. Unions are also believed to receive fees of around $14 million a year, paid nominally to its appointed directors.

Former union apparatchik and current federal assistant treasurer, Stephen Jones, ignores calls for improvements in reporting standards. He believes annual aggregate disclosures of political donations and, payments to trade unions and industry bodies is sufficient.

Unsurprisingly, the cosy relationship between industry funds, trade unions and government, leads to suspicions of personal indulgences and cover-ups. No matter the truth, this cartel exerts an unhealthy influence on capital allocations.

And while union nominees on fund boards have responsibility for a substantial slice of workers’ life savings, they remain relatively unknown. After all, workers see superannuation contributions as a tax paying for something they will receive in the remote future and this detachment means fund executives on multimillion-dollar salaries and performance bonuses are rarely held to account.

The absence of transparency and accountability seems inconsistent with many of the ESG governance principles espoused by Dr Russell. Nevertheless, this doesn’t preclude AustralianSuper from closely monitoring external managers to ensure they adhere to its strict protocols. Indeed, rather than exert indirect control, AustralianSuper has already brought management of half its assets in-house.

Dr Russell believes this strict ESG approach enhances the equity portfolio’s performance. ‘We’ve built concentrated portfolios and developed skills and capabilities to understand a whole range of Australian businesses,’ he says, ‘Part of that understanding is based around an understanding of how these companies deal with climate risk and other ESG matters.’

On climate, AustralianSuper is committed across its portfolio to net-zero emissions by 2050. But what does this mean? According to consultancy McKinsey, ‘trillions of dollars need to be spent every year for almost three decades to hit net zero targets’. Is AustralianSuper’s commitment open-ended? Has it considered the long-tail risks to its members’ savings from constant capital misallocation? Have AustralianSuper and its likeminded peers forgotten the old Wall Street adage, ‘When all the experts and forecasts agree – something else is going to happen’?

Already, too many alarmist climate predictions, advertised as based on authoritative modelling, have proven false. It is surely only a matter of time before the public weighs the crippling economic and social costs of environmental policies against environmental progress. Retirees will begin to question who gave the mandate for superannuation assets to be so heavily weighted in essentially moral crusades. What about eggs and baskets and a case for compensation?

By inserting themselves into boardrooms, industry funds and their friends in government have blurred the line between management and ownership. They are getting in the way of what Milton Friedman argued was the ‘one and, only one, social responsibility of business, to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it… engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud’.

Despite Dr Russell’s claims of inherent ESG out-performance, several studies have questioned any causal link, saying it can be explained by other factors. For example, technology and asset-light companies are often among broader market leaders in ESG ratings because they have a relatively low carbon footprint. These tend to merit higher ESG scores and, through weight of buying, initially achieve a self-fulfilling out-performance. But, as the director of one fund declared, ‘There is no ESG alpha,’ or, sustained outsize market return.

Nevertheless, Dr Russell and many of his powerful peers, insist on micro-managing the companies they invest in. The boards in turn obey, spending valuable board and management time on unproductive navel gazing and redirecting investments into ‘safe’ assets. Innovation is shunned.

Strikingly, net zero 2050 and, ESG more generally, seem to be peculiarly Western preoccupations. China is not so obsessed. Rather, it is massively boosting coal production to keep electricity supplies reliable, prices low and manufactured products internationally competitive. Chinese leaders remain clear-eyed and are thoroughly practised in the art of climate-change arbitrage. BMW’s decision to move manufacture of Minis to China highlights Beijing’s wisdom.

This is not to argue against prudent governance. But it is to warn that a cartel, comprised of big government, ideologically driven investors and obedient businesses, is concentrating risk based on what may yet prove to be a popular delusion. Future retirees would have good reason to feel betrayed.


No longer a British nation?

Australians will get to have their say on whether they want a republic, as the Albanese government makes plans to tour the nation to discuss the possible referendum.

Assistant Minister for the Republic Matt Thistlethwaite will be meeting with multicultural representatives in Townsville on Tuesday and speaking with Australians about their thoughts on splitting away from the monarchy.

He has previously emphasised that Australia is “no longer a British nation”.

Australia last voted against becoming a republic in 1999 after the majority said they wished to stay under British rule.

While the official listening tour doesn’t begin until early 2023, Mr Thistlethwaite’s office told NCA NewsWire the minister would be starting the conversation early by speaking with a multicultural support group in Townsville on Tuesday.

Representatives from the Indian community, the Townsville Islamic Society, the Central African Republic Association and members from the Ukrainian community are expected to share their thoughts on the referendum.

Speaking at a republic event in Melbourne on October 12, Mr Thistlethwaite said it was time for Australians to consider their options when it came to Australia being a republic.

“We are no longer a British nation,” Mr Thistlewaite said.

“We should reflect our unique culture, our unique identify by finally having one of our own as our head of state to represent who we are in modern day Australia.

“We are out of practice when it comes to constitutional reform and it is a long journey that we are now taking.

“The Australia of modern today is a very, very different nation. “We are a multicultural nation, either 50 per cent of Australians are either born overseas or have a parent overseas.

“We are a nation that is economically linked to the Asia-Pacific region.

“We get our security relationship through ANZUS Alliance with the United States and New Zealand.”

Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald on October 30, Mr Thistlethwaite said he wanted to speak to people who were unsure which way they’d vote if a referendum was called in the future.

The government has flagged it will work towards launching a republic referendum should it win the next election.

“We’re on a journey to maturing and becoming independent,” Mr Thistlethwaite said.

“The first step is a Voice to Parliament … and the second is an Australian head of state. I’m doing the legwork and work behind the scenes to make sure that second step is a success.

“This consultation is part of that.

“I don’t want to hear from people who are republicans. I want to hear from Australians who are undecided or voted no in 1999, and I want to hear the reason they voted no and what arguments will help them get them across the line.”

Australian Monarchist League chairman Eric Abetz told ABC Newson Monday that the listening tour was a “con”.

“This is not a consultation, but a con to the Australian people,” the former Coalition senator said.

“What he’s doing is using Australian taxpayer resources to fund a three-year campaign to try to promote to the Australian people something they don’t want or need.

“The democracy that we have in Australia works exceptionally well. Indeed, in the democracy index of the world, of the top five democracies, four of them are constitutional monarchies. I think that speaks for itself as to how well constitutional monarchies operate.”

The Attorney-General’s Department is expected to run the consultation.