I saw Malcolm Turnbull staffer, Patrick McGrath, in the city on Friday. He was wearing Union Jack cufflinks. Has anyone told Malcolm?

Apropos the ATO. There is also another side to their behaviour particularly where small business and low wealth individuals are concerned. In the past five years we have expended $250K on my wife’s health and not been able to grow our business whilst we fight the ATO in the Supreme and federal courts and the AAT. So far their original assessment of $1.5million plus has been reduced to $81K and even this is now due for a review by the federal court. They have twice tried to liquidate the company as under the current law the mere issuing of an assessment is “conclusive” proof of the debt and regardless of any objections or appeals MUST be paid or face liquidation. Of course liquidation means that the taxpayer goes bust for the entire sum as they no longer have the wherewithal to continue with their objection/appeal. I hazard that I am not alone.

Reports that the NSW State Government plans to build a tennis centre on Glebe Island to capture the Australian Open from Melbourne are such bunk. For one, Glebe Island already has a huge new tin shed under construction (Sartor’s Shrine) right where Raffas would need to be serving and for another, the NSW State Government has an aggressive policy of enforcing the building of big ugly concrete office or apartment buildings clustered together, right to the water’s edge. Even if dreams did come true and the greedy developers’ eyesore disease was cured, Sydney people are notoriously slack when it comes to attending sporting events. The only way that they would go to the Australian Open in big numbers was if they put a tennis court on the roof of Westfield Bondi Junction and limited the matches to 30 minutes or less, so as not to stretch their dodgy attention spans.

ASIO is advertising for intelligence officers, but to apply, you have to email a recruitment company for an application form ([email protected].) You can see this on the following page. But how good can ASIO’s security be if a private company (and a foreign one at that) will have the name of every applicant? TMP may not necessarily know who is successful with their application to become an intelligence officer, but they will have a complete list of applicants and so if anybody later on ever wants to find if someone is a ASIO intelligence officer or works for ASIO they can just see if their name is on the applicant list. Seeing as TMP is a foreign company, how safe can it be giving them a list of all ASIO job applicants? You’d think ASIO would be handling that in-house. Their own website says:

Please note: All applications for employment with ASIO are handled in the strictest confidence. It is essential that you DO NOT discuss your application with others as doing so may adversely affect your application.

But they still outsource the recruiting of Australia’s spy agency to a foreign company — that doesn’t seem very good security to me.

A section of DEEWR is making provisions for the collapse of ABC Learning. Not sure what the plans are but plans are being made.

It looks CBA’s banking system issues on Friday spread to Westpac Broking (whom CBA are the outsourcer) — any client with a Westpac CMT account found themselves unable to trade and in margin call because their available funds were loaded as a debit not a credit. That’s one way of beating the credit crisis and bolstering the banks reserves!

Peter Fray

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