Sydney’s transport network requires you to walk on water occasionally. This is what the Transport Infoline proposed for a passenger to go from Waverton on the North Shore to Balmain on the other side of the Sydney Harbour. Walk to bus stop Waverton, Bay Rd Nr Waverton Station — 64 metres Take the 265 bus (Sydney Buses) Dep: 5:43pm Waverton, Bay Rd Nr Waverton Station Arr: 5:53pm Mcmahons Point, Henry Lawson Av Nr Ferry Wharf Walk to Balmain East Ferry Wharf, Darling St (20414) — 1416 metres. That’s right, it expects someone to walk across the Sydney Harbour. It’s only 1416 metres, but you have to be the Messiah to do it.

Demolition man, NSW Premier Nathan Rees is already swinging the axe and breaking his promise not to fire “front line workers”. Yesterday 35 frontline workers were fired from the Department of Fair Trading’s Parramatta offices in western Sydney. That means shonky builders, business people and other scamsters will find it that much easier to operate in the state of depression.

One of the nation’s largest retailers, QVC, announces massive layoffs in their four call centers. Many positions.

The leading law firm Mallesons has sent an internal email to staff this week saying 150 people had been sacked.

Dear Sir, are Julia Gillard and the Tilda Swinton character in the most recent Cohen brothers film Burn after Reading the same person? I think we should be told.

Well, Kerry-Anne Kennerley is miserable and to get her feeling that way takes a special kind of male idiocy. She has been described disparagingly as a “trouper” but she is usually an eternal optimist. But not now. The breaking point was the edict that while Nine wanted Kerry-Anne to go to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, she wasn’t allowed a camera crew to shoot pictures and interviews for her program. So KAK rang a mate at Sony and borrowed a high quality Digital Video Camera and did her own shooting. David Gyngell and his cast of cheering “yes” people should go hang their heads in shame. The comparison with the Seven Network, and even Ten was unedifying last week at the Cup Carnival.

Coles is refusing to accept list price increases from its suppliers in an attempt to increase its own margins and profits. It thinks it’s getting worse supplier prices than Woolies and is less profitable as a result. SHAME. It’s never about consumer prices or savings!

So there: In what can only be described as a significant embarrassment for Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, in a major speech given yesterday to the National Press Club in Canberra in relation to reforming the tax system, Dr Henry, in an attempt to demonstrate the complexity of the tax system, made a huge error. In describing the complexities faced by companies that run businesses, Dr Henry, using an example of an individual that runs his business through a company said the following:

For example, if using a company, he would have needed to keep various additional accounts to comply with dividend imputation arrangements. He would have needed also to avoid falling foul of rules about non-commercial losses and distributions to associated entities.

The problem with the above statement is that the “non-commercial loss” rules referred to by Dr Henry do not apply to companies. Section 35-5 of Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 makes it abundantly clear that these rules only apply to individuals! They have no bearing on businesses conducted by companies or trusts.

Peter Fray

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