On opposition to the bank tax

Peter Wileman writes:  Re. “Banks recycle mining tax lies to attack the government” 

The new tax on the banks is considered a “populist” move by the banks and their apologists. They seem to forget it was the taxpayer — through the government — who guaranteed their continued pillaging of their customer base during the GFC. Bring on the Royal Commission and watch them whine while CEO remuneration remains around $7-8 million per annum — how out of touch are they?

On parental dispute policy

Joe Scavo writes:  Re. How an academic once paid by the ACL got a $12.7m parental dispute policy in the budget” (Friday)

Reporter Josh Taylor and Crikey do Professor Patrick Parkinson a great disservice. To describe him simply as someone once paid by the ACL and an opponent of gay marriage and omit his extensive expertise and contribution to family law and child protection is either mischievous or incompetent. Professor Parkinson is a world authority in these areas, as his biography, easily available on the University of Sydney website, clearly shows. His achievements have influenced for the better the lives of many thousands of children whose parents have separated. Though I’ve never met him, he also had an important influence on my working life. In 2008, I was the media adviser for the then Human Services Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig, when the Rudd Labor Government introduced the current Child Support Act.

This bi-partisan law, first commissioned under the Howard Liberal Government, was based largely on Professor Parkinson’s seminal study of the previous system. It is far from perfect but, at the very least, it’s an improvement on the old scheme. That’s saying something in an area best described as an emotional minefield, where broken relationships all too often bring out the worst in human nature in some parents, to the detriment of their children. The law applies equally to same-sex couples separating from de facto relationships, as it will when Australia legalises same-sex marriage. Seen in this context, the new Turnbull Liberal-National Government Budget measure is not as mysterious or sinister as Crikey tries to make it look. It is a continuation of the Professor’s work. He should be judged on the quality of that – his character shouldn’t be impugned based on the prejudices of the current media zeitgeist. 

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Peter Fray
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