October 22nd 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Bill Shorten imposes his political will on the nation

UKRAINE Russia responsible for MH17 crash: investigation

EDITORIAL Learning the lessons of SA power meltdown

THE ECONOMY Warnings call for new economic policies

CULTURE WARS Shame, pride and the AFL's arrogant posturing

OBITUARY Shimon Peres: last of Israel's elder statesmen

REGIONAL AFFAIRS Shifts in Australia-Indonesia relations

EUTHANASIA Paul Kelly makes the case against euthanasia

MANUFACTURING Australia's once and future car industry

MUSIC The dolorous tale of the disappearing tail

CINEMA In praise of professionalism: Sully

BOOK REVIEWS ASIO in the spotlight: official history vols I & II


Books promotion page


News Weekly, October 22, 2016

Two birds with one stone

I would like to suggest to News Weekly readers a way to finance an infrastructure fund that at the same time would give ordinary Australian workers some relief from the debt they have incurred to buy a home.

Households that are in the process of buying a family home in most cases are faced with 25 to 30 years of paying off their loan. As the average home loan in Australia is almost $400,000, annual interest payable, based on the average interest rate of 5.61 per cent, is $22,400.

This ultimately costs the home buyer close to $1 million in repayments, $600,000 of which is interest. This is money that is unavailable to form part of any retirement savings or lifestyle finance.

Contributions to superannuation come in two parts: 1) employer contributions of 9.5 per cent; and 2) personal contributions or concessional contributions (which have an upper limit of $17,400 which is proposed could be increased to $25,000). It is the second part of the equation that interests me here.

I propose that households with home loans be enabled to offset any contributions they make to their superannuation against their home-loan debt.

Instead of concessional super contributions going into an existing superannuation fund, I propose the creation of an offset account set up by the mortgage holder. This account receives any concessional contributions a person makes to his or her superannuation fund so long as the mortgage exists. The funds are held in trust and offset against the principal mortgage. These funds should still be able to attract the benefits of salary sacrifice as do existing concessional contributions.

The effect of such an offset account which the mortgagor is allowed by law to invest in limited ways – say, to buy government infrastructure bonds – would have the double benefit of funding government infrastructure construction, returning the mortgagor interest on its investment and giving the mortgagee an offset benefit against the principal of their home loan.

I don’t know what the implications of my suggestion are, but the intention is to offer the average Joe a way out of his debt trap. If there are negative implications, perhaps readers could let me know.

After all, if a household’s debt can be reduced more quickly, surely everyone must benefit.

Instead of a 30-year mortgage, household debt could be eliminated in half the time, leaving the household better off and with greater potential to save more for the future.

The average household home-loan debt in Australia increased from $17,500 in 1975 to $382,400 in 2015. Repayment mortgage terms have also increased from five years to 30 years, so an average family has to endure the hardship of debt for most of its growing years with minimal time to create financial security for the future.

A 30-year home loan mortgage is little different from a life sentence for a criminal. Without debt, people would find options opening up to them.

Peter Maher,
Caboolture, Qld.


Bank guarantee confusion

Conscious of media statements about the $250,000 government guarantee for funds in the big four banks, I recently transferred some funds to another of them to keep below this limit for total current and deposit funds in the first.

Imagine my surprise that the government has legislated a total guarantee of $20 billion for each of the big four banks, but the total deposit funds alone are $1.517 trillion.

Does this mean that only 5 .27 per cent of my funds are covered or that only the first 5.27 per cent of depositors will be able to draw out their funds in a crisis?

Kersh de Courtenay,
Nedlands, WA

Fruitless campaign

I have been reading the articles published by News Weekly on LGBT and same-sex marriage issues with interest, but it seems to me that no one is dealing with the question of actual results if same-sex marriage should become entrenched in law and society.

Jesus said to his disciples that, “by their fruits (the results of their actions) you shall know them; do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?” What results can we expect from the push to normalise the unnatural?

Children are naturally infertile until puberty. If children and adolescents decide against heterosexuality, and especially if they undergo gender reassignment, they will be infertile for the rest of their lives.

We all know someone whose life has been blighted by infertility. Does anyone really want this for everyone? If so, why? It doesn’t even make sense from the point of view of the same-sex marriage push. As one witty homosexual remarked: “Take care of your straight friends; it takes two of them to make one of us.”

Some other things, irrespective of surgery and hormonal treatments, do not change anyway. Chromosomes will continue to XX or XY irrespective of preferences or feelings. But preferences and feelings do change. Those transgendered men who wish to be women, and demand to compete with women, will still have the bones and muscles of men, which guarantees that they will beat their female opponents, an outcome by no means guaranteed when they compete with other men.

Mrs Rosemary F.C. Steineck,
Manning, WA


Please explain

Newly minted Member for Goldstein, Victoria, Tim Wilson (“A same-sex marriage law can protect the rights of all”, The Weekend Australian, August 8–9, 2016) may want to explain how state legislation dealing with a federal matter (marriage) will help in cases such as the recent one involving Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous.

Archbishop Porteous has been threatened with anti-discrimination charges for asking the Catholic Education Office to disseminate a booklet, Don’t Mess with Marriage, which presents the Catholic teaching on marriage, to all Catholic parishes and schools.

In addition, nowhere does Mr Wilson mention the detrimental effects that being raised in same-sex households has on children as per their own testimonials. In spite of the fact that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of the instruments that he is supposed to defend.

Australians now support children being raised by their own biological parents by a margin of three to one. Children raised in same-sex households and many homosexuals also support this view. They have indignantly disassociated themselves from the gay lobby and have come out strongly in support of the rights of children.

Gillian Gonzalez,
Australian Family Association, WA Branch,
Belmont, WA


Gender a growth industry

There is much more attached to the push for gay marriage than same-sex love and equality.

Vying for equal place with homosexuals is a growing list that now numbers 112 genders with 70 orientations.

If governments give in to same-sex marriage demands, there could be an unending number of claims from other sources for the same benefits, all claiming discrimination if it is refused.

In partnership with the promotion of genders is a program named Safe Schools Coalition. Pivotal to the program is Roz Ward, who has been described by transsexual Catherine McGregor as a “committed Trotskyite, who believes in the overthrow of the capitalist system”.

McGregor also believes that “Safe Schools teaches a derivative of Queer Theory which I believe leads trans people into a blind alley”.

Education expert Dr Kevin Donnelly suggests that the “Safe Schools Coalition is more about advocacy than simply making schools safer places. Students are being subjected to a concerted and well-resourced campaign enforcing an LGBTI sexuality and gender agenda.”

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.


Clinton = Obama+

If Tom Switzer (News Weekly, September 10, 2016) is correct and Hilary Clinton will win in November it means that Americans will have another four years of Obama. One can consider her his clone with regard to foreign policy – the disastrous regime changes in North Africa and Syria – and a do-nothing domestic policy with regard to employment for the mainly African-American working classes.

For years African-Americans have been competing for low-paid jobs with Latinos and yet their choice of president has done little to stem the flood of illegals. This peaceful invasion has to be resolved for the sake of societal stability. African-Americans feel discriminated against in their own country in favour of recent arrivals, hence their anti-social behaviour, which results in police brutality.

John Barich,
Belmont, WA


Don’t get Trumped!

Most of us find the prospect of more Trumps in politics really, really scary. Could it happen here? And in our council elections?

Those of us in Colac, Victoria, had a pleasant surprise the other night when the candidates forum, instead of being just a lot of noisy self-promotion, was a place where many mature, sensible people gathered to discuss what made our region great.

Many memories came forth of those who started our meat works, dairying companies, service agencies and great milk products, just to name a few. Just like our innovative forebears, there were a few candidates in the big pile who didn’t just talk but knew that “can do” (here with us and our expertise) is what made this place great and can keep it that way.

I’m not saying the choice of candidates is ever easy, but some experience and good attitude was there, making it a very encouraging meeting of many mature, down-to-earth minds.

As a long-term adviser to local governments on the complex matters of environmental planning, I encourage readers to be cautious about voting for people who think they are going to play merry hell with our environment but who do not know it well enough.

We can only hope and pray that the new representatives will not just rely on the counsel of their own minds.

Is the prospect of more Trumps real? Yes it is! That’s why you need to get along to a candidates’ meeting and find out who is representing whom.

John Modra,
Colac, Vic


The Plebiscite
(owed to the nation)

“Marriage Equality!” they shout to heaven,
(Mostly granted by Kevin 07).

Too many Aussies old and ailing;
Hard to help, our birthrate failing.

It’s kids who keep the nation going;
And they keep the economy growing.

“Caring couples are great to see.”
A statement with which we all agree.

Some see it sad – do you need a tissue? –
That same-sex unions can have no issue.

But Natural Marriage Delivers! So
It’s been seen as Special, since long ago.

Let the people have their say,
Do they think it best kept that way?

“We’ll stop the votes!” says the ALP
A definite “No”, we fear we’ll see.

Natural Marriage Delivers!

Kevin Reed,
Aspendale, Vic.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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