OECD’S ‘GLOBAL TAX CARTEL’ – WORSE THAN IT SOUNDS

Last year, the Morrison government signed Australia up to an OECD-led agreement creating an international tax cartel.

Labor now has the job of selling the “landmark reforms” to the Australian people and has released a ‘Consultation Paper’ calling for public feedback by 2 September.

The sales pitch is “taxing multinationals” but be warned, the OECD plan comes with a raft of dangerous fine print.  At a minimum, it involves rewriting nearly every aspect of Australia’s tax laws to fit the new rules.

OECD says its ‘Two Pillar Model Rules’ provide governments with a “PRECISE TEMPLATE” for legislating its “solution”.

Most of the focus is on the headline-grabbing new minimum tax rate of 15 percent that throttles competition between countries and makes it far easier for governments to increase the tax burden on ALL businesses and, eventually, individuals.

More insidiously, the scheme shifts enormous power over to the OECD Secretariat, turning it into a kind of global tax policeman.

There’s a word for this kind of thing.

It’s called ‘price-fixing’.

When businesses do it, politicians jump up and down and scream blue murder about ‘collusion’.

Well the OECD’s “two pillar solution” is no different.  It bears all the hallmarks of a ‘global tax cartel’.

Worse, it provides a backdoor through which the powers of parliament will be further stripped away.

As Thomas Duesterberg wrote:

“It transfers significant national sovereignty over taxation, key to overall economic policy, to some yet-to-be-defined international regime under the guidance of the OECD… “

“Ceding corporate-taxation authority to an undefined international authority that will inevitably be controlled by an unelected technocratic elite would erode democratic principles even further.”

“It moves us closer to an EU model of governance.”

It would only be a matter of time before the 15 percent tax rate was increased (Janet Yellen is already talking about it) and, ultimately, extended to individuals.

Many well-meaning people love the new tax plan, believe it will stop tax evasion and fund much-needed social programs.

The fallacy being that governments would redistribute the monies to the masses.

Don’t count on it.

They’ll spend it how they always do, on pointless, self-serving “sustainability” projects, renewables’ subsidies and more ‘woke’ behaviour change programs.

If governments really cared about ending multinational tax evasion, there are multiple ways they could do so.

Ways that don’t involve ceding sovereignty or disempowering parliament.

OECD’s plan, or as Albanese likes to call it, “Labor’s MNE Tax Plan”, is a very, very bad idea for our freedom and democracy.

The government must withdraw from it immediately.

Say “no” to ALL cartels and ANY global agreement that interfere with Australia’s sovereign right to make its own tax laws.

Submission Guidelines

SANCTIONS ARE HURTING US, NOT RUSSIA

The West banned Oil imports from Russia and the price of oil immediately skyrocketed.

Australia’s RBA Governor, Philip Lowe, said on Tuesday that oil prices have risen 66% since last year.

Australia, he said, is facing the highest level of inflation seen in “many years”.

Now countries worldwide are being hit with crippling fuel shortages.

Many are scrambling to put in place national transportation emergency measures, including the UK, Australia, Canada and US.

Air travel has been smashed as airports across the UK, US and Europe cancel up to 60 percent of their flights because they don’t have enough jet fuel.

Can someone please explain how all this is a moral victory against Putin?

As far as I can see, all it has done is make Putin, the Saudis, Iran and Venezuela much, much richer – and us, a lot poorer.

Why?

Because higher oil prices only make them richer.

The loser won’t be Putin, it will be US – the so-called ‘advanced economies’ of the West.

And it’s not just oil.

Thanks to sanctions, commodities are up dramatically across the board: potash, fertilisers, wheat – wheat is huge.  Nickel went up 250% in 2 days after sanctions were first announced.

Who’s going to pay for all this?  You are.

It will be the biggest tax increase of your lives.  And by the way, it could soon get worse.

Why?

Because, contrary to what you’ve been told, a large section of the world has not joined the West’s boycott and Russia is still able to sell its oil, wheat and gas on global markets.

Here’s the bigger truth.  World trade and the global financial system benefit countries like Australia, the most.

That may not be fair, but it’s true.  It is the basis of Western power and wealth.

So if you destroy it in an effort to ‘get Putin’, who are you really destroying?

You’re destroying the West, and that’s what’s happening right now.

When you attack and destabilise world trade and the global financial system, you are attacking and destabilising Western economies, NOT Putin.

The West’s response to the invasion of Ukraine is probably the single most damaging thing any group of leaders has ever done to their own countries and the world.

Not to Putin.  To their own people.  And a lot of small countries who didn’t deserve it.

One day when all the hysteria finally lifts, I think we will review this moment with clear heads and when we do, we will be horrified.

THOSE WHO CONTROL YOUR MONEY, CONTROL YOU

Bloomberg, the IMF and Bank of International Settlements all recently released reports saying that 90% of the world’s central banks are planning to introduce a new form of currency called Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs.

What these reports barely mention and what no politician, banker or journalist will tell you, is that the single most defining feature of CBDCs, is that they are a form of currency that is programmable.

That makes CBDCs – along with Digital ID – the biggest existential threat to human  freedom humanity has ever faced.

You would think this would make CBDCs a hot topic during Australia’s federal election, given our RBA is one of the central banks making plans for a CBDC roll-out.

But if you thought that, you’d be wrong.  Instead, we’ve had wall to wall crickets on the subject from anyone in government or the media.

They’re not stupid, of course.  They all know that to get CBDCs past a sleeping populace, they must tread very, very softly.

So for all those sleeping Australians out there, let me spell it out for you: –

A CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY MEANS TRANSFERRING ALL CONTROL OF YOUR MONEY TO THE STATE.

It’s that simple.

It is a form of currency that can be programmed to only activate in certain areas, for a certain time period or once a citizen has met certain pre-conditions.

CBDCs offer governments the ultimate ‘nudge’ tool for enforcing behaviour change on its citizens.

It will start off with ‘rewards’ for ‘good behaviour’ but we all know where that game ends – with penalties and punishments for those who don’t comply.

Deducting a percentage from your wages to “fight climate change” – no problem!

What about imposing financial sanctions because you didn’t get this month’s booster shot, or you drank too much, ate too much or drove your car today?

You only have to look at the recent Canadian truckers’ protest to see what a ‘democratic State’ is now prepared to do to anyone who opposes them.

CBDCs can be adjusted to restrict access to a particular area – say 5 kms of your home.  If you try to go to a shop 5.1 kilometres away, the algorithm will shut down access because you’re outside your permitted zone.

It’s called geofencing and will be brought to you courtesy of Elon Musk’s Starlink system and 5G.

The CBDC algorithm can also be adjusted to only allow you to buy certain items, at certain times, or from certain shops.

The levers for control will be limitless.

When the State wields that kind over power over you, that’s the end of human freedom as far as I’m concerned.

‘NET ZERO’ WILL BE THE END OF AUSTRALIA AS WE KNOW IT

In order to achieve ‘Net Zero’ by 2050, Australian governments will have to basically demolish Australia’s existing economy and replace it with something entirely new.

The ‘Net Zero’ Agenda is not just some ‘feel good’ pledge.  It is a detailed, target-driven program for radical change that will permanently alter the way Australians work, play and do business.

With zero public consultation, debate, referendum or plebiscite, Scomo signed away the sovereignty and prospects of his country, its people and future generations.

Zero Carbon will be the end of fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas for starters.

All will need to be phased out with severe restrictions placed on any form of mining, agriculture, transport, tourism or industrial production.

The days of ‘petrol’ cars will be numbered as trillions of dollars are poured into constructing acres of low-income, high-density housing and creating artificial ‘green spaces’ and ‘work hubs’, all within walking distance of where you live.

When the UN said ‘go local’, they meant it.

The Morrison Government would have you believe that all this will be done through “breakthrough technology not taxes”.  Don’t you believe it.

A carbon tax of one form or another is a 100% certainty.

Even Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbons admitted as much at his press conference on Wednesday.

How else will people be forced into accepting Electric Vehicles or the ‘transformation’ of an electricity grid, once the cheapest and most reliable in the world, into one where rationing and blackouts are the norm.

Traditional energy-intensive industries like transport, agriculture, steel, glass production, chemicals, paper and cement manufacturing, will face soaring costs leading to shutdowns or offshoring and the consequent loss of millions of skilled jobs.

Australia will be taken backwards to a neo-feudal, wood-burning dystopia where its beautiful outback is infested with miles upon miles of toxic solar panels and windmills.

Absolutely nothing about these radical changes will be either ‘voluntary’ or ‘optional’.

Every ‘Net Zero’ document makes constant reference to the huge amount of ‘behaviour changes’ that will be needed to get countries to Net Zero.

Ultimately it will mean no more drives in the country, no more motorsports, boating, 4WD, trips to Bali, Fiji or anywhere, and no more ‘grey nomad’ caravan jaunts around Australia.

Even green leaders say that an “eco dictatorship” is going to be needed to enforce all the coming changes.

This means mandates, executive orders, border controls, restrictions on movements within designated human settlement zones, wholesale surveillance programs, green taxes, penalties, fees, plus endless new regulations and laws.

Lots of new laws.

It will be like lockdown, only permanent.

 

AUSTRALIA’S STANDARD OF LIVING HAS PLUMMETED – AND NO, YOU’RE NOT CRAZY FOR THINKING SO!

Short of highway robbery, nothing makes you poorer than inflation, and right now, Australia’s inflation is soaring.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), inflation is at 3.5% for the year, but in real terms, this number is little more than a well-crafted lie.

Just one more rigged government number amongst many.

The CPI is calculated by assigning relative weight to different categories of goods.  It’s done using a set of complex formulas, most of which are specifically designed to deceive you.

Take fuel prices, for example.

The price of petrol is ‘weighted’ in the CPI at just 3.3%.

Now if you are someone who happens to catch the bus every day, then that MAY make some kind of sense.

However, if you are like the rest of us and use a car to drive to work each day, then a 3.3% weighting is an absolute joke.

It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out that fuel costs make up a lot more of a person’s weekly budget than 3.3%.

The CPI completely ignores this reality.

The same way it ignores people’s soaring household debt, mortgage interest payments, cost of housing/assets and stagnant wages!

The bottom line is that none of the CPI figures come close to being accurate.  Just do the maths for yourself.

The price of a used car went up 21% over the past year.

Houses went up 18%.

Fuel costs went up 60%, while the cost of timber rose 50 to 100%, steel by 30 to 60% and concrete, 20 to 40%.

Wheat went up 37%, corn 21%, sugar 20%, and the price of a cup of coffee should hit $7 by the end of the year.

All that’s without even looking at things like ‘shrinkflation’, where companies reduce the size of a product and disguise it with fancy new packaging.

And that’s just what we BUY.  Take a look at the hikes we’ve seen in rents, utilities, land tax and insurance.  Are you starting to get the idea?

Why would governments lie?  Well, let’s just go with the obvious.

Imagine you are a government, who has racked up eye-watering amounts of debt and printed far too many dollars, to fund a bunch of useless ‘green’ projects and UN-directed ‘woke’ programs.

Along the way, you devalued your currency, set inflation soaring, destroyed small business, wiped out the middle class and impoverished an entire population.

I’m no Einstein of course, but all this may be something a government might want to hide.

As far as ‘conflicts of interest’ go, putting governments in charge of our economic data and figures, must rank as one of the worst ideas in history!

Stephen Andrew statement on IMO 2020 and the Great Shipping Reset

In California, there are now a record-breaking 65 cargo ships anchored off the state’s two biggest ports, awaiting entry. Many have been there for weeks. Similar scenes are being played out at key ports around the world as the global supply chain slowly disintegrates. What is going on?
The most popular explanations given, include covid-restrictions, crew-change problems and a worldwide shortage of containers. Then there are the driver shortages, hurricanes, industrial disputes, port inefficiencies, price-gouging and an ‘online spending frenzy’ – take your pick.
What is never mentioned, however, is IMO 2020, the UN’s new ‘climate change’ regulation, which took effect on 1 January 2020. IMO 2020 was a new regulatory system intended to lay the groundwork for a ‘phase in’ of carbon taxing ships by 2023, and the transition to ‘net zero shipping’ by 2050.
The new regulation banned ships from using the old, cheap ‘bunker fuel’ and forced them to either use much more expensive fuels or install space-wasting ‘scrubber’ technology on their ships. Both options came with huge operational costs for carriers.
IMO 2020 also imposed more onerous port inspection and reporting obligations, which many feared would lead to congestion, delays and blank sailings.
According to Maersk, 60% of a carrier’s costs are FUEL.
Any transition away from cheap fuel, therefore, was always going to cause shipping costs to skyrocket, and then ripple its way down the supply chain. It is odd, therefore, that not a single shipping expert even refers to IMO 2020 when discussing the current crisis. I mean it was ALL anyone in the industry could talk about in 2019!
“IMO 2020 WILL BE THE LARGEST, MOST DISRUPTIVE REGULATION, TO IMPACT GLOBAL SHIPPING IN MODERN HISTORY” one analyst said.
Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, estimated that the total impact of IMO 2020 to “consumer wallets could be around $US240 billion”. Others warned that ships would start “slow steaming” to offset fuel costs, especially on longer routes – IN FACT THE WORLD’S CLIMATE CHANGE ZEALOTS SAID THEY WERE COUNTING ON IT.
But something else happened in January 2020, that served to completely mask the impacts of IMO 2020 –Covid-19. Once oil prices and cargo flows started to recover, however, suddenly we were seeing sky-high freight rates, port congestion and shipping delays. Everything, in fact, that the experts had predicted would happen once IMO 2020 took effect. And yet, weirdly, all that is now forgotten.
Are they worried that if they mention it, people might get the ‘crazy’ idea that maybe -just maybe – it wasn’t Covid, hurricanes or lost containers that crippled the global shipping industry, but rather the world’s governing elites themselves?

Stephen Andrew, Member for Mirani addressed Parliament for his budget speech on 17 June.  When the State Government introduces an “appropriation bill” to implement spending outlined in the Queensland budget, members speak to the bill and to issues affecting their individual electorates. Getting the state’s economy moving again should be a clear priority for the government, as outlined in Stephen Andrew’s plan to Kickstart Queensland. Below is a transcript of Stephen Andrew’s budget speech and a video can be accessed on Parliament TV.

Queensland budget appropriation bill

Stephen Andrew: I rise to speak on the 2021-22 Queensland budget. On behalf of the people of Mirani, I would firstly like to thank the ministers for working with me on certain projects. I would also like to extend my condolences to the family of the member for Stretton, Mr Duncan Pegg. He invited me to some of his functions and we had some great times together. The House will be sadder for his loss.

It would seem this budget hangs on a shoestring—being dependent on both fickle weather events and future COVID lockdowns for it to be delivered successfully. With the current debt, it invests Queensland money on hydrogen projects that at this point have no real demand and no imminent return on the investment that is desperately needed at this time. After COVID hit us in 2020 and wiped out small businesses and crippled so many others, Queensland became aware of what is truly essential. Why wouldn’t we continue on this path to ensure risk-free stabilisation across the state until the threat of COVID and the impact on our mining and agriculture sector is stabilised? It has given Queensland the foundation that supported us through the COVID crisis.

Stephen Andrew’s electorate of Mirani

Stephen Andrew: The electorate of Mirani is home to some of the state’s most wealth-generating industries, including sugar, tourism, horticulture, fishing and many of the support industries. Queensland’s crucial mining sector is based there. With all due respect to the members present, the needs and concerns of the people of Mirani are very different to the needs and concerns of those in the south-east. One of the biggest concerns we have is the terrible state of our road network. Across the electorate, there are roads in a desperate state of disrepair, and a real program of work is urgently needed to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose for the future. That is why I have been asking for a solid commitment from the state government to repair areas of the Bruce Highway, which is a road that farmers use to haul cane, and also Anzac Avenue, which is a road that transfers visitors to our beautiful Pioneer Valley and Eungella Range. The problem is fast becoming urgent however, with a rash of horrifying accidents and near misses. There have been rollovers of trucks near schools, rollovers on main highways in 100 kilometres an hour zones. The road network has fallen into complete disrepair in many areas.

Walkerston Bypass

Stephen Andrew: The Walkerston Bypass funding in the budget was also very welcomed, but as I have said previously the project has numerous design problems and is causing untold problems for farmers in the area that need to be addressed. The current plan forces cumbersome farm vehicles to cross the planned new bypass via a staggered T-intersection and is a big safety concern for local canegrowers. Interaction between slow-moving cane harvesting gear causes fatalities, and this could all be avoided by just listening to growers and making changes. If it is not fixed, this interaction will claim lives during the crushing season when there are more than 220 trips per day crossing the intersection and adding to the existing traffic during peak periods. This is only the beginning in terms of what is needed. We are in urgent need of funding to address issues on the Bruce Highway. We need new bridges and additional culverts, more lane duplication, increased overtaking lanes and flood proofing of long stretches along the Bruce Highway from St Lawrence north.

Health infrastructure

Stephen Andrew: Health is another area I am concerned about. I am part of that committee. Queensland faces an unstable future concerning health infrastructure. More than 11,000 people are reported to be moving to our great state every month. The already overburdened health system and crime issues are deep concerns which are continually spoken about by my people. Regional hospitals are crying out for more beds, more medical staff and more supplies. More than that, I am hearing people all over the region calling for more much transparency around the health sector. I have heard stories concerning some older people recently, and my father was one of them. He went in for a normal procedure and spent nine days in intensive care. Another lady said that her husband went in for a procedure and did not come back out and she still does not know why. It is not the fault of the health staff or hospital staff. They are doing the best job they can with what they have. I cannot praise them enough for the work they have been doing. It is just that the whole system is overloaded and we do not have the resources or the workers they need to keep up sometimes.

Community support

Stephen Andrew: We are also seeing a noticeable lack of adequate community and social infrastructure, and this is becoming critical. Even the member for Mackay would be able to say that. People working in the community up there are saying that they are being hit with a huge surge of unmet demand for services and are dealing with a huge volume of people suffering economic hardship, homelessness, health issues and job losses. I heard last week that 478 people in my area—most of them mothers with children—were being evicted but could not find places to rent because of economic hardship. They cannot afford the rent rises and what is going on in the state. They are living in cars and couch surfing at the moment. That is mums with kids. We are seeing that many people are still struggling and we need the government to throw a lot more effort and finance towards that area in the Queensland budget so we can work through that.

Return wealth to the regions

Stephen Andrew: The Mirani electorate also provides critical support services for the mining sector at Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay. We are proud to be the home of what I believe are the most resilient sugar and cattle industries in the world. The whole state has reaped and still does reap untold riches from the blood, sweat and tears of our miners, farmers, manufacturers and small businesses. The onus is now on the government to give back some of that wealth in the Queensland budget to the people who produced it. Mount Morgan is a prime example. It is drought stricken and urgently needs piping of water up to its No. 7 Dam for the people and also for the opening of the new mine this year. We also need the government’s support to ensure that that mine does open and the legacy and the damage of all the poisoning that has occurred over the years is addressed by that mine opening. The mine going in there will help to give jobs to the local economy and fix that legacy.

The same goes for the fireclay caverns in Mount Morgan. The dinosaur footprints are crying out for more investment, the opening up of that area and the support of the government. We have a risk averse government in that sector that shut those fireclay caverns and we need to work to make sure they are opened again. They are crying out for that tourism investment. It has been an absolute shame to watch that whole thing close. One of the other projects I have been fighting for, and will continue to fight for, is the mountain bike trail also in Mirani that goes from Eungella down to Finch Hatton. That will be a major tourist attraction and help the whole region.

Queensland budget and debt

Stephen Andrew: There can be no beating around the bush; Queensland’s books are awash with red ink. The state’s total debt is expected to jump from the estimated $95.8 billion this year to $106.3 billion in 2021-22 before hitting $127.3 billion in 2024-25. According to the Treasury, the debt interest bill is forecast to reach $3.4 billion per year by 2024. That is an unprecedented and staggering amount of money which the state will now have to pay each year. Even these alarming figures are heavily reliant on a shaky set of assumptions. Omitted from the calculations are the massive costs we will incur if we win the bid for the 2032 Olympic Games. In fact, if the government thinks the games are going to turn a profit for Queensland, I believe it should pledge to the people of Queensland a dollar-for-dollar investment in infrastructure and water security spend in this state that equals the overall cost of the bid and the holding of the games. That is what I believe. There are also many other rosy assumptions: that interest rates stay at the current low of 0.1 per cent, that there are no more outbreaks of COVID and that the government somehow works out a way to reap dividends from the billions being poured into renewables.

On Tuesday the Treasurer said that all the borrowing is needed to generate growth for the future, but nowhere did I see in this Queensland budget any productivity plan or blueprint for reform of our tax system or plans to reduce the regulatory burden that is killing small business and agriculture. Nor are there plans for new ports or any other major water or power infrastructure projects that would help expand the supply side of Queensland’s economy. We could have at least built Rookwood Weir to the level it was actually designed for. That is where we will find real potential for growth and the opportunity to create jobs, investment and wealth for the future.

Queensland budget

Stephen Andrew: As it is, Queenslanders have been handed a Queensland budget that focuses exclusively on maintaining people’s cash flow in order to service their monthly debt payments and keep the state’s property and household debt bubble from bursting. Mortgage stress figures are already showing that there are huge numbers of people, especially in the south-east corner, who are most at risk. That is the real reason behind the budget’s huge spending: to create enough low-paying dead-end jobs so people have just enough to service their debt obligations. The majority of these low-paying dead-end jobs will be in the service sectors and will destroy more of our middle wage earners over time. Any government can borrow to create low-quality jobs to drive unemployment numbers down, but it is only by investing in private and export sectors that we can hope to provide Queenslanders with real jobs—jobs that are rewarding, secure and well paid. As it stands, with any increase in unemployment figures over the next few years we will quickly see a rise in delinquencies and defaults that will upset stability in terms of the banks and bring the whole economy to its knees.

All this spiralling debt which the government is using to prop up the ‘debt bubble’ and the ‘green economy’ will do nothing to prevent the steep falls we will see in the government revenue, particularly from our coal exports. Oil revenues are falling and we have seen a big drop in LNG royalties as well. Overall, Queensland exports fell 28.4 per cent between 2020 and 2021, with the biggest falls being for mineral fuels and coal, which both fell 38.1 per cent. Lower exports and lower coal prices means billions of dollars less in royalties for the government. With the massive debt the government is carrying the implications for Queenslanders of that sobering fact could be huge. Now more than ever we need a government to step up to support and safeguard the state’s most productive and proven wealth-creating industries—the backbone of our economy—and they have failed to do it once again.

There was nothing for resources, mining, agriculture or tourism anywhere apart from a few one-off temporary projects. Even worse, the budget made damaging cuts to the departments responsible for those sectors. The agricultural budget was slashed by 32.5 per cent, tourism lost 24 per cent, and small business and training lost more than eight per cent. The Department of Resources suffered a whopping 47.7 per cent cut to its budget, something not even the loss of the titles office could hope to justify.

The government of Queensland has missed a unique opportunity in this budget, an opportunity to take all the debt and use it to invest in Queensland’s real economy—the economy that generates real wealth, drives real growth and creates real jobs for the future. They have missed that opportunity.

IT’S the secret tax the major parties don’t want to talk about – a system for draining money out of every citizen that can be easily supercharged to raise a trillion dollars at the flick of a switch. Both the LNP and Labor plan to introduce a Road Tax, run by a third party private consortium with management rights over the country’s road network. The trials are already well advanced and well documented but no one is saying anything about it because the major parties need something like this road tax to pay for their spending and the debt they have racked up.

Every car, truck, and bus will be fitted with a smart meter, telling the government everywhere you go and when you go there. The privacy implications alone are staggering but just as concerning is the potential for the resulting tax to be set at any level. Like the GST, this tax will be felt by everyone in the country. And just as we were told the GST would replace other taxes, we will be told the road tax will replace fuel excise and registration. Where it differs is the rate of tax can be raised to any level with just a few keystrokes and without having to get approval from the states. We might as well hand our bank account passwords to the government so they can help themselves to whatever they want.

The major parties are committed to the Road Tax because it will solve a number of problems for the government. Electric cars don’t use fuel so the government will miss out on billions of dollars in fuel excise as the government forces petrol cars off the road. Fitting them with smart meters, like e-Tags, will capture those dollars by another means and both the major parties are planning for electric cars to become the only means of transport.

The “proof of concept” trials are finished, telemetric devices have been procured, and a private ‘road-managing’ corporation engaged to run the Federal Government’s on-road Road Charging Trial throughout 2020, ending in January next year. Government bureaucrats hope to forestall any public resistance with a ‘staged’ introduction, starting with trucks and heavy vehicles, which will then be gradually expanded until every vehicle on the road is covered by the new policy.

The road tax is particularly dangerous for regional drivers, who sometimes have to drive many kilometres on State roads just to get to their neighbour’s house. The government’s new Road Tax system would force people to have a “smart meter” device or e-Tag installed in their cars. The device would send monthly readings to a private consortium, like Transurban, with rights to charge drivers for their usage of State roads. The third party “service provider” would charge drivers based on how many kilometres they had driven, which roads they had driven on, and what time of day or night it was when they did.

A road tax or ‘road-user pricing system’ has been sold to Labor and LNP as the perfect green measure with huge behaviour change advantages in reducing car usage and allowing governments to further many other broader policy objectives. It’s all part of the major parties’ plan to phase out fossil-fuelled cars completely by 2040, or even 2035 and forcing higher taxes onto fossil-fuel cars is a key mechanism being used in Norway to force people into EVs. They want everybody in electric vehicles as soon as possible, despite the fact that EVs have a much shorter driving range, require a lot more servicing and take forever to recharge. So long, in fact, that they have been known to cause grid failures and blackouts in areas where more than three or four are trying to recharge at the same time, although no-one in the media or government will tell you about that.

Background information

Both the major parties are likely to claim the Secret Road Tax is fake news so here’s some of the background information where you can confirm for yourself that this is very real and coming to a set of wheels near you:

The Inaugural Road Pricing Forum – Open Discussion surrounding the movement towards road pricing reform in major Australian Cities – to be held in 2021

https://www.informa.com.au/event/conference/road-pricing-forum/?utm_source=Google-Conferences-AAA&utm_medium=cpc-aaa&utm_campaign=AAA-road-pricing-forum-Nov-2020&gclid=CjwKCAjw0On8BRAgEiwAincsHBYLplJO7YItLQqbE8Z9tIT7Em-19uBnB4HiNs5uQDpYJCtCpw6YShoCl_YQAvD_BwE

GOVERNMENT POLICY DOCUMENTS

Federal Government Heavy Vehicle Trial Program 2020-21 – to be run in two staged trials with second one ending in January 2021

Program Flyer states: “Government has co-designed the trials with industry to inform and shape future policy” explaining that the “National Pilot will report road use data and receive mock invoices comparing their current heavy vehicle registration and fuel charges against alternative charging scenarios”.

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/charging-trials/files/large-scale-trial-flyer.pdf

Flyer for Second Stage also gives goals as collecting “distance, mass (weight) and location data from vehicles’ telematics (distance recording) devices” and generate mock invoices.

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/charging-trials/files/national-pilot-fact-sheet.pdf

Government website for the program

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/charging-trials/index.aspx

Federal Government’s 2019 Infrastructure Audit – Report from Infrastructure Australia

Report states that “the transport sector risks becoming financially and environmentally unsustainable” (5.1 p. 266) and that ”the problem of cost recovery has been exacerbated by a growing disparity between increasing traffic and the decreasing return of funds to governments from fuel excise due to improved vehicle efficiency” .

It also notes that road use has increased, “while excise revenue has decreased by 20%.” (5.1 p. 266).

The Report refers to “strong support for user pays mechanisms for infrastructure” (p266) and discusses potential mechanisms for ‘behaviour change’ saying that “ We also need to look at the potential for emerging third-party revenue streams” and use of  “Telematics and vehicle tracking (to) help with scheduling and improved data collection and planning”.

Section 5.2 looks at how “Costs of road congestion and public transport crowding are forecasted to double from 2016 to 2031” and that current model is unsustainable.

https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-10/Audit%202019_Full%20pdf_Updates%20September%202020.pdf

Infrastructure Australia (Federal Government Agency under  – 2018 – Government Policy Document on Infrastructure Pricing Reform

Whole document is about “road reform” and includes a recommendation for “road user charges” to be introduced, for which IA says “there is broad agreement on the need for road infrastructure reform to drive productivity

https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-06/making-reform-happen-full-report-low-res.pdf

Parliamentary Inquiry into Road User charges – 2017-2018

Policy Position papers of all stakeholders are unanimously in favour of road user chargers, even ag bodies – see whole list at link below

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/independent-price-regulation.aspx

Selected Policy papers on road pricing from Stakeholder groups

Australian Automobile Association Policy Position Paper supports road user pricing

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/files/Attachment_A_AAA_Policy_Position.pdf

Business Council of Australia Policy Position paper on road user charges – August 2017

The framework for the independent price regulation for heavy vehicle charges should be designed so that it can eventually be expanded to all vehicles on Australian roads

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/files/Business_Council_of_Australia_IPR_submission.pdf

Grain Growers Policy Position Paper on road user charges

Grain Growers support road use charges on heavy vehicles being expanded to include all road users:

The introduction of independent price regulation for road use by heavy vehicles is an important first step in establishing a full direct road user charging system

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/files/Grain_Growers_Limited_IPR_submission.pdf

National Farmers Federation policy on road user charges – Given in Submission letter July 2017

Supports expansion of heavy vehicle user pays saying:

The NFF considers the introduction of independent price regulation for road use by heavy vehicles as an important first step in establishing a direct road user charging system.”

https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/files/National_Farmers_Federation_IPR_submission.pdf

 

Productivity Commissioner Report

The Case for Infrastructure Pricing Reform – What water can teach roads

https://www.pc.gov.au/news-media/speeches/infrastructure-pricing-reform

(PDF coming – to be uploaded soon)

STATE GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

Victorian State Government

Policy Document on “How an efficient, fair and sustainable pricing regime can help tackle congestion

https://www.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/The-road-ahead-final-web.pdf

Victorian Government has hundreds of papers on road pricing.  Most recent I could find was a 2020 “Cost Benefit Analysis on Road Pricing

https://www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0506.pdf

NSW State Government – Productivity Commissioner -2020

Continuing the: Productivity Conversation Green Paper

‘Green Paper’ on Road Reform for NSW State Government which arguing for introduction of a pricing model based on Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) scheme

http://productivity.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Productivity_Commission_Green%20Paper_FINAL.pdf

Australian Rail Association

Why Road Pricing is Vital to Australia’s Economic Prosperity

https://ara.net.au/sites/default/files/RoadPricingPaper_Update.pdf

Financial Services Sector -THE BIG FOUR

KPMG – 2019 Research Paper for the South Australian Government recommending Road User Scheme be introduced

https://dpti.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/625951/GlobeLink_Scoping_Study_Report_Business_Case.pdf

Deloittes and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia – Discussion Paper on Road Pricing Mechanisms – prepared with support from:

Australia’s leading motoring clubs, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the National Roads & Motorists’ Association (NRMA), the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ), and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV)

Whole document is on various road user charging models which they recommend be introduced.

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/public-sector/deloitte-au-ps-road-pricing-transport-infrastructure-funding-260914.pdf

Price Waterhouse Coopers Report recommends third party management and road user charging

https://www.pwc.com.au/industry/infrastructure/assets/productivity-commission-infrastructure-projects-apr14.pdf

Technology Journal Article

News Media – “Rise of the Machines” – A Snapshot of the World in 2038

https://www.freightaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/rise_of_machines_2018.pdf

Transurban Research Paper on Road Charges using Melbourne Roads as the model at

https://changedconditionsahead.com/

Contains following blurb “Transurban is a vocal advocate for road-funding reform. We believe that Australia’s current system of opaque fees and charges and rapidly diminishing fuel excise should be replaced with a transparent charging system that is built on the principle that those who benefit, pay, while ensuring fairness across the community”.

International Bodies

OECD Document exploring what the social impacts will be on people when Road Pricing has been introduced

https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/social-impacts-road-pricing.pdf

US Government 2019 White Paper on” Lessons Learned for Designing Programs to Charge for Road Use, Congestion, and Emissions”

https://escholarship.org/content/qt9n8571hf/qt9n8571hf.pdf?t=q3jc3z

UN Infrastructure –

http://dev.codatu.org/wp-content/uploads/Public-transport-integration-in-a-privated-market-recent-policy-lessons-from-abroad-Charles-RIVASPLATA.pdf

FOI and RTI Documents  – Documents released under Disclosure Log 2020

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Right-to-Information/Disclosure-log.aspx

Email correspondence and Departmental Reports – Qld Main Roads and Infrastructure Priority – 2019

Vehicle operating cost estimation approach (ref to VLC approach)

RTI-1003 – Released 5 March 2020

RTI-1091 – Released 29 April 2020

RTI-1135 – Released 19 May 2020

Sets of emails and meeting minutes where policy offices discuss various issues to do with road reform between Queensland Main Roads and Federal body, Infrastructure Australia – discussions on driver behaviour, and how to use “taxation policy” to increase EV take-up.

In Doc 5 they worry that the increases in “fuel efficiency” could adversely effect driver behaviour by making people drive more.

Comments in the documents – doc 8 – talks about how the Department has to have long range targets “to give industry time to prepare”.

Download the emissions meeting pdf here.

Emails recommending other opportunities for Australia’s transport ministers to achieve the objectives of our Inter-Governmental Agreement, that is, by identifying reforms to improve land transport productivity, safety, environmental performance and regulatory efficiency

The NTC’s Work Program contains proposals for new reforms, approved reform projects, improvements to land transport laws, activities to monitor, review and evaluate the implementation of previously-approved reforms, and highly analytical work on heavy vehicle road user charges. (p7)

https://www.ntc.gov.au/sites/default/files/assets/files/NTC-Annual-Report-2018-19.pdf

Land transport: future challenges

  1. 21 on Heavy vehicle pricing

Heavy vehicle charges are set to recover the costs that heavy vehicles impose on the road network. These costs include road construction, maintenance and operations. Under the existing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) system, these costs have been measured using a retrospective approach, based on seven years of historical data. That is, heavy vehicle charges are set to recover the reported historical expenditure of building, maintaining and operating the road network. Other network infrastructure (for example electricity, water, telecommunications) typically uses a ‘life-cycle’ approach based on ‘forward looking costs’ to measure the costs of investments and operations. Under this model, capital costs are recovered over the time in which assets are used and consumed.

 

 

 

THE Liberal National Party is shedding crocodile tears over a vehicle registration hike that is less than the ones they voted for and the same as the policy they put forward when criticising them. The Queensland Labor government last week increased registration fees by 1.8 per cent, sparking outbursts from the LNP in the media about slugging pandemic-hit families with extra costs.

The fact is the LNP, in 2017, not only voted for the budget that set even larger hikes in motion but announced their policy would be to lift registration fees in line with the consumer price index. Personally, I think fees should be reduced and I will argue and vote for a reduction. But the LNP is criticising Labor’s hike of 1.8 % when the consumer price index is 1.8%. According to the LNP’s own plan for government, they would be introducing the very same rego hike they are complaining about now.

It’s clear the LNP was all about politics and their vote in the 2017 State budget was proof of that. In one of the most bizarre votes you will ever see in parliament, the LNP voted against the budget because they thought the cross bench would vote for it and the budget would be passed.  But the One Nation and Katter Party representatives voted against the budget, which would have meant the budget failed to pass parliament. In a messy couple of minutes, the LNP changed their vote from a “no” to a “yes” so the budget could be passed. The truth is they wanted the budget to pass but also wanted to play a political game where they could say they opposed the budget, including items like the increase to registration fees.

You either support something or you don’t and your vote should reflect that, as it did for the One Nation representative at the time (Steve Dixon). The major parties are all about playing political games and have forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. One of the great things about representing One Nation in the Queensland parliament is that I have licence to represent the views and opinions of the people of North and Central Queensland. There is no pressure to play politics and that’s the way democracy is supposed to work.