The 2016 Election results for the Beaufort Ward

Beaufort Ward (1 vacancy)

Results for this election have now been finalised. The following candidate is declared elected.

Elected candidates

Elected: O’CONNOR, Michael

Count summary

Enrolment: 1534
Formal Votes: 1128
Informal Votes: 65 (5.45% of the total votes)
Voter Turnout: 1193 (77.77% of the total enrolment)

First preference votes

Please note: all first preference percentages have been rounded to two decimal points.

Candidate First preference votes Percentage
KENDALL, Julie 373
33.07%
O’CONNOR, Michael 755
66.93%

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan @Louisestanley @MichaelOConnor #3373 ‪#‎DanTehan‬ ‪#‎Louisestaley #MichaelOConnor

Source https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/Results/Council2016/pyreneesresult.html#e2

Jim Cox Interview episode 1

Welcome to episode one in the series of interviews we had with Mr Jim Cox. Jim and Mary run the Beaufort news agency and those picking up their papers or buying a lottery ticket know that Jim is always an interesting man to talk too.

In this episode we talk about the postal voting that was used for the contested seats, the challenges that lay a head for the newly re elected member for Beaufort ward, Michael O’Connor and the sharing of resources between councils.

 

 

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan @Louisestanley @MichaelOConnor #3373 ‪#‎DanTehan‬ ‪#‎Louisestaley #MichaelOConnor #Jimcox

Michael O’Connor Interview for the 2016 Local Elections

I had the opportunity to speak with the current elected Member for the Beaufort ward Michael O’Connor and hear his views on a wide rage of topics that relate to the electors of the Beaufort ward, well worth a listen.

Below is the interview in 5 parts.

The First is about Michael O’Connor

 

The Second is about the Challenges and Achievements for the Beaufort ward

 

The Third is about the the future Bypass of Beaufort

 

The Fourth is about a potential merger of the Pyrenees Shire in the future

 

The Fifth is about how Michael sees Beaufort and the Beaufort ward.

 

The other candidate for this Election is Julie Kendell due to scheduling issues I am yet to be able to make a time to interview Julie, I hope to do so soon 🙂

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan @Louisestanley @MichaelOConnor #3373 ‪#‎DanTehan‬ ‪#‎Louisestaley

Taxation reply

Dear Mr Russell
On behalf of Mr Tehan, thank you for your email.
Please be assured Mr Tehan has read your email and appreciates your concerns.
Mr Tehan has forwarded your email to me to respond on his behalf on this occasion to
advise that he has made representations to the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison,
with your suggestions concerning tax reform.
Upon receipt of the Minister’s reply, Mr Tehan will write to you.
Thanks again for bringing your views to Mr Tehan’s attention.
Regards

Electorate Officer
lizzie.hallam@aph.gov.au

190 Gray Street Hamilton VIC 3300
T: 03 55721100
Toll Free: 1300 131 692
M1 19 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
T: 02 6277 7820

The taxation System

To the honorable member for Wannon Mr Dan Tehan,

Firstly congratulations upon your re election.

I believe strongly the taxation system in Australia is broken and needs changing. I understand the government is seeking change also. As a elector in Wannon I would like to share with you some ideas for change.

Firstly by increasing the tax free threshold to the minimum wage threshold.

Increasing the amount that people on all forms of government pensions can earn before their benefits are effected to the minimum wage threshold.

Increasing the GST to 15% with no exceptions.

Abolishing mandatory tax returns for individuals earning under the minimum wage

Making middle/high income earners responsible for their own taxation payments

Making middle/high income earners responsible for their own superannuation payments.

Allowing small business to have an “account” to pay their tax into as often & or irregularly as needed over a 12 month period. With negative amounts having a 3month grace after the EOFY to be paid. Positive amounts an indefinite credit. Tempered by the “trading insolvently” clause in the company act. This will also some what relieve the paper work compliance on small to medium businesses.

Creating a “safe haven” for assets of all kinds. Where assets in the “safe haven” are unable to used for collateral for leveraging nor are they available to debtors if they are in the declared safe haven. This available only to individuals who hold assets in their name, “think roof over our head kids in school ideal”, not corporate structures.

I believe by changing the taxation system of mainly the lower income portion of society that will have the greater of all effect for good and will reinvigorate the economy in many positive ways.

Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestions and concerns.
.
Regards

Cameron Russell

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan @Louisestanley @MichaelOConnor #3373 ‪#‎DanTehan‬ ‪#‎Louisestaley

TEST

A new post about stuffy and thingy things

 

Your vote matters the least.

Well it seems like the right time to say it your vote matters the least.

Nah hear me out…

Geeze mate could ya stop shouting for a sec?!!

Nah! NAH! Mate shut up and listen will ya?

Once in every few years you get to vote, state, federal, local some cases there are two people in some levels who are your representatives, YOUR REPRESENTATIVES!!!

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan ‪@Louisestanley‬ ‪@MichaelOConnor‬ #3373 #DanTehan ‪#‎Louisestaley‬

Zygmunt Bauman: “Social media are a trap” The Polish-born sociologist is skeptical about the possibilities for political change

Zygmunt Bauman has just celebrated his 90th birthday and taken two flights from his home in the northern British city of Leeds to get to an event in Burgos, northern Spain. He admits to being tired as we begin the interview, but he still manages to express his ideas calmly and clearly, taking his time with each response because he hates giving simple answers to complex questions. Since developing his theory of liquid modernity in the late 1990s – which describes our age as one in which “all agreements are temporary, fleeting, and valid only until further notice” – he has become a leading figure in the field of sociology. His work on inequality and his critique of what he sees as the failure of politics to meet people’s expectations, along with a highly pessimistic view of the future of society, have been picked up by the so-called May 15 “Indignant” movement in Spain – although he has repeatedly highlighted its weaknesses.

“We’re still in the age of Versailles, when the principle of each nation’s right to self rule was established. But that’s a fiction in today’s world”

Born in Poland in 1925, Bauman’s parents fled to the Soviet Union following the German invasion in 1939. In 1968, after he was stripped of his post as a teacher and expelled from the Communist Party along with thousands of other Jews in the wake of the Six-Day War, he left for the United Kingdom, taking up a post at Leeds University where he is now Emeritus Professor of Sociology. His work has been awarded numerous international prizes, among them Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award, in 2010.

He has outlined his pessimistic world view in books such as 2014’s Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All?, which argues that the world is paying a high price for the neoliberal revolution that began in the 1980s and that wealth has not trickled down to the rest of society. In Moral Blindness, published last year, he and co-author Leonidas Donskis warn about the loss of community in our increasingly individualistic world.

QUESTION. You have described inequality as a “metastasis.” Is democracy under threat?

ANSWER. We could describe what is going on at the moment as a crisis of democracy, the collapse of trust: the belief that our leaders are not just corrupt or stupid, but inept. Action requires power, to be able to do things, and we need politics, which is the ability to decide what needs to be done. But that marriage between power and politics in the hands of the nation state has ended. Power has been globalized, but politics is as local as before. Politics has had its hands cut off. People no longer believe in the democratic system because it doesn’t keep its promises. We see this, for example, with the migration crisis: it’s a global phenomenon, but we still act parochially. Our democratic institutions were not designed for dealing with situations of interdependence. The current crisis of democracy is a crisis of democratic institutions.

Q. In which direction is the pendulum that you describe between freedom and security swinging at the moment?

A. These are two values that are tremendously difficult to reconcile. If you want more security, you’re going to have to give up a certain amount of freedom; if you want more freedom, you’re going to have to give up security. This dilemma is going to continue forever. Forty years ago we believed that freedom had triumphed and we began an orgy of consumerism. Everything seemed possible by borrowing money: cars, homes… and you just paid for it later. The wakeup call in 2008 was a bitter one, when the loans dried up. The catastrophe, the social collapse that followed hit the middle classes particularly hard, dragging them into a precarious situation where they remain: they don’t know if their company is going to merge with another and they will be laid off, they don’t know if what they have bought really belongs to them… Conflict is no longer between classes, but between each person and society. It isn’t just a lack of security, but a lack of freedom.

Q. You say that progress is a myth, because people no longer believe the future will be better than the past.

A. We are in a period of interregnum, between a time when we had certainties and another when the old ways of doing things no longer work. We don’t know what is going to replace this. We are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Spain tried questioning things through the May 15 (15M) movement, when people took over public spaces, arguing, trying to replace parliamentary procedures with a kind of direct democracy. This hasn’t lasted long. Austerity policies will continue, nobody could stop them, but they could still be relatively effective in finding new ways to do things.

Q. You have argued that the likes of 15M and the global Occupy movement know “how to clear the way, but not how to create something solid.”

A. People set aside their differences for a while in the public squares for a common goal. If that goal is negative, about getting angry with someone, there is more chance of success. In a way it could have been an explosion of solidarity, but explosions are very powerful and short-lived.

“Most people use social media not to open their horizons wider, but to lock themselves in a comfort zone”

Q. You also believe that by their nature, there is no room for leadership in rainbow coalitions.

A. It is precisely because such movements lack leaders that they can survive, but it is also precisely because they lack leaders that they cannot convert their sense of purpose into action.

Q. In Spain, the 15M movement has helped create new political forces.

A. Changing one party for another will not solve the problem. The problem is not that the parties are wrong, but that they don’t control things. Spain’s problems are part of a global problem. It’s a mistake to think you can solve things internally.

Q. What do you think about the Catalan independence project?

A. I think we’re still following the principles of Versailles, when the idea of each nation’s right to self rule was established. But that’s a fiction in today’s world, when there are no more homogeneous territories. Today, every society is just a collection of diasporas. People join the societies to which they are loyal and pay their taxes, but at the same time, they do not want to give up their identity. The connection between where you live and identity has been broken. The situation in Catalonia, as in Scotland or Lombardy, is a contradiction between tribal identity and citizenship. They are Europeans, but they don’t want to talk to Brussels via Madrid, but via Barcelona. The same logic is emerging in almost every country. We are still following the same principles established at the end of World War I, but there have been many changes in the world.

“Our democratic institutions were not designed for dealing with situations of interdependence”

Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called “armchair activism,” and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?

A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/01/19/inenglish/1453208692_424660.html

Let’s talk about social welfare also

Social welfare is a very important part of a government’s function, I think. Without it society breaks down and bad things happen.

The reason for social welfare, on a very pragmatic level is that if you don’t look after people, then they become a very big and even more expensive problem for the rest of society. It is also worth remembering one day it maybe you too, also.

So to recap…

Dan Tehan is my Federal member for Wannon, I can vote for him or not, so I try and keep up with what he is saying.
In his opinion piece, Dan Tehan (Australian Financial Review, October 19, 2015) threw around some ideas about taxation. He didn’t state any particular preferences but he did put out some examples that are happening elsewhere in the world.

“In the United Kingdom they have started to cut at the bottom and David Cameron has promised to lift the tax free threshold, the Personal Allowance, to £12,500 by 2020. The aim is to then align the minimum wage with the tax-free threshold, effectively making the minimum wage tax free.”
Then later in the opinion piece he quoted “For those on the minimum wage [in Australia}, which the Productivity Commission puts at $33,327”

So moving on…

So for this premise let’s raise the tax free threshold for the pension, new start (the dole) and Austudy to $33,337 per annum, minimum wage.

So this means that people on a benefit can get work and earn up to $33,337 if they want to.
While still being paid their benefit

The benefit will decrease dollar for dollar if they earn above to $33,337.
People earning over $33,328 should still pay the 19% tax rate for the amount earnt between $33,328 to $37,001. The difference being $3673 per annum with tax payable of $698 per annum or $13.42 per week just to be constant 😉

Anyway here goes…

We will work with new start as an example, the lowest payment is $523.40 per fortnight, $261.7 per week or $13608.40 per year

A) So $33,327 minus the tax free threshold of $18,200 ($33,3270- $18,200) = $15,127

B) If you add $13608.40 the tax free threshold of $18,200 = $31808.4

The difference between the two (A&B) is $1518.6 per year or $29.21 per week.

By encouraging people on benefits to earn up to an additional $19718.60 per year or $379.00 per week they would very likely spend it on living expenses and generate GST tax.

The work commitment for this could mean between 16 to 20 hours of paid work or less depending on the pay rate offered for the work done.

So at $13608.40 the maximum Gst generated by this person would be $1360.84 per year, 26.17 per week.

So at $33,337 the maximum Gst generated by this person would be $ 3333.70per year, $64.11 per week.

That could equate to a maximum of $1970 per year or $37.94 per week additional GST tax revenue per person on benefits. No Dole blugders there, they are paying their way!

Another way to look at it, we could be, (at a maximum) reducing the amount paid out by the government by 14.2% on welfare. Unlikely but a fellow can dream. Even if this amount was half it would be close to what the government spends on National Defence. 1% or 2% saving on the social benefit budget would be amazing.

While this does have some great multiplier effects:-
A better standard of living for those on benefits
Potentially Better health outcomes
Potentially Better education outcomes
More people in work
More money being spent
Lower administration costs for businesses
Lower administration costs for Government agencies
Simplified taxation process
More regular income for the government
There are no tax dodgers

And there are no Dole bludgers/scammers either ! And that was always bullshit anyway, as a society we need everyone.

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan ‪@Louisestanley‬ ‪@MichaelOConnor‬ #3373 #DanTehan ‪#‎Louisestaley‬

Lets talk about Tax baby, you and me

I like tax, I see how it works and I’m not against tax.

Dan Tehan is my Federal member for Wannon, I can vote for him or not, so I try and keep up with what he is saying.
In his opinion piece, Dan Tehan (Australian Financial Review, October 19, 2015) threw around some ideas about taxation. He didn’t state any particular preferences but he did put out some examples that are happening elsewhere in the world.

“In the United Kingdom they have started to cut at the bottom and David Cameron has promised to lift the tax free threshold, the Personal Allowance, to £12,500 by 2020. The aim is to then align the minimum wage with the tax-free threshold, effectively making the minimum wage tax free.”

Then later in the opinion piece he quoted “For those on the minimum wage [in Australia], which the Productivity Commission puts at $33,327”

So for this premise let’s raise the tax free threshold to $33,337 per annum, minimum wage.

People earning over 37,001 should still pay the 19% tax rate for the amount earnt between $18,200 to $37,001, take it or leave it, just my opinion.

People earning over $33,328 should still pay the 19% tax rate for the amount earnt between $33,328 to $37,001. The difference being $3673 per annum with tax payable of $698 per annum or $13.42 per week just to be pedantic 😉

Anyway here goes…

So $33,327 minus the tax free threshold of $18,200 ($33,3270- $18,200) = $15,127 taxable income. At the 19% tax rate that equals a maximum of $2874.13 per year of $55.28 per week.

That would equate to a maximum of $141,516,800 in tax per year (12.8 million workers, 20% pay this tax rate = 2,560,000 people paying $55.28 per week ( maxium)

If you deduct 10% for personal savings off $33,327 you get $29,994.30

$29994.30 would be the maximum spent per individual per year on good and services (GST)

The GST payable on $29994.30 goods and services provided to these people could be $2999.43 per year or $57.68 per week per person on average.

That would equate to a maximum of $147,664,246.16 in GST tax per year (12.8 million workers, 20% pay this GST rate = 2,560,000 people paying $57.68 per week ( maxium)

This would equal to a net gain for the government of $6,147,446.16 per year.

While this doesn’t sound much it does have some great multiplier effects.

A better standard of living for those in that income bracket
Potentially Better health outcomes
Potentially Better education outcomes
More people in work
More money being spent
Lower administration costs for businesses
Simplified taxation process
More regular income for the government
There are no tax dodgers
And there are no Dole bludgers/scammers either but I will save that for my next post…

This post is part of the “My Wannon Electorate Project”. The Democratic process is a two way street. We in Australia are obliged to vote for federal, state and local governments. This is my way to engage with the people who are elected to represent me in the various tiers of Government. @3373 @DanTehan ‪@Louisestanley‬ ‪@MichaelOConnor‬ #3373 #DanTehan ‪#‎Louisestanley‬ ‪#‎MichaelOConnor‬ I hope you do the same because by talking to each other, we can understand each other better and make our world a better place

Read the Whole article here…

http://www.dantehan.com.au/2015/10/opinion-income-tax-at-its-use-by-date/
Some of the data I accessed for this post
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/6306.0Main%20Features3May%202014?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=6306.0&issue=May%202014&num=&view=
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/4102.0main+features202014
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/personal-savings
http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/newstart-allowance/payment-rates-for-newstart-allowance
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/6105.0Feature%20Article55July%202014?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=6105.0&issue=July%202014&num=&view=