Are you an ordinary member of the public?

Do you fit into this legal definition of an ordinary member of the public?


The Butterworth Concise Australian legal dictionary second edition 1998 page 319 defines an ordinary member of the public as being…

“… the astute and the gullible, the intelligent and the no-so-intelligent, the well-educated as well as the poorly educated, men and women of various ages pursuing a variety of vocations”

Pell’s painful legacy

There is a wider story behind a recent media release than meets the eye

On June 29th 2017 Cardinal George Pell was charged by the Victorian Police with multiple counts of child abuse, including sexual abuse. This occurred whilst he was a senior member of the Catholic clergy in Australia.

It should be remembered  that Cardinal Pell deserves to be treated with due process and is not guilty of any offence until such time as proven otherwise by a court of law!

I believe that what should also be remembered that in the past Cardinal Pell also seems to have protected paedophile priests while has was the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. In particular it has also been alleged that Cardinal Pell protected a paedophile priest by the name of Peter Searson while he was in that same senior position. Perhaps what is more concerning from that time are the allegations that have been made that Cardinal Pell dismissed frequent complaints from concerned teachers and parents from different Catholic parishes who were attempting to convey their anxiety about Searson’s behaviour. This is more especially so in the Doveton parish in Melbourne.

I think it should also be known that Searson’s cruel activities eventually became known to senior officials in the Vatican. It is alleged that these officials made no attempt to restrain Searson’s violent activities either.

On August the 12th 2014 the ABC Four Corners program presented a story that seems to support my words. I urge you to review this programme and more particularly the segment from forty minutes onwards [re Searson]. If you can do this then I ask you to consider how people who suffered at the hands of people like Searson would feel now that George Pell has been charged. Should they feel pleased that justice now seems to be occurring? Should they feel more angry than ever about their wasted lives? Or perhaps equally either way?

Also, how do you think such victims would feel if they had not received any financial compensation from the Catholic Church or its agencies, or on the other hand, merely a pittance.

This is the bigger story behind the recent media release relating to the alleged unethical behaviour of Cardinal George Pell.

Have trillions of dollars been misappropriated [thieved] from Australian national welfare fund?

If this has happened Australian pensioners would now be legally entitled to a pension of $1000 per week.

Source: Brian Hale, The Courier-Mail-January 11, 2017


“THE stigma of charity should be removed from the age pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund,” said a very famous Australian long ago.  Who? Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. When? At the time the current pension scheme was introduced. Fund? What fund and what personal contribution?

You wouldn’t know about it listening to the major parties’ politicians or Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm who, echoing former Treasurer Joe Hockey, told the ABC he wants Australians to drop their sense of entitlement to the aged pension, which should only be paid to poor people, and receiving it should be “nothing to be proud of”.

Well, no David, most pensioners worked and spent a lifetime paying for their pensions. It’s not welfare and, when it was introduced, it was actually meant to be an entitlement. A 7.5 per cent tithe was taken from wages to put into a fund to pay their pensions. Just as workers now have superannuation collected.

What a good idea! Unfortunately (for pensioners) the Labor Party insisted the contributions shouldn’t be kept in individual accounts as in the UK and the US where retirees get the entitlement earned by their contributions. Instead, it all went into one big pot, the National Welfare Fund. And when the pot got really big, the politicians took it.

They won’t talk about the historical facts because these days politicians have developed a new “ending the age of entitlement” narrative while pushing the disingenuous line that younger workers are paying tax to support pensioners.  Menzies was opposition leader when then prime minister Ben Chifley announced a National Welfare Fund to pay for pensions, unemployment relief, child endowments, even health care with a 7.5 per cent tax increase.

Menzies insisted that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate; that it should be paid straight into a trust account and not mixed with the general revenue.  The levy and the National Welfare Fund began on January 1, 1946, and contributions were shown separately on workers’ personal tax assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, with the money paid straight into the special fund from which claims were paid out.

In 1950 the balance in the fund was almost £100 million or $200 million – in today’s money the equivalent of several trillion dollars.

But the pot was too big for the politicians to leave alone. Menzies, supported by the Australian Labor Party, amended the Acts governing the fund so the compulsory contributions levy was lumped in with people’s income tax and the whole lot paid straight into consolidated revenue.  But the compulsory 7.5 per cent “levy” was still collected and spent.

In 1977 Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser transferred the balance left in the welfare fund account (by then almost $500 million, or several trillion in today’s terms) to consolidated revenue. But still the 7.5 per cent was taken out of everyone’s pay packet every week.  Then in 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced income and asset testing, thus excluding millions of levy and taxpaying Australians from receiving the pension for which they had paid.

But still the 7.5 per cent levy continued to be collected (while hidden in general income tax revenue.) And to this day it still is collected.

There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund and the money paid and similarly stolen (sorry, transferred) since 1985 would be enough to pay a non-means-tested pension to every retiree of far more than $500 a week.  If it had been invested, like the Future Fund, the pension might be $1000 a week. Small beer compared with the politicians’ pension deals but a huge leap for older Aussies, 420,000 of whom had their age pensions cancelled or reduced from January 1.

Ironically, they are the very pensioners who would have the highest pensions if their personal contribution to the “fund” was the yardstick as in the UK and the US.  They probably generally have been Coalition voters. But no more.

Spend time in the RSLs, bowling clubs, voluntary organisations and the like, where these people gather and it is clear they are Liberal-National voters no more.  In lieu of an Australian Trump, they see no alternative but One Nation.

The Coalition, supported by Labor and the Greens, has turned 180 degrees from Menzies’ view the age pension is “an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund” and portrays it as charity.  For many Australians this alone shows how far the parties they once supported have strayed from principle.

The arrogant politicians think they can hypocritically and sanctimoniously speak condescendingly of older Australians.  They are in for a shock.

Brian Hale is a former business editor ofThe Courier-Mail and The Australian

Is the Australian Taxation Office God?

The Australian Government has given its tax collector a powerful clout

The Law that gives it this clout is:

“The Commissioner may: • Treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; • Treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as having happened at a particular time and having involved particular action by a particular entity; (or) • Treat a particular event that actually happened as having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened, or having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).”

From section 165.55 of the Australian Commonwealth Statute Titled: ‘A New Tax System (Goods And Services Tax) Act 1999.’


When an eggshell is not an eggshell

A simple story about why we all should be very careful to whomever we touch or somehow unduly influence and hurt in some way.

 I provide a simple metaphor for this legal phenomenon. I lightly punched you in the nose and you immediately commenced bleeding I was not too concerned about it. We both went home to clean ourselves up. Two days later two police officers arrive at my doorstep to take me into custody for an alleged act of murder. I arrived at the police station. I am informed you had died the night before and that I was responsible for your death. Following a police interview the police made a decision I was likely to be guilty of murder and I was locked up in the police cells pending a court hearing. It transpired when I hot headedly hit you I did not know you had an existing medical condition. This was a well advanced tumor in your upper nasal passages. I belatedly learned the day after I struck you that you went into convulsions and consequently died.

It is against this type of medical situation the ‘law of eggshell’ came into being. Although I do not know the exact basis of the case that prompted the establishment of the eggshell law rule, it appears it followed when a person hit another person over the head and died. The person who conducted the assault did not know the victim had an unusually thin skull [like an eggshell] through a pre-exiting medical condition. What this law seems to be implying is if one seeks to injure another person in some way they should seriously consider such a possibility before they strike out in the first place. This is another law that is likely most people would never have heard of. Three short case histories are as follows.


“(UK) In the case of Smith v. Leech Brain & Co., an employee in a factory was splashed with molten metal. The metal burned him on his lip, which happened to be premalignant tissue. He died three years later from cancer triggered by the injury. The judge held that as long as the initial injury was foreseeable, the defendant was liable for all the harm.

(US) In 1891, the Wisconsin Supreme Court came to a similar result in Vosburg v. Putney. In that case, a boy threw a small kick at another from across the aisle in the classroom. It turned out that the victim had an unknown microbial condition that was irritated, and resulted in him entirely losing the use of his leg. No one could have predicted the level of injury. Nevertheless, the court found that the kicking was unlawful because it violated the “order and decorum of the classroom”, and the perpetrator was therefore fully liable for the injury.

(US) In Benn v. Thomas, the appellate court determined that the eggshell rule should have been applied to a case in which a man had a heart attack and died after being bruised in the chest during a rear-end car accident.”