The Biggest & Best Event Of The Year!

It is with great delight that I can finally let you know that registration for the biggest, the best, the most exciting pro-liberty conference in the Asia Pacific region is finally open.

That’s right, registration is now open for the 5th ALS Friedman Conference, with a lineup of speakers, events, and contests you just won’t believe.

In addition to some of the best speakers from not just Australia, but over a dozen international speakers, this years conference will include interactive workshops, hands on activism training, filming with YouTube sensations, debates on topical issues like the Trump Phenomenon, student-led sessions highlighting the leaders of tomorrow, and a chance win a staggering $5,000 in our “Shark Tank” contest! Not to mention our line up of panels, speakers, discussions, and the Gala Dinner & Presentation of the Liberty Awards. If you thought last year’s conference was good, believe me, it has nothing compared to the epic we have planned for 2017.

AND IF YOU BOOK NOW YOU CAN SAVE UP TO $150 WITH OUR EARLY BIRD SPECIALS!

Just some of the great international speakers we have include:

Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason Magazine, and one of the United States’ most widely respected commentators;Professor Mike Munger from Duke University, considered one of the world’s best public choice economists; Austin Peterson, former candidate for US President for Libertarian Party Nomination; Matthew Sinclair, my personal hero, and known as the best issues campaigner alive today, responsible for campaigns such as “Mash The Beer Tax” in the UK which succeeded in forcing the Government to CUT the beer tax for the first time in a half century; Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute in London; Rory Bromfield, Director of The Pro-Brexit “Better Off Out” Campaign; Libertarian activist and author Avens O’Brien,  Naomi Brockwell, A producer on the Stossel Show formerly on Fox News, and Policy Director of Blockchain Tech Corp, Jordan Williams from the NZ Taxpayers’ Union and Zoltan Kesz, a member of the Hungarian Parliament!

Our Australian speakers include: Ross Cameron, Former Liberal MP and Sky News Commentator; Mark Latham, the controversial former Australian Leader of the Labor Party; Lorraine Findlay, Law Lecturer at Murdoch University and anti 18C activist, Theresa Moltoni OAM, President of the Queensland Chamber of Commerce, Professor Suri Ratnapala, Emeritus Professor at The University of Queensland, Professor Wolfgang Kasper, Dr Tanvir Ahmed,Sydney based psychiatrist and author of Fragile Nation, and Andrew Bragg Director of Policy & Research of the Menzies Research Centre.

And that’s only just the start! For a full list of speakers visit http://www.friedman17.org/speakers

We are currently going through a period of profound change not just in Australia, but around the world. Disenchantment with politics as usual is at an all time high as people are desperate for something different. This years Friedman Conference will address the heart of these issues, providing a way forward, and is one you simply can not afford to miss. There will be disagreement, there will be debate, but there will be intellectual stimulation, great people, and a fantastic time for all.

The Conference shall be held in Sydney, at the Aerial UTS Function Centre in Ultimo from 28-30 of April. Different packages to suit your budget are available, and for further information and to secure your spot please visit www.friedman17.org. Last years conference sold out with close to 350 attendees attending, so be sure to get your tickets quick! 

 

BREAKING: Australia Supporting Attack On Media Freedom, Transparency

In a shocking attack on fundamental concepts of media freedom and government accountability, the Australian Delegation at the World Health Organisation’s WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Meeting currently under way in Delhi voted to eject all journalists and observers from the room, so that negotiations could be conducted in secret without any public scrutiny.

This meeting, partially funded by Australian taxes, and costing millions, is expected to call for further regulation of life-saving tobacco harm reduction technologies, in a move many say is designed to protect government cigarette tax revenues.

As discussions were going on, in a move fully supported by the Australian delegation, journalists wanting to report on proceedings were physically removed from the room by security:

The United Nations, under which the WHO falls, has consistently proclaimed its support for press freedom, with outgoing Secretary Ban Ki Moon stating “I urge all Governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media. Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered. With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”

So it is particularly disgraceful that the United Nations is refusing to apply this rule to itself.

 

But that’s not all – the FCTC then started blocking journalists on Twitter. Not content with refusing them access to the negotiations, they are now engaging on a vicious campaign of blocking anyone from following them!

This is a meeting funded by Australian taxes.  Our taxpayers have a right to know how our money is being spent and it is a shameful disgrace that our government has acted to suppress transparency, accountability, and freedom of the press.

Sign the petition: Gillian Triggs must resign!

The latest revelations of her misleading parliament are the last straw.

Professor Triggs, who earns a $408,000 a year annual package as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, is unfit to hold office.

In the last three years she has not just mislead parliament. She has:

Visit www.GillianTriggsMustResign.com and sign the petition today!

Why Is Our Government Refusing To Save People’s Lives?

Imagine there was a way to save hundreds of thousands of lives and save the Australian taxpayer hundreds of million dollars a year in healthcare costs.

Imagine if such a technology existed. And experts all over the world have proven that there was no risk involved – just the potential to save lives.

Wouldn’t this be something? Wouldn’t it be miraculous? We would be singing and dancing in the streets!

The fact is that such a technology does exist – and the Australian government has made it illegal.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Australia. Millions of Australians can’t break the habit and die as a result.

Yet now a new technology – vaping – has arrived which helps smokers to quit. By delivering nicotine through water vapour, they still get their fix – but with none of the carcinogenic tars or chemicals involved in the burning of tobacco. It is a proven safe way to get people to quit and save lives.

The evidence is clear: As an expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England concluded: vaping is 95% safer than smoking and helps smokers quit. The UK Royal College of Physicians has begged for governments to  support vaping as the best way to prevent death and disability from tobacco use. In fact, 40 of the leading public health activists in Australia and around the world have begged the Australian government to make this life-saving technology legal.

Why is our government standing in the way of saving people’s lives?

This is not a case of the government being wrong or misguided. This is a case of the government standing in the way of saving people’s lives. It is morally reprehensible, and we need to do something about it.

This is why the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, in conjunction with MyChoice Australia, have launched a new campaign for the Australian government to legalise vaping.

Please join our campaign at www.thrnow.com and tell your representatives that you support legalising vaping.

Because lives are literally at stake. Click HERE to join the campaign. It will take only a minute – but will make a real difference.

United Nations Calls for a 20% Soft Drinks & Juice Tax

The United Nations Health Agency has recently called on all countries to implement of “at least 20%” on sugar sweetened beverages to curb the epidemic of global obesity. This is a sensible suggestion at first glance, but this exact tax has been tried in many countries and has had no or minimal effect on obesity. This is a public policy suggestion based in intentions and not actual results, leading to many unintended consequences.

The tax is meant to increase the price of sugar sweetened beverages which leads to a decrease in consumption and improved health outcomes of people. But this tax has led to a minimal reduction in energy consumption with the Rural Health Minister, Fiona Nash calling this tax “a lazy solution to a complex problem.”

Firstly, the tax gets partly absorbed by the business’ and partly by the consumer. Secondly, consumers instead of reducing energy consumption, have moved to inferior goods which are more affordable, along with substituting energy in other areas like food. People are inelastic with their energy consumption which means it’s hard to tax people into health, without causing many other problems. This was exemplified with the Danish fat tax which saw 90% of people not change their dietary habits. And also New Zealand where sugar consumption decreased 11% for males while obesity soared 63%.

This tax has the potential of threatening many sugar industry jobs and incur huge economic costs for minor health benefits. For every $1 of health savings from the sugar tax in the UK, taxpayers’ pay about $65. The indirect health outcomes are minuscule compared to the tax paid.

This tax, like any other consumption tax, is regressive, and affects the poorest people the most. This is especially bad since the poorest people are the least elastic group with their food consumption.

This is an irresponsible band aid solution from the UN which will cause more harm than good.

Cody Findlay is an intern at The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance

HRN CONFERENCE & ATA SYMPOSIUM

I am delighted to invite you to a very special event in Melbourne on Saturday October 22: An Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance Symposium on how we can create a positive and pro-liberty agenda for the 45th Parliament.

With serious gridlock in the federal senate, and a lack of firm leadership in the major parties, substantial policy reform is looking harder and harder to achieve. This is why we’ve decided to set a new and improved agenda for the 45th Parliament, showcasing feasible and necessary reforms our politicians can implement!

Joining us shall be:

Professor Sinclair Davidson, RMIT University
Senator James Paterson, Senator for Victoria
Lara Jeffery, Director, MyChoice Australia
Terry Barnes, Director of Cormorant Policy Advice
Dr Mikayla Novak, Economist
Aaron Lane, Legal Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs

Following the conclusion of the Symposium will be a cocktail reception (with nibbles and a 3h drinks package) where I shall be making a short address.

This shall be an event not to be missed and I hope to see you there!

But it gets even better: We will immediately following the Annual Conference of Australia’s leading industrial relations reform organisation, the HR Nicholls Society, and attending both events will secure you a $25 discount! 

The HR Nicholls Society Conference, entitled “The State of Reform”, commences with a Friday Night dinner with Senator The Hon Eric Abetz, Former Minister for Employment, and Saturday Day sessions with The Hon Robert Clarke MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations in the Victorian Parliament, Senator Malcolm Roberts, Senator for Queensland, Economist and writer Judith Sloan, Alternative union entrepreneur Graeme Haycroft, and The Hon Peter Katsambanis MLC from Western Australia.

Both events shall be held at the same venue.

Date & Time
HRN Conference: 6:00 Friday 21st of October through 3:00pm Saturday 22nd of October
ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception: 3:30pm through 9:00pm, Saturday 22nd of October

Cost:

A DISCOUNT OF 20% (Adults) or 50% (students) APPLIES ON TOP OF THE BELOW RATE FOR ATA MEMBERS. TO ACCESS THE DISCOUNT ENTER “ATAdiscount” or “studentHRN”UPON CHECKOUT .

ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception: $75
ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception (Student): $50
HRN Conference Only: $260
HRN and ATA package – $310.00 or $270 Student
RSVP: https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=231715

This will be a highly intellectually stimulating, vibrant and worthwhile conference to attend that I have no doubt all our members and supporters shall strongly enjoy!

If you believe in liberty and restoring Australia’s prosperity, these events are not to be missed, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Yours in Liberty,
Tim Andrews
Executive Director
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance

Victoria To Introduce World’s Largest Ridesharing Tax

Via The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance:

Media Release: Victoria To Introduce World’s Largest Ridesharing Tax

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance today condemned the Victorian Government for introducing the world’s largest tax on ridesharing consumers to fund hundreds of millions of dollars to bailout the taxi industry – and help balance their own budget on the sly.

“This is an outrageous and economically damaging tax slug by a government that is clearly more interested in bailing out mates than the taxpayers of Victoria” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “There is no economic justification to bailout a dying industry because it has failed to keep up with technology as Victorians have voted with their feet. To use hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to pay off cabbies is simply morally repugnant. This craven cash grab means Victorian will be slugged with the world’s highest tax on ridesharing. In the United States, only one state (Massachusetts) has instituted such a tax – and it was five cents!”

“The economic case against this tax is overwhelming. The Grattan Institute in a landmark report detailing the benefits of ridesharing to Victoria found that “Victoria is not legally obliged to offer compensation” and that “licence holders have made good returns on their licences”. Professor Richard Holden from the University of NSW found “the economic case for compensating existing license holders is not strong…” and that “there is a lack of publicly accessible evidence to support the argument that compensation should be paid” and that if any limited compensation was payable, it should be done out of consolidated revenue and not a great new tax.

“Make no mistake: This is a tax that will benefit multi-million dollar corporations like Cabcharge, who have been previously fined millions of dollars in the Federal Court for ripping off consumers, while reports of an epidemic of sexual assaults by Victorian cab drivers have gone unaddressed, with perpetrators protected by the industry, while ordinary drivers won’t see a cent.  Is this really who Premier Dan Andrews wishes to reword with our taxes?

“To make matters worse, this tax is set to keep slugging consumers long after the bailouts have been paid. With no sunset clause, and over 35 million taxi trips taken in Victoria a year, once hire cars and uber are counted, this tax will close to a staggering billion dollars over the next decade. This is revenue raising – pure and simple. Victorians are taxed enough already and don’t need another great new tax. If the government wants to keep the budget in the black, it should start by cutting overspending, and not slugging Victorians with another great new tax.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Tim Andrews, Executive Director, Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance
(m) 0434064934 (e) tandrews@taxpayers.org.au (w) www.taxpayers.org.au

 

Restore Free Speech – Urgent Action Alert!

We are only TWO votes in parliament away from reforming section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Take action today: Tell your MP and Senators to to secure our most fundamental human right! 

Freedom to express yourself.  Freedom of conscience. The most fundamental human freedoms are only made possible by a strongly guarded right to free speech. It is this right that has made Australia great. But today, the threat to free speech on every mind is Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination act.

We have already seen the devastating consequences

Three students at QUT facing $250,000 in fines for criticising indigenous-only computer labs.   Andrew Bolt dragged through the courts for criticising the welfare industry that destroys indigenous communities.

Together, we CAN end this madness. We CAN achieve reform of s18C and restore free speech to Australia.

Send a message to your MP and Senators today!

Putting the BS in ABS

You know what really sucks? No, not a vaccum cleaner. Australia’s online census. Minister for small business, Michael McCormack wonders what all the fuss is about. After all, isn’t it no different than handing your personal details over to Facebook – something which millions of Australians voluntarily do?

Well, there are a few differences.

Firstly, Facebook doesn’t put a gun to your head by charging you $180 if you don’t hand over your personal information. However blaze we can be when it comes to divulging personal details online – we at least know that we’re doing it voluntarily and not out of coercion.

But but…. what is free will, really? Does it even exist? How can we see mirrors if our eyes aren’t real…?

Secondly, Facebook doesn’t demand your actual address and it’s easy enough to use a fake name. The truth is that like many of my fellow Gen Y and millennials, I don’t care that much if Facebook collects data about what I like so I can be hit with customised ad campaigns for cat food and dubious memes. I’m more concerned about handing over my name and address, knowing that the information could fall into the Dorito crumb-covered hands of some fedora-wearing hacker bent on releasing the private details of millions purely for the lols. Why not? Its already happened in the past – examples include Xbox Live and even the US Census Bureau which were both hacked. Despite the government’s tough talk about how good their cybersecurity is – and they may well be right, there’s still no guarantee that your details will be safe. This is especially so when the census now holds your information for 4 years rather than 18 months as they did in years past.

In any event – Facebook is a part of the private internet where you can be whoever you want. It’s a magical place where the men are men, the women are foreign men running scams and the kids are FBI agents.  My name is Count Swagula, I live on 666 Pimp St. and Mark Zuckerberg is yet to question these details. I’m not sure how happy the ABS will be with them, though.

Thirdly… Facebook doesn’t pull a Titanic when I need it. As I write this, I’m sitting in front of a screen emblazoned with an error message following a prolonged crash.  I thought Australia was the land of freedom. This truly put the ‘B.S’ in ‘A.B.S’.

Satyajeet Marar is an intern at The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance

What Australians need to know about the American election.

Donald Trump will win the US Presidential Election, argues Sam Oldfield:
Australians are looking at the American election through an Australian prism, they are looking at the negative campaign against Trump promoted by Sky News and others and thinking Trump can’t possibly win. They are mistaken.

America doesn’t have compulsory voting, less than 57.5% of eligible citizens voted in 2012 and that was for Obama, the candidate that beat Hillary in 2008. What got Obama his second term, and I said this at the time, is the absolutely lacklustre performance of Mitt Romney.

And therein lies the key, what’s going on with Sanders supporters, and democrats in general, is that they are not actually willing to vote for Clinton. Sure a lot of hardliners will make the trip to the booth, but Sanders supporters will wallow in their own misery and the cynical just won’t bother.

What Trump has that Hillary doesn’t have is a positive message, and Hillary’s slogan says it all “love trumps hate.” Donald Trump is defensible, anyone who’s tangled with me on the matter knows I can give a good defense and I’m not the only one. But nobody even bothers to defend Clinton. So the best Hillary can do is convince people not to vote for Trump, but Trump can not only give reasons not to vote for Hillary, he can convince people to vote for him. Continue reading