Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


I might yet vote for the Liberals …

*Pic: A photograph from Google Maps of the clearfell logging due west of Smithton as peeler billets are ripped out of the Tarkine …

Save Mutual Valley: It seems FT have come to the conclusion that they are never going to get FSC certification

First published February 13

On 29 November 2016 the Liberal Government released documentation for a draft bill to prevent the shifting of profits out of Australia to countries with a tax rate of less than 24%. This bill when implemented will allow the ATO to impose a penalty rate of 40% on shifted profits.

The new tax, now known as The Diverted Profits Tax (DPT), will commence on 1 July 2017 to complement the current Australian Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law passed in 2015. The DPT aims to ensure that the tax paid by significant global entities properly reflects the economic substance of their Australian activities with the aim of preventing the diversion of profits offshore. The tax will apply to multinationals which have a global income in excess of a $1 billion and an Australian income of more than $25 million.

It would appear that Ta Ann Tasmania, through the assets and wealth of its ultimate owners in Sarawak, will fall within the remit of the ATO.

If not, then the legislation should be redrafted for it is, as one would expect of crony capitalism, purely window dressing that is not intended to affect the cronies or the maaaaaates.

Currently Forestry Tasmania has only one substantial customer, namely Ta Ann Tasmania (TAT) to which it is contracted to sell 157,000 tonnes of peeler billets annually under their current wood supply agreement.

To reduce the substantial losses already incurred in supplying the billets, Forestry Tasmania needs to source the billets as close to the mill door at Smithton as possible, otherwise their loss is exponentially increased.

Lapoinya is the classic loss-making example of Forestry Tasmania’s dilemma. Because of its location it was logged 30 years before time to meet the contracts gifted by Evan Rolley as CEO of FT to his current employer Ta Ann — refer also to the current article on TT titled Roading in the Tarkine ( ‘Forestry Tasmania: Illegal roading in the Tarkine’ ). Both are examples, in the words of John Lawrence, of Forestry Tasmania’s belligerent stupidity, born of contractual necessity.

We now come to the Diverted Profits Tax and its application to Ta Ann. I refer readers to John Lawrence and his most informative blog referenced here on TT by clicking on Tasfintalk ( here ). Scroll to the bottom and go to Ta Ann (6) and then the first article, namely The Ta Ann Dossier, 31 Jan 2016.

John explains blow by blow the history of Ta Ann in Tasmania and the fact that, for 5 of the 8 years for which financial data is available, revenue was insufficient to cover the factory costs.

Losses to date have been $15 million … even after the gift of $44 million in Government grants.

Profits are shifted by companies using one of three methods:

(a) Interest on loans.

(b) Foreign exchange losses.

(c) Adjusting the selling price.

Ta Ann Tasmania is owned by the Malaysian company Ta Ann Holdings Berhad which in turn is controlled by the Taib family of Sarawak whose head, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, owns or controls companies now reputedly worth US15 billion dollars.

I propose on behalf of all Tasmanians who see their island timber resource being exported at a loss to Malaysia through the combined efforts of a group of corrupt Tasmanian cronies that [i]On the 1 July 2017 the ATO puts Ta Ann and its owners up as the first case for investigation for possible profit shifting under the newly introduced Commonwealth Diverted Profits Tax.[/i]

If this happens I promise that I will then vote Liberal at the next election.

For a history of corruption over due process regarding Forestry in Tasmania read my Submission as tendered by Andrew Wilkie in the Australian Parliament and available on Hansard, Here: Forestry Tasmania, Andrew Wilkie MP and the tabled document …

*John Hawkins was born and educated in England. He has lived in Tasmania for 13 years. He is the author of “Australian Silver 1800–1900” and “Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking” and “The Hawkins Zoomorphic Collection” as well as “The Al Tajir Collection of Silver and Gold” and nearly 100 articles on the Australian Decorative Arts. He is a Past President and Life Member of The Australian Art & Antique Dealers Association. John has lived in Australia for 50 years and is 75 this year. In two of the world’s longest endurance marathons and in the only teams to ever complete these two events, he drove his four-in-hand team from Melbourne to Sydney in 1985 and from Sydney to Brisbane in 1988.

Save Mutual Valley: It seems FT have come to the conclusion that they are never going to get FSC certification

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  1. Chris

    February 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Just imagine if the Erica Betz influenced Government decided to spend $140 million on domestic roof top solar what difference that would make to dam levels in this state.(how much was spent on the crisis?)
    We could export power all over the place at a huge profit, provided of course we hire another annual $100 million Bass link cable, What a Macquarie Bank opportunity!
    No doubt the Fizza will add another 1.75 to keep us solvent.
    The 25 holes drilled in Tasmania by Kuth found a lot of hot water, which is good for producing geothermal power, but unfortunately there is no coal at the bottom of the holes.

    Now John go out and vote …….

  2. Geoff Capper

    February 13, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I’m pretty certain that this one item of reasonable policy will fail to fill the insatiable economic black hole the Libs have created enough to warrant earning our votes. It also needs to be considered in light of the cutbacks in the ATO departments responsible for pursuing such things. A law is no good if it can’t (wont?) be enforced.

    Having said that, I think the next election will be decided on who can foment the most fear, resentment and division in the next cycle, rather than the supposed traditional political concerns of the economic and social well-being of our nation.

    The outlier issue would be political corruption and expenses scandals. If they can maintain a place in our collective imagination for that long, and in the face of the inevitable next heightened threat from non-dinky-di humanity that will appear as we head toward the voting booths they could play some role.

    All-in-all I wouldn’t be promising my vote for so little. A federal level royal commission into FT and all that’s gone on would be far more useful; or even better an ICAC that takes it on as the first case.

  3. William Boeder

    February 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Hello John Hayward, hopefully, others will read and heed another of your bestest gem-like deadly accurate observations.

  4. john hayward

    February 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Before buying the DPT, or any other magic beans from the Turnbull Government, John should consider that it may be contingent on having the corporate tax lowered to 15% , perhaps with a mobile decimal point. You couldn’t expect them to abandon their bedrock principles – self-interest/crony capitalism – as if it were some idle campaign promise.

    You also need to remember that Ta Ann would have no problem stumping up the $1.75m needed to install Evan Rolley as the next PM.

    John Hayward

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