Constitutional problems with the Carbon Tax

The IPA has commissioned Bryan Pape to express an opinion on the constitutionality of the carbon tax.

‘The legal opinion concludes that the legislation can be challenged on a number of grounds, including:

1. The Commonwealth cannot tax State property. Legally carbon dioxide emissions are State property.

2. The Commonwealth cannot impose a carbon tax and other related penalties within the same Act.

3. The Commonwealth cannot introduce a carbon tax within its external affairs powers.

‘The IPA commissioned a legal opinion because State governments have sat on their hands and let the Gillard government introduce a tax that they could potentially stop’.

Jennifer Hewett at the AFR has an excellent write-up.

… the Clean Energy Act 2011 contravenes Section 55 of the constitution by combining the imposition of a tax and its administration. Under that section, laws imposing taxation are permitted to deal only with that, and “any other matter shall be of no effect”. Pape’s opinion argues that means that any other matters included in the law, such as the administration of the tax, should be struck down.

If this argument were to be accepted by the court, none of the other grounds for challenge would be necessary. But if it were not, Pape says there are other avenues of attack.

One is that the so-called tax is actually a penalty, which means it cannot be imposed under taxation laws. Another is that the Act exceeds the corporations power of the commonwealth under Section 51(xx) by declaring it to be “a law with respect to trading corporations’’.

Update: Short form opinion here.

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130 Responses to Constitutional problems with the Carbon Tax

  1. C.L.

    Well I’m no lawyer but…

    The Commonwealth cannot introduce a carbon tax within its external affairs powers.

    Says who?

    My layman’s understanding is that the external affairs power can be used for just about anything, provided some instrument of foreign policy has been entered into by Australia. I’m sure there’s some environmental treaty lying around somewhere.

  2. wm

    dream on Tories. The Tax is here to stay. Your time in opposition has truly made you born to rulers delusional. By the way, get a real job Sinclair and stop sponging off the taxpayer with your tax free status IPA…

  3. George K

    But the BIG question is will anyone take it to court, the only one who seems to have the balls to do so is Campbell

  4. johno

    wm

    Would you like to wager whether the CO2 tax will still be in place three years time? Name your price and what odds you would like.

  5. wm

    oh dear johno, your state of denial will cost you much cashiola. Also, what’s the bet that Abbotts leso greenie sis will convince him that AGW is indeed real and he will become our own Al Gore? Also wahts the bet that Abbott, in his 70’s becomes lefter than Fraser and the rest of those reformed ex-liberals?

  6. JC

    WM

    Are you a Lavatory Pronto refugee? I think you turned right instead of left when you found out and ended up here this morning. I could see you getting all confused.

    And enough of the abusive terms like calling people tories, you lick-spittle leftwing ignoramus.

    John suggested a bet. Don’t walk away from it you coward. Man up and take his bet.

  7. Jim Rose

    the taxing of state government property is the strongest leg in the challenge. most of the others relate to defects in the structure of the law that can be corrected with a new bill.

    the surprise may come from taxes having to be for the purpose of raising revenue. same issue as in the obamacare court case. what is a tax? what is a penalty?

  8. wm

    Sorry JC. didn’t realise you tories (when did that become derogatory? was it when they accepted the consensus on AGW?) didn’t like a dissenting view in your love nest.
    “John suggested a bet.” Unlike you rabid rightoids, I don’t like stealing money off the weak…I have a soul.

  9. JC

    Gutless squib like most leftwing types WM. No shock there. Man up and take the bet you dishonest little turd. Grow a sack.

  10. Token

    WM, from the way you write your emails I can spot you’ve been here before…

    Who are these Tories you refer to? Are you from the UK or Canada? This is a libertarian site.

  11. JC

    On second thoughts being referred to as “Tories” (if a trifle inaccurate) isn’t such a bad form of abuse, WM. At least you tacitly recognize superior breeding compared to your inferior genes.

    Jealous a bit? LOl.

  12. papachango

    When was the last time anything the federal government did was found to be unconstitutional? Even this incompetent rabble. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even the dodgy Malaysia deal was overturned on human rights laws and international treay obligations, not the Aus constitution.

    They had a go at ‘unconstitutional’ with the $900 handout but it had no legs.

    Then there was a view that the mining tax could be unconstititutional, because it effectively took over from state based royalty arragements, but again no cigar.

    Nice idea, but I’m not convinced it will get up, especially with the current lot of activist judges. In any case, if it was overturned you’d never hear the end of it from moaning lefties. I’d rather it came in for a year, was widely unpopular, then consigned to the dustbin by PM Abbott in week one.

    There’s no way the lefties could complain about it then, unless they care to admit that they don’t give a stuff about what the voting public actually want.

  13. JC

    Who are these Tories you refer to?

    Token,

    It’s his or her massive inferiority complex. You need to demonstrate a certain level of magnanimity to obvious self admitted inferior breeding.

    I’m actually humbled by wm’s revelation.

  14. papachango

    oh FFS JC ignore the obvious troll.

    Any carbon tax defender who actually calls it a Tax rather than a ‘price on pollution’ or whatever is clearly just stirring the pot.

  15. wm

    sticks and stones JC. man up?!?! grow a sack?!?!? ahhh, we have a misogynist in our midst. not wanting to steal an imbeciles money is a sign of the feminine weakness is it JC? Now I know why you are offended by the word Tory, cause apart from agreeing with the IPCC on AGW, their most famous leader was a she (well dressed as a she anyway).

  16. Token

    I’m actually humbled by wm’s revelation.

    Hmmm, it seems too much of coincidence, Sinc rid us of one oiled-up troll with an inferiority complex last night JC, and hey press-to WM arrives.

  17. papachango

    who was the ‘oiled-up troll with an inferiority complex ‘ ?

  18. Token

    KofK or Phil or whatever name he is currently appearing under. The way he focused on JC is a dead give away.

  19. wm

    the ‘libertarian censorship’!!! lololol
    so a dissenting view is now a troll?
    You rightoids crack me up…

  20. brc

    obvious troll is obvious.

    It’s no good talking about a high court challenge. Just get on with it. Clive Palmer talked the big talk, time for him to put his expensive team of lawyers onto the case.

    As for the mining tax, the states have had a good look at it and realised they can cut it’s legs off by raising the royalties and keeping all the cash for themselves. So that’s what they are doing.

  21. wm

    KofK or Phil or whatever name he is currently appearing under.

    nah. first time here. Unless of course you have evidence? Actually, you guys just deal in FUD…

  22. JC

    Actually I said on recollection I wasn’t offended by the word, wm. Keep using it.

    You obviously appreciate your own inferiority, which is commendable.

  23. Token

    My layman’s understanding is that the external affairs power can be used for just about anything, provided some instrument of foreign policy has been entered into by Australia. I’m sure there’s some environmental treaty lying around somewhere.

    It is an important point you make CL. Are there any boundaries on the External Affairs power? It seems to a layman that the Federal Government can use this in nearly every circumstance to circumvent the powers allocated to the states in the constitution.

  24. papachango

    Is this the first in a wave of refugee trolls from larvartus thingammyjig hitting our shores?

  25. m0nty

    When was the last time anything the federal government did was found to be unconstitutional? Even this incompetent rabble. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even the dodgy Malaysia deal was overturned on human rights laws and international treay obligations, not the Aus constitution.

    They had a go at ‘unconstitutional’ with the $900 handout but it had no legs.

    Then there was a view that the mining tax could be unconstititutional, because it effectively took over from state based royalty arragements, but again no cigar.

    Nice idea, but I’m not convinced it will get up, especially with the current lot of activist judges. In any case, if it was overturned you’d never hear the end of it from moaning lefties. I’d rather it came in for a year, was widely unpopular, then consigned to the dustbin by PM Abbott in week one.

    There’s no way the lefties could complain about it then, unless they care to admit that they don’t give a stuff about what the voting public actually want.

    That’s just the sort of rational analysis of OPs that this site abhors, papa.

    This is the same Bryan Pape who launched a one-man crusade against the 2008 stimulus in the High Court, which failed miserably. He is a National Party heavy in the seat of New England, which means he’s a failure given Windsor’s success as in independent. He’s hardly a disinterested observer.

  26. Viva

    Obamacare, the carbon tax – what if both are eventually struck down? Interesting judicial times……

  27. wm

    ha. and Mr Palmer’s worried about the CIA infiltrating our politics!!! Here we have a faux-aussie think tank funded by big american oil, tobacco and mining trying its hardest to influence our policies with this litigious sore-loser tantrum. You guys are pathetic. 5 years in opposition has really fried your brains.

  28. JC

    Wm;

    Please. You know your betters. Show them the respect we deserve.

    ha. and Mr Palmer’s worried about the CIA infiltrating our politics!!!

    If I were you, I’d be more worried about the Greenslime wanting da world government and Tubbie Milne peddling junk science like solar and wind.

  29. lotocoti

    nah. first time here. Unless of course you have evidence?

    Welcome back.

  30. wm

    “Tubbie Milne” dude, that’s just rude.

    “peddling junk science like solar and wind”
    nah, thats got nothin on that magic soil scam your liberal party love soooooo much. at least solar and wind actually work.

  31. 5 years in opposition

    I think you are confused, the liberal’s blog is 5 doors on the right

  32. johno

    Just as I expected. wm is all piss and wind.

  33. wm

    guys, just wondering, considering your beloved liberal party, who so generously subsidise the great blog, have gone all socialist (direct action, nannies, mummy welfare, increased company taxes etc) who you gonna vote for?

  34. wm

    I think you are confused, the liberal’s blog is 5 doors on the right

    and I thought you were in the same bed…hmmm…although, with the Monk, I would say they are WAY on the left, even of the labor party…

  35. lotocoti

    nah. first time here.

    It’s such a small world these days.
    The Occupy Melbourne post from last year had a wm as well.
    S/h/it had a thing about tories too.

  36. your liberal party

    yep you are lost, try going through secondary school again, und dis time pay sum atention to da teach!

  37. wm

    The Occupy Melbourne post from last year had a wm as well.

    nah. wrong again. stop your conspiracies and stop playing the man. you’ve gone bonkers…

  38. papachango

    praise from m0nty – goodness me! Though compared to the ‘wm’ troll he’s the epitome of rationality…

    Re Obamacare, again I’m not an expert at all, but that might have more of a chance, what with the US constitution actually protecting individual rights, unlike ours which is essentially an administrative guide to how the federal and state governments should interact.

  39. wm

    seriously though guys, with that pinko lefty Abbott leading your party, how ya gonna get your loony policies up? I mean, surely you woulda been better off with Turnbull? At least he’s a crazy bankster… and that ets he negotiated was far weaker than what Abbott has brought you through his belligerence…I mean, he’s really backed you tories into a corner. With his promises to remove massive government pork barrel revenue from his budget (no mining revenue or CT revenue)…hence his blacker than black hole. Can’t wait for his election promise that ALL prices will MASSIVELY fall when the CT is removed…lololollolol

  40. wm

    so Mr Abbott, will you keep my brand new tax cuts and middle welfare? how much will a cake drop in price? Will electricity prices fall by $300? Will you promise dear Sir? Can you write it down for me… lololol

  41. JC

    Wm is very wound up isn’t s/he. Another sad leftie shows up here. Why us?

  42. wm

    me sad?!?! nah. me happy. very happy.

    you greedoids finally payin your due.

  43. wm

    by the way, is socialising losses or socialising externalities libertarian?

  44. Abu Chowdah

    Here we go. Another fly in troll with no knowledge of the zeitgeist who is starting at the beginning and intent on wheeling out all the lame trolling shit we’ve heard before from Monty, Steve of Brisbane and countless other intellectual pygmies.

  45. OzChampion

    I wonder how much IPA paid for advice with a typo in the first line (2001 vs 2011). Only a disingenuous leftoid would suggest that it doesn’t bode well for the quality of the advice.

    Apart from that it looks great to me, they should go for it.

  46. papachango

    to be fair – at least m0nty and SoB actually try to argue their viewpoint rather than simply posting shite

  47. JC

    by the way, is socialising losses or socialising externalities libertarian?

    no, but sending you to Gitmo, or Malaysia’s illegal immigrant holding pen would be a forgivable one off transgression though.

  48. JC

    to be fair – at least m0nty and SoB actually try to argue their viewpoint rather than simply posting shite

    naaaa. They’re both whine merchants alhough this one is really over compensating the angrification and sneer leftie trick we always witness.

  49. wm

    arguing viewpoints? all I hear is namecalling and pointing out that I don’t belong cause i’m not towing your warped party line. Cmon, this Bryan Pape nutjob wild card stunt is a joke. Seems the IPA are getting desperate. Like I said, its sad. In a sore loser kind of way. Or a bully who picked on the wrong guy and got his ass kicked.

  50. wm

    no, but sending you to Gitmo, or Malaysia’s illegal immigrant holding pen would be a forgivable one off transgression though.

    nah, those with your ideology tend to go there. Like the ethnic version of religious nutjob teabagers…the extremist muslims. and those Norwegian gun tottin windschuttle lovers…me, I just love everyone. Couldn’t hurt a fly…lol

  51. m0nty

    naaaa. They’re both whine merchants alhough this one is really over compensating the angrification and sneer leftie trick we always witness.

    Spoken by the biggest shite talker, whine merchant and angry sneerified poster on this site.

  52. Nelson

    Everyone needs to ignore WM. Don’t take his bait or try to reason with him. He’ll simply spread the argument wider and wider. It’d a cheap and nasty (and unfortunately unbeatable by anyone with out endless hour of time on their hand debating technique). Don’t engage, don’t acknowledge and he’ll leave on his own.

  53. Is it just me, or does Abu seem to be exceptionally cranky and unhappy in the last few weeks?

  54. Nelson

    Everyone needs to ignore WM. Don’t take his bait or try to reason with him. He’ll simply spread the argument wider and wider. It’d a cheap and nasty (and unfortunately unbeatable by anyone with out endless hour of time on their hand debating technique). Don’t engage, don’t acknowledge and he’ll leave on his own.

  55. oil shrill

    is wm going to point out how the legislation is likely to survive any constitutional challenge, or is he going to continue to display mindless ranting stupidity ?

    rhetorical question

  56. Abu Chowdah

    I’m on holidays, Steve. I have more time to get my dander up when I read stupid comments.

  57. Biota

    A good dose of Imodium should help wm.

  58. cohenite

    Any constitutional case could ground in S.114 of the Constitution Act:

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s114.html

    Which says:

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 114
    States may not raise forces. Taxation of property of Commonwealth or State
    A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.

    The issue will be whether the restraint [nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State] on the C’wealth is mitigated by the line:

    without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth

    The federal government already has the consent of the parliament. So, does the condition of consent apply to both states acting in the way described and the C’wealth imposing taxes or just the states with the C’wealth tax right being an absolute prohibition irrespective of Parliamentary consent.

    There’s no doubt some case law on the point; maybe the smartarse wm knows of it.

  59. JC

    Spoken by the biggest shite talker, whine merchant and angry sneerified poster on this site.

    Monster:

    I’ll let that through as I’m big hearted like that, you whiny boofhead. Go have a good cry on the other thread that we were meanies to you but neglecting to reply.

  60. What a good use of your holidays Abu: getting infuriated with people.

  61. Gab

    #

    Is it just me, or does Abu seem to be exceptionally cranky and unhappy in the last few weeks?

    it’s just you, Steve. You and Monty need to stop taking those sensitive pills.

  62. Abu Chowdah

    I am hardly here compared to you, Steve. You’re smugness is ill placed.

  63. I am hardly here compared to you, Steve. You’re smugness is ill placed.

    Steve has a right to be smug, if he can come here any time he wants then he has a freedom you do not and you have to give up holidays for.

  64. Fred

    I’d like to see a Liberal government sign a treaty with Saudi Arabia to ban women driving, then use the external affairs powers to introduce it in Australia.

    Then see how quickly people want to repeal that section of the constitution.

  65. Abu Chowdah

    Or to put it another way, Kelly, Steve has no life.

    Meanwhile I spend an hour in the morning and an hour at night idly surfing the Internet during my holiday.

  66. brc

    @cohenite IANAL but doesn’t the consent of the c’wealth only apply to State actions with regards to military, or taxing c’wealth property. I’m guessing it’s there to stop a state government doing something like introducing a military base tax to get extra cash from the Feds.

    However, the point remains, time to put up or shut up on the constitutional challenge. July fast approaches.

    Strategically, perhaps wiser heads are saying : let it be. Because a loss would legitimise the tax in the eyes of some, while a win would merely probably delay it, and give them a chance to come back with some even more onerous provisions.

    I’m starting to join the camp of ‘let them introduce it and see how people like it’.

    The only shot left in the Labor camp is a public showered with cash and thankful for it, and not noticing the ‘carbon tax’ line items on their electricity bill.

    It’s not going to fly, given the justification for the tax is a lie, and the support is very thin. And the cash amounts don’t have enough zeroes to buy votes.

  67. Peter Patton

    1. The Commonwealth cannot tax State property. Legally carbon dioxide emissions are State property.

    Unless the States agree to it.

    3. The Commonwealth cannot introduce a carbon tax within its external affairs powers.

    Now, THIS part of the opinion I would love to read.

  68. cohenite

    brc; the issue is whether the potential prohibition contained in the consent condition applies to both state and C’Wealth as described; or whether there is a conditional freedom available to the C’Wealth at all.

    In any event you may be right about this dreadful tax being allowed to play out; although it is going to be a very expensive lesson.

  69. wreckage

    And the cash amounts don’t have enough zeroes to buy votes.

    This.

  70. m0nty

    I’ll let that through as I’m big hearted like that, you whiny boofhead. Go have a good cry on the other thread that we were meanies to you but neglecting to reply.

    You are a classic bully, JC, in that on the rare occasions where I have given the abuse back to you in kind, you have crawled away and hid like the insecure, narcissistic, mentally fragile sociopath you are. You have your weak points like I do, and I could flavour each of my posts to you with insults about your colostomy bag or your career as a parasite on productive society… but I don’t want to stoop to your level.

  71. wreckage

    m0nty, as well as the possibility JC is nothing but a bully, some guys just relate via insults. Rather than looking at it as stooping, consider it communicating with another culture.

  72. JC

    Monster, take a deep breath and push down slowly. Let all the air out. Repeat a few times.

    Actually you have it in reverse. You’re the bully here, nitpicking stuff all the time, waylaying threads, misdirecting the course of conversation and then abusing the thread writers.When you;’re called out on your stupidity you usually head for the hills. I don’t particularly appreciate that sort of behavior especially coming from an overweight, way overfed gerbil like you.

    Furthermore I was being nice to you yesterday, which makes me the victim here of your attacks. All I did was make fun of your stumpy looking legs made worse by the fact that your attire was awful (actually the word horrific comes to mind) when I saw you like that on a gold course. Black socks and sneakers? FFS how could you? How could you disrespect the game of golf that way Monster?

    in that on the rare occasions where I have given the abuse back to you in kind, you have crawled away and hid like the insecure, narcissistic, mentally fragile sociopath you are.

    When? When have I ever shirked a stoush with you monster. Stop the lying.

    You have your weak points like I do,

    No I don’t.

    and I could flavour each of my posts to you with insults about your colostomy bag

    My plumbing is in perfect sinc with nature, Fatso.

    or your career as a parasite on productive society… but I don’t want to stoop to your level.

    Yea, like traders are always parasites to leftwing trogs like you. Pity I’m not leeching off Centrelink or the taxpyer like your buddies.

  73. Winston Smith

    Don’t be a bloody sook, mOnty.

  74. C.L.

    What a good use of your holidays Abu…

    Is that somewhere you should go, Steve?

    Didn’t you tell us your idea of a holiday was taking the family on car tours of industrial wastelands?

  75. m0nty

    I live in civilisation, wreckage. We speak with a civil tongue here. The Cat is nominally part of civil society.

    JC speaks civilly when he goes to other blogs like Club Troppo. He is just laying it on here, because he is encouraged and enabled to do so.

    It is not a matter of free speech, it is a matter of the mods setting the tone, because the commenters will follow the lead. Sinclair sets a tone of aggro, intolerance for alternate viewpoints and ideological rigidity. He is the reason that the commenters behave so poorly.

  76. brc

    although it is going to be a very expensive lesson.

    Yes, you’re spot on there. But apparently citizens of this country have been slow learners when it comes to understanding the economy can only take so much before it starts shrinking. The end of the green nightmare can really only come through a punctuated equilibrium, as it were. I speak to educated people who still think of solar and wind projects as essentially harmless and who are fearful of the petrol pumps running dry in 5 years. Something needs to get through to these people.

    The provocateur in me kind of hopes that this expensive lesson includes at least one major power station deciding not to produce power at a loss and just switching it off to save themselves money. That’s unlikely to happen, but it would get people to observe just how much of an alternative to having 24×7 power ‘alternative’ energy really is.

    Ultimately the thing that skewered the corrupt privatisation mess in California is when the lights went off. I was there at the time. The mood in the streets was one of anger. People don’t like having their power switched off and then being told there is nothing they can do about it.

    The same goes for the carbon tax. When the mood gets angry, and people are told it can’t be taken away, the person who suggests they will take it away will garner a lot of votes. We already know carbon taxes and their ilk can be removed – NSW just did exactly that.

  77. Gab

    You know, monty, you’re not locked in here; you can go elsewhere. We’ve heard you loud and clear, ad nauseam.

    And monty derails another thread whingeing.

  78. wreckage

    I live in civilisation, wreckage. We speak with a civil tongue here.

    I live in reality, where we don’t. Whatever. Got any working-class friends?

  79. m0nty

    People keep replying to me, Gab. Like you just then. But you have nothing to say. Like you just then.

  80. Infidel Tiger

    JC can’t you invite mOnty to your club for a game of racquet ball? Isn’t that what you big swinging dick New Yorker types do?

  81. wreckage

    Didn’t you tell us your idea of a holiday was taking the family on car tours of industrial wastelands?

    There’s nothing wrong with that.

  82. JC

    I live in civilisation, wreckage.

    No you don’t. You recently said you live in inner city burb, which is the the basket weaving capital of the state. That’s not civilized when the majority of those trogs voted Greenslime. That’s “uncivilization”the direct opposite.

    We speak with a civil tongue here. The Cat is nominally part of civil society.

    Lay it on Monster.

    JC speaks civilly when he goes to other blogs like Club Troppo.

    How I choose to behave is my business not yours. I also notice you don’t go there derailing threads, talking shit and pestering the thread writers like you do here. Big difference.

    He is just laying it on here, because he is encouraged and enabled to do so.

    No I’m not. Stop lying. No one has ever told me how or not to behave. I’ve never had that sort of discussion with anyone, you idiot.

    It is not a matter of free speech, it is a matter of the mods setting the tone, because the commenters will follow the lead.

    Yes it is. You wish to curtail mine. No one follows anyone’s lead here fella. We’re individuals not a collective.

    Sinclair sets a tone of aggro, intolerance for alternate viewpoints and ideological rigidity.

    Bullshit artist. He’s always been the nicest commenter here. Never snarky and always nice even to people that don’t deserve it like you.

    He is the reason that the commenters behave so poorly.

    Are you one some diet and in a angry mood. Are you in some hunger induced delusional state, Monster? What’s happening to you?

  83. JC

    Don’t be a bloody sook, mOnty.

    “sactly you boofhead. Stop the whining.

  84. stevo

    Wow, the Cat has garnered some serious street cred, judging by the number of paid-up leftoid trollies spending their ample spare time adding pixels to the length of these comments pages.

    The Faceless PR Machine might have officially added a Cat-Cat-Cat meme to the recent Abbott-Abbott-Abbott meme. (Yeh, why not double-down on that raging success of a campaign … hmmm)

    Excellent! Such close attention to the Cat mean only one thing – in about 18 months the Cat will be voted the most popular blog in the nation.

  85. Rafe

    “Sinclair…is the reason that the commenters behave so poorly.”

    At last, something that is not Abbott’s fault:)

  86. JC

    lol… It’s Sinc’s fault Rafe.Not Abbott this time ’round.

  87. Abu Chowdah

    Are you such a whiny baby in real life, Monty?

    Serious question.

  88. JC

    Abu

    He’s been whining since 10 am this morning. And mind you, I’m the victim in this tragedy.

  89. cohenite

    The provocateur in me kind of hopes that this expensive lesson includes at least one major power station deciding not to produce power at a loss and just switching it off to save themselves money. That’s unlikely to happen

    MacGen powers 40% of NSW; it makes about $180 mill net profit PA; it’s CT liability will be a tad under $500 mill PA. Candles still look a reasonable option.

  90. m0nty

    Gee I don’t know Apu, are you a gutless bully in real life? Serious question.

  91. JC

    It’s Abu. Try and get the names right, Monster.

  92. m0nty

    I like calling him Apu.

  93. JC

    Well don’t offend him. You’re also offending me, monster.

  94. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Conversation held at dawn today, south-west of Charleville, QLD, with a local who really knows his feral pigs as he’s been making a living shooting them for 30 years.

    “So how many pigs d’ye reckon are in that mob?”

    “Bout 20-30. Big buggers, too. Hear that boar? mebbe 200-250 pounds”

    “How close to the truck d’ye reckon they are?”

    “Mebbe ten yards.”

    “Pity we can’t see ’em, eh?”

    “Yep.”

    He can’t even trap them, there’s so much food for them they are dispersed across countryside they normally can’t get into.

    The country is amazing, and it’s covered in thick grass up to six, seven feet high. Normally, you hit the area around Dalby and it starts to dry out. Not now, let me tell you. Water everywhere, the place is more thickly carpeted with grasses the further west you go. Maranoa Shire it’s 4-5 foot, you can see down into it from on top of a truck. Further west it’s like a world covered in Kunai. And all the tracks are rooted by washouts.

    Seriously, if you can get out western NSW or QLD or the centre, or the Kimberly in the next few weeks, do so. It’s amazing and beautiful, the sight of a lifetime.

  95. Abu Chowdah

    It’s alright, JC. Monty is incapable of scoring a blow on anyone, poor mite.

  96. Biota

    Mk50, hope it’s still that good in July. I’ll be up through that way to NT.

  97. m0nty

    Well don’t offend him. You’re also offending me, monster.

    It’s lucky you’re a manly man who is impervious to offence and deodorant. You stride the earth, dragging your knuckles hither and yon, hurling insults left and right as only real men do.

  98. twostix

    He is the reason that the commenters behave so poorly.

    Why do you come here m0nty?

    You’ve been obsoleted by newer far superior “look at me I’m a pop-leftist” models lately (max-scream, etc) and your total addition to the site for the last six months has been whining about the place.

    The only thing you’re useful for is you’re a great bell-weather for the mental state of the broad left.

    Current state: Utterly deflated and whinging that people should only say things you want them to say in the way you want them to say it.

  99. JC

    It’s lucky you’re a manly man who is impervious to offence and deodorant.

    You know what I am impervious to Monster? Let me tell you what I’m not impervious to. That’s black socks with sneakers of a golf course worn on stumpy legs. I find that more than slightly offensive.

    You stride the earth, dragging your knuckles hither and yon, hurling insults left and right as only real men do.

    You’re mistaken. I’m the victim here not you.

  100. Annabelle

    M0nt reminds me of this quote. I forget who said it first:

    “The left want the right to shut up while the right want the left to keep talking.”

  101. entropy

    The maranoa and channel country has been like that for three years straight, MK. At one stage they had to put cattle in with the sheep so the wooly little suckers had something to follow out of the high grass. The merinos (a particularly stupid breed) couldn’t see over the top of the grass and thus find their way out on their own.

    The chances of an El Nino event next year are increasing though. Some of the producers might even welcome a dry year. Just one.

  102. Jim Rose

    see http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/blt/jat/1998-issue1-morabito.pdf for a view that the Court’s construction and application of the key terms of s 114 have been unduly narrow and excessively legalistic.

  103. Splatacrobat

    m0nty lives in the sheltered workshop of labor’s shattered dreams.

  104. twostix

    see http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/blt/jat/1998-issue1-morabito.pdf for a view that the Court’s construction and application of the key terms of s 114 have been unduly narrow and excessively legalistic.

    Two interesting quotes from two judgements regarding 114:

    a tax framed as a tax on transactions may in
    some circumstances amount to a tax on property.
    Such a tax, though it may take the form
    of a tax on transactions, may yet be in truth
    and substance a tax on property. If it were
    otherwise, the constitutional immunity
    would be little more than an empty shell, easily
    circumvented by framing the tax as a tax
    on transactions, though upon analysis the tax
    is tantamount to a tax upon the ownership or
    holding of property

    once it is appreciated that liability to pay the
    tax is attracted either by an owner’s sale or
    by use of his or her property
    , the conclusion
    becomes inevitable that the tax is relevantly
    a tax on property.49

    How many power companies are still state owned? Isn’t the carbon tax, as applicable to an energy company a tax on using the power station?

  105. cohenite

    Jim Rose; thank you for that review; the question asked by twostix is indeed pertinent in that it goes to the still unresolved issues of what is property, the distinction between ownership and use [which may resolve the point about whether the states continue to own, wholly or in part, CO2 emitters, especially power companies] and the distinction between ownership and benefit.

    There would seem to be legs for a S.114 challenge.

  106. brc

    @cohenite I think a discussion of the topic at hand is still visible through the fog of scrapping and haymakers being thrown around.

    Wikipedia has surprisingly good references on who own what in terms of power generation. I guess it’s all those engineers filling the lonely nights, or something.

    The majority of QLD generation is state owned, although through a variety of management structures. Almost like someone in the previous government was thinking about flogging the lot off.

  107. Which would be juicier – strikedown… or repeal?

  108. CraigS

    Typical lefty, it’s always someone else’s fault.

  109. .

    I’d be happy if Pape loses. Why? Because it will prove my point the constitution is busted arse, that’s why.

    The external affairs power, Parliamentary supremacy and corporations power have basically ruined the way it was meant to have worked.

    However no one in their right mind wants this tax, nor was it voted for at the last election. Stop talking and launch the challenge.

  110. .

    Did anyone find it hilarious that perennial undergraduate Simon Sheikh was “debating” constitutional law with Pape?!

  111. wm

    Seems the sore loser brigade is still flogging this dead horse. Admit your defeat losers. You’ve had 5 years to get over it. Your current state of delusion is bordering on a mental health issue. The CT is here to stay for a very very long time. Just like the greatest biggest socialist tax ever, introduced by your bumbling side, the GST, which ironically, will fund the states to battle a much smaller tax…if they take your pathetic bait…

  112. .

    Yes we’re losers because it will be repealed when the next Government is voted in and it will reduce the ALP to a rump of maybe 26 seats of a current 73?

    wm – you are really off your head. I’m not against recreational drug use but please limit yourself to four or less cones during the working week.

    The CT is here to stay for a very very long time. Just like the greatest biggest socialist tax ever, introduced by your bumbling side, the GST

    I have a feeling you are a troll on the ALS forum, “loki” who has the most bizarre positions on strategy and policy.

    I will destroy your stupidity every time it rears its ugly, dysfunctionally inbred, accursed head.

  113. Gab

    Just wondering by how much this government will raise the GST.

  114. actually I am not opposed to raising gst if they abolish income taxes

  115. Toxic

    Just like the greatest biggest socialist tax ever, introduced by your bumbling side, the GST

    As far as taxes go, a broad-based ad valorem consumption taxes are probably about the least ‘socialist’ you can get.

    Nice twit feed, by the way.


    #qanda do Israelis wear the burkas? they should

  116. Peter Patton

    wm

    The CT is here to stay for a very very long time

    Just like the ban on uranium mining, eh? 😉

  117. .

    wm – soon to be known as “mugged by reality”

  118. Peter Patton

    Jim/twostix

    see http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/blt/jat/1998-issue1-morabito.pdf for a view that the Court’s construction and application of the key terms of s 114 have been unduly narrow and excessively legalistic.

    I don’t know anything about this particular author academic (maybe he’s also/has been a judge or QC?) but one thing the Obamacare Case has once again highlighted is just how dubious law school academics are as legal authorities.

  119. Peter Patton

    When I was more sympathetic to socialism, one of the factors in that sympathy, was how sick a society must be that it has such a huge class of people called ‘tax professionals’ (whether accountants or lawyers). I advocated a Tax Code of no more than a couple of pages. There would be no such thing as ‘tax deductions’ of any kind.

    Ideally, there would be one single tax rate (though I was open to negotiations of a more nuanced structure), no possible exemptions, which means no tax-free threshold, no charity exemptions, and absolutely no tax-free status for religious bodies.

    However, once I left university, I encountered a much more complicated real world, and have been forced to make so many concessions to my original scorched-earth tax policy. Indeed, I am now considering becoming a taxation barrister because it is such a huge and complicated area, it looks it could be intellectually exciting, fun, and splendidly compensated.

  120. .

    You spiv. All we need is an LVT and a VAT and to eliminate churn and duplication and we’d be on our way to a long period of economic growth.

    Of course, such a policy would encourage savings and these could be donated to charities or religious entities.

  121. Peter Patton

    C’arn dot, we could go into partnership

    Spiv and Dot Esquires

  122. Simon

    The thing about legal advice is that it’s all salesmanship right up until you ask them what the chance of winning is, if they suggest that there’s significant points of untried law then it’s a suicide mission, if they tell you that others have successfully argued similar points it means they don’t know and if they say I’ll draw up a cost agreement it normally means you’ve got the 50/50 you were after.

  123. brc

    Peter – how is a flat tax rate socialist? Given we all agree on the need for a government, we agree on the need to fund the government. From then it’s just a matter of deciding the simplest way of collecting that money.

    I don’t think you’d get any argument from many people about culling the ranks of the churn professionals, except from some of those professionals themselves. And even some of them would be relieved of having an excuse to exit the cursed industry.

    Tax capital gain and income at the same rate, tax all consumption at the same rate, then set it in stone for 50 years and forget about it. Any government that runs two deficits in a row must resign the treasurer and PM at once and call an election. Forget notions of fairness, it’s always unfair to someone. Constant tinkering with the rules is idiotic. Expenditure should adjust to income, not the other way around.

    You could write a tax code on a single A4 sheet of paper if you wanted. Instead we let the accountants write their own rules and ensure their employment forever. It’s all the exceptions and deducations that take up the volumes of tax code.

    I graduated from university and hardened up my stance on tax. I guess we went separate ways.

  124. Peter Patton

    brc

    Oh, I never claimed to be a particularly rational Socialist! 🙂 But theoretically, under a proper socialist system, most of the investment/production decisions are made by the state – which of course would always be democratic and responsible! – and the state owns most/all of the property, and therefore, presumably has a large say in wage levels and profit distribution. In that set-up, most government revenue would come from retained earnings of state industry, so a single rate of tax on citizens could be thus consistent with socialism.

    The biggest factor in my moving away from socialist sympathies was the realisation that those retained earnings would rapidly diminish. The final clincher for me was reading Hayek, who summed up all the somewhat disconnected misgivings I started having about a socialist society, especially its wealth-generating potential (very little to none).

    Funny thing is, since I became less and less sympathetic to Socialism, I have never once heard a leftist apologist explain the socialist possibility so simply as I had conceived it. God knows what it really is that 21st century leftists are advocating.

  125. brc

    God knows what it really is that 21st century leftists are advocating.

    Let me attempt to paraphrase :

    “I, and my similarly talented friends, should be running your life because you might choose to say, do, build or buy something that we don’t agree with, and we are infinitely smarter than you are.”

    Sadly the 21st century lefty doesn’t pre-occupy themselves with social equity anymore, probably because thankfully Dickensian slums and child labour are a thing of the past.

    Now it’s just about wanting to control the masses, the same old desire since the first thug found he could hit another hominid over the head and steal his wife and cave, which was scaled out until one guy controlled an entire people and declared himself god.

    It’s the lust for power and control which marks the modern lefty. That’s why it is always power over principle whenever rubber hits the road.

  126. Pingback: #lunatic tax…going, going, go… | pindanpost

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