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Friday, August 18, 2006

No protection from cashed up pollies

Australian taxpayers are unlikely to be dancing in the streets following the announcement that Federal members of parliament are to get an increase in "printing allowance" from $125,000 to $150,000 annually and an increase in "postage allowance" from $24,000 to $40,000 - total cost to the taxpayer $60 million. What they don't spend in one year can be rolled over to the next.

According to today's Sydney Morning Herald, if the next Federal election is held in October next year, an
"MP could organise the allowances so as to have up to $300,000 to spend on printed material in just the four months from early June to election day and $93,000 to spend posting it".
When you take into account that candidates running for office and political parties are not covered by the Federal Privacy Act, can collect and use data about us without regard to privacy principles and bombard us with "electoral" material without giving us the opportunity to opt out - we may all have to just settle for a larger post box.

There will be no avoiding unsolicited phone calls either. Our political leaders have also managed, "in the public interest", to ensure that their activities won't be covered by the Do Not Call Register Act, due to commence in 2007.

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