The ACT Legal Aid Office said yesterday that it would not have granted lawyer-of-choice legal aid to people charged with offences at the Iranian Embassy earlier this year without Commonwealth backing.

The grant of aid to eight of the 13 accused has come under attack by the Opposition and Sydney radio announced John Laws, among others.

It has led to a difference of opinion between the office and the Minister for Justice, Michael Tate, over the role of the Commonwealth in granting the aid.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_tate”


The differences in predictions coming from industry, the Opposition and the Government on the effect of the superannuation levy are unbelievably wide. They are so wide that the great British statesman’s warning about the moral status of statistics is worth bearing in mind.

The extremes are the Confederation of Australian Industries top limit of 60,000 jobs being lost and the prediction by the Treasurer, John Dawkins, that job losses will be minimal and might even create jobs.

The National Farmers’ Federation, citing the Murphy model, says there will not be much impact this financial year, but in the next two years the impact will be 30,000 jobs.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_stats”


The Kosciusko Chalet at Charlotte Pass with snow to the roof-line in 1946. It was a great skiing year, not only for the snow cover but for the greater opening up of the snowfields after the war. The picture is from Rick Walkom’s Skiing Off the Roof, The Kosciusko Chalet at Charlotte Pass and its place in the history of the Australian snowfields. 167pp. $39.95. Alberg Press. The book is laced with splendid historic photographs of snow rescues, an appendectomy operation at the Chalet, old skiers and their gear and transport and the fire at the Chalet in 1938. It includes photographs developed from the camera found on the body of Laurie Seaman, who with Evan Hayes became Australia’s first skiing deaths in 1928. The text is full of anecdote and research and is a must for anyone who loves the Snowy Mountains.


Canberra has the highest real-estate-agent fees on a median-priced house of any capital city, according to the Prices Surveillance Authority.

The authority issued a preliminary report on the industry yesterday.

Canberra’s median house price was $145,000, it said. The commission was $5365. That was 58 per cent higher than in Melbourne where the price was $137,100. It was higher than in Sydney, even though the median price there was a much higher $180,400. See table.

The ACT was second highest when comparing a $150,000 in all states and territories. Only South Australia was higher. The commission in the ACT was $5500 compared with Victoria $3660 and NSW $4100. South Australian was $5940.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_re”


Appeals against residential rates and land tax assessments are now impossible because of costs, according to some Canberra residents.

In the past week many residents have complained about what see as unfairnesses in rates and land tax assessments. Their appeals the ACT Revenue Office have been unsuccessful and they say further appeals are prohibitive because of the cost.

It costs $240 to lodge an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. That alone would usually be greater than any benefit from a reduced valuation of a residential block. Added to this would be the cost of an independent valuation of $250 to $400 and further costs for the valuer to attend the tribunal.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_rates”


Let’s start with a pleasant old couple in an established suburb of Adelaide. They own a five-bedroom house with a huge garden. All the kids have grown up.

It is clearly time to move. Not a great distance, just round the corner to a neat unit with a manageable garden.

In a remote way, it is in the national interest for the them to move. In the new unit, they might call less on social services. They will have a less burdensome life. Moreover, their spacious suburban house will become available to a younger family that would otherwise face the prospect of moving to a new outer suburb. The building of that outer suburb will cost oodles of public money in stretched sewerage pipes and electricity lines and the like. Here followeth the usual litany about the urban sprawl.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_psa”


The Federal Court rejected yesterday allegations of petrol price fixing by the service-station industry.

The action was brought by the Trade Practices Commission in response to the industry’s “”Prosper from Petrol” campaign among service-station owners in 1990.

The case was a test of the extent to which industry associations can act to promote their industry without falling foul of Trade Practices Act prohibitions against retail-price maintenance and other anti-competitive conduct.
Continue reading “1992_07_july_petrol”


A Canberra woman has been refused entry to a NSW psychiatric hospital, because there has been no ACT funding and ACT law does not apply to it.

The 73-year-old woman’s daughter said her mother had been committed to the Rozelle Psychiatric Hospital for six months by an ACT magistrate on Monday under the Inebriates Act.

The daughter had sought the order because she could no longer cope with her mother.

She had been taken to Rozelle by ACT police, but refused a six-month committal. After police pleaded, she had been admitted temporarily, but, according to the daughter the hospital might attempt to send her back to the ACT alone by train this morning.
Continue reading “1992/1992_07_july_nut”