Twice a year on a Sunday, my local council arranges a hard rubbish collection day.
For nosey parkers like me, it’s a wonderful opportunity to legitimately rifle through neighbours’ rubbish as they leave it on the kerb for collection.
A few years back, hard rubbish day saw footpaths transformed into makeshift outdoor loungerooms as new-looking lounge suites, televisions, lamps, throw rugs and cushions - unwanted, but in pristine working order - were relegated to the street.
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Forty billion dollars gone; four million Australians out of pocket; fees charged for services that are never delivered. It’s the biggest scam you’ve never heard of, and there’s a very real chance you’re a victim.
Indeed, according to the results of a groundbreaking research project last month, a series of questionable practices in Australia’s superannuation industry are gouging close to $80,000 from the retirement savings of many average income earners.
Most worryingly, the same report warned that without immediate, decisive action to fix these serious problems $120 billion more could be siphoned off in the next decade alone.
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In 1992 Paul Keating’s leadership motivated me to join the Labor Party. Keating provided the labour movement with the leadership, vision and fighting spirit needed to combat the regressive Fightback package.
Keating won the election, and Labor celebrated a great win against neo- liberalism. What followed was a period of government where Keating’s great intellect and vision was pitted against his arrogance, exhaustion and electoral indifference.
This was a difficult and frustrating period for many Labor supporters and I remember periods of despair at our performance. After 1996 the whole labour movement shied away from defending Keating, his Government and his politics due to the collective scars caused by his defeat.
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