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Has Sydney Uni become a political tool for GetUp!?

Has Sydney Uni become a political tool for GetUp!?

Nobody will say how much money GetUp! is spending.

OK! If the Sydney University of Technology feels free to accept money for political interference, that amount times two should be deducted from taxpayers’ funding. It’s no wonder that our uni’s are producing academic idiots barely capable of becoming effective kitchen pigs (a modern word for dishwasher where total skill is to load the machine, press the button and unload with minimum breakage.). Those who take part in this abuse of intellect should do equal time at night handing out dinner to the homeless in the city’s soup kitchens. A modest return for the taxpayers who pay for their education!

Activist group GetUp! has stepped up its campaign against corporate taxpayers by giving academics at Sydney’s University of Technology a year’s worth of funding to “keep corporate power in check”.

Source: News Corp

GetUp! uses UTS to ‘expose’ business misconduct

The funding to UTS academics Roman Lanis, Brett Govendir and Ross McClure will be spent on a project GetUp! says “has one simple mission: conduct research to expose corporate misconduct”. “In the face of increasing corporate influence, GetUp! is funding a year of independent research at UTS to keep corporate power in check,” an ­announcement says.

Neither the university nor GetUp! would say how much money was involved.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham last night spoke out against the donation.
“Imagine the howls of indignation if the BCA was engaged in the same tactics to fund a bunch of academics purely to argue for company tax cuts,” he said. “I’d hope all standards of academic freedom and research integrity will be met and that this funding isn’t buying predetermined outcomes dressed as independent analysis.”

The project, launched on April 10 at a function at UTS by GetUp! national director Paul Oosting and the three academics, continues previous GetUp!-funded projects at the university.
These include a research paper released in 2016, titled “Analysis of tax-avoidance strategies of top foreign multinationals operating in Australia: An expose”, which examined the tax structures established in Australia by large multinationals, including Apple, Google and Chevron. It said a government crackdown would lead to billions of dollars of extra tax revenue.
UTS chancellor Catherine ­Livingstone did not respond to questions as to whether she was comfortable that research by UTS ­academics argued big corporates were avoiding tax. Ms Livingstone chairs the Commonwealth Bank.
The value of funds for the work, which GetUp! calls “people-powered research”, was commercial in confidence, a representative said.
However, according to GetUp!, 5297 members have given money for the UTS corporate tax research and the publicity campaigns in the past two years.
“The research was funded by our members, small donations by people who want to chip in to fuel the research fire,” the representative said.
The UTS researchers have worked on previous GetUp!-funded campaigns. Professor Lanis is an associate professor and Dr Govendir is a lecturer in the accounting discipline group of the business school. Mr McClure is a PhD student.
Other studies their group has worked on concerning corporate tax practices were funded by United Voice union and the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand.
UTS defended the academics’ use of GetUp! funding, saying its “researchers conduct research for parties from government, business and community, who seek their expertise in many fields”.
“All commissioned research projects are academically rigorous and evidence-based. It is for this reason that those parties come to us.”
GetUp! said the research agenda for the project was not yet final. The activist group has campaigned strongly against the Turnbull government’s push for company tax cuts, and the three UTS academics have also pitched into this debate, arguing in an article for The Conversation website this month that Australia’s dividend imputation system, which gives shareholders a tax credit for tax paid by companies, encouraged companies to pay more tax.
They cite research showing that, from 2004 to 2015, firms paying div­idends with tax credits had an effective tax rate up to 16.9 per cent higher than firms that did not: “As a consequence of imputation, there is a much lower incidence of corporate tax avoidance by large, domestic corporations in Australia than in other countries.”
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said research overwhelmingly showed a company tax cut would drive ­investment, boost jobs and help ­lift wages.
“It isn’t just the academic research; the Treasury, the IMF and the OECD have all agreed that company tax is one of the most ­effective levers the federal government has to get Australia’s economy growing again.”

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • DT 30/04/2018, 6:53 am

    This article reveals what GetUp stands for.

    Using a US activist group as the model GetUp was established via the Australian Workers Union when Bill Shorten was an AWU executive using member’s monies, and not long afterwards Shorten became a federal MP. George Soros is a donor and the unions keep donating.

    Considering the Union Labor Inc history since the 1980s I am uncomfortable about them funding universities.


  • Ian 30/04/2018, 6:59 am

    It’s not the funding that worries me, it’s the expected return on investment.
    Beyond delivering a document to GetUp, is the University also expected to include the work in course work?
    If yes, what grades will the students get if they find a solution not to the liking of GetUp, will they fail?

    • DT 30/04/2018, 7:53 am

      Good point Ian.

    • Neville 30/04/2018, 3:18 pm

      Very good point, Ian; hadn’t thought of that one!

  • DT 30/04/2018, 7:58 am

    Regarding UTS and leftist influences, I read a while ago that a once notorious student union leftist activist in the 1960/70 years, who was studying for a Bachelor of Laws degree, and who later was stopped from practising law for reasons I cannot now recall, is now with the School of Journalism at UTS as a lecturer.

    The Whitlam Labor free university education policy had well planned consequences and we are now experiencing those consequences and socialism.

    • DT 30/04/2018, 8:02 am

      When the Carr Labor Government first took office early 1990s they decided to close down NSW Police Special Branch, police officers who gathered intelligence and monitored potential troublemakers. I understand that other Labor state governments followed the NSW lead.

      It would have been interesting to see the names of people on Special Branch files and why they were recorded and why the need to get rid of those files.

  • Clarion Call 30/04/2018, 9:43 am

    They are only following the commandments set out in the good book: Communism 4 All. This is the bible for all leftists, especially the Labor Party/Greens Crap. If ordinary people ever bothered to read up on the age-old Communist Manifesto I think it might rattle their teeth right down to their sox.

    • Joe Blogs 30/04/2018, 9:48 am

      Gramsci lives.

      Gramsci, Gonski …

      • Neville 30/04/2018, 3:21 pm

        (though, to be clear, we CAN fight back; by devastating crapshit arguments and obliterating the so-called “academic” reputation of those who constantly spout leftist claptrap and cultural marxist taglines)

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