“It's about the passion”

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ken Phillips is co-founder and Executive Director of Independent Contractors of Australia. He is a published authority on independent contractor issues and directs research on related commercial and trade practices issues. Through his numerous articles in newspapers and think-tank and academic journals, Ken is known for approaching issues from outside normal perspectives and is frequently sought out for media comment.

Turnbull's corruption fix

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some months ago I happened by chance to find myself sitting at a dinner function next to a senior company executive of a large firm named in the Royal Commission into Union Corruption. Evidence at the Commission revealed that his company had made secret payments to a union in return for certain ‘favours’. He was one of the executives involved in decisions to make the payments.

The discussion between he and I was somewhat explosive to the extent he stood up and left just as entrée was being served. (I think it was rather fine slices of ham with melon.) More...


A corporate challenge for Tony Abbott

Saturday, August 01, 2015

In his new book, When We Were Young & Foolish, The Australian’s foreign affairs journalist Greg Sheridan exposes the “weird silence in Australian politics” over the corporate money that funds internal union elections. Sheridan talks in historical terms. Bill Shorten’s evidence to the Royal Commission into union corruption exposes the same ‘weird silence’. Corporations still give generously to unions. This still funds union campaigns.

But the weird silence is now broken. Rather, truth screams loud to the non-political-junkie class of ordinary Australians. There is no ‘workers versus bosses’ war; that idea is a scam and a sham. Instead, corporations and unions are in intimate commercial partnerships. What’s changed from Sheridan’s historical explanation to Shorten’s current admission is what motivates the union-corporate partnerships. More...


Toll takeover should come with a TWU warning

Monday, February 23, 2015

The offer by Japan Post to purchase Toll Holdings looks like a smart move by the Japanese as explained by Robert Gottliebsen earlier this week (The Toll takeover exposes our institutions' ignorance, February 18)

Over the last eight years, Toll has built a logistics footprint into Asia that the Japanese clearly value, as is reflected in the significant premium they’re prepared to pay. More...


How Abbott is rebuilding the construction landscape

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

There are plenty of naïve people at the big end of town who haven’t yet realised the extent to which the Abbott government is changing the landscape of business in Australia.

The first dramatic signals came early this year when the government announced the end of corporate welfare. This had substance, with the rejection of taxpayer bailouts to Holden, Toyota, Coca Cola’s subsidiary SPC Ardmona and Qantas. The message to corporations was straightforward: grow up and stop your dependency on taxpayers! More...


Abbott’s competition review will weigh on big business

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

There’s concern from large business interests that in the competition review being organised by the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, big business is going to be unfairly targeted, perhaps even clobbered.

Reflecting this view, Stephen Bartholomeusz last week expressed relief that the review panel is a “surprisingly balanced one" (Muscle and might: A panel to protect Australian competition, March 27). Further, that “the review won’t be loaded against competitors purely because of their size.” More...


Abbott government takes on big business-union 'establishment'

Monday, February 10, 2014

There is considerable speculation, even confusion, over the motivation of the Abbott government in knocking back subsidies to Holden and SPC.

Some Liberal/National parliamentarians and state governments are nervous, fearing negative political fallout. But the government's reasoning is clear. More...


Saying no to corporate welfare

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised to do away with corporate welfare. Thank goodness!

Corporate welfare is effectively a business prop, most frequently for big businesses that aren’t well run. In the last 16 years $30 billion has been given to car manufacturers. What’s that achieved?  Mostly wasted money and painful delays to the ultimate closures of Ford and Holden! More...



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