Human Rights Challenges Aussie Businesses
Create an Australian Human Rights Commission and you can expect trouble in business. This time, the AHRC aimed its efforts at one of the largest Australian retailers, Myer.
The goal of the AHRC is to get this Australian business to employ a minimum 10% quota of disabled people. Quite a nice social aim: Help disadvantaged people.
But the retailer is up in arms against the AHRC’s strong-handed tactics in getting its way in business. Without any dialogue with management, the AHRC Commissioner, according to Myer, went public with an open letter and call to Myer to meet the desired quota.
The background to this feud apparently started on May 1, when Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes made comment about the funding of the National Disability Scheme.
Australians already pay a 1.5% tax to fund Medicare, but an additional 0.5% was added to fund the National Disability Scheme. The NDS legislation was passed with bi-partisan support in the federal Parliament.
Mr. Brookes rightly figures that the Medicare surcharge to fund the scheme will affect the retailer’s sales. Overriding shareholders’ demands for a return on investment for their capital investments, the AHRC Commissioner does not apparently care about “shareholder value” but is more interested in social change.
The problem is this: You cannot have social change unless people have the desire and the money to fund the changes. On both counts, the AHRC has made a significant error in economic judgment.
But what can you expect in a nation that has built its future on government policy and social change that require more and more legislation?
Ian Hodge is an accomplished musician and music teacher, an executive manager and a management consultant to business owners.
Dr. Hodge began his working career as a professional musician. His interest in Christian economic theory, however, led to a move into the investment industry, where he made his way to the ranks of executive management. His first position as a CEO outside of his own company was a turnaround situation, and he found this was “his” place in the business world. For the past 16 years has been a business consultant to help turn around struggling businesses. He has clients in USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
He actively uses his consulting skills to help train church pastors, elders and deacons in leadership and church growth practices.
As a musician, he worked with several singers around Australia and the South Pacific as their accompanist and music director.
A current project is the development of SonCross Academy, an online school that starts with the Bible, providing lessons in music theory and piano, economics, business, history, philosophy and theology for ages 8+. www.soncrossacademy.org.
Ian Hodge received his Ph.D. degree from Whitefield Seminary in “Christian Intellectual Thought – Economics”. He has written over 500 articles on topics such as business management, economics, education, law, finance, health, philosophy, politics, theology, and music as he explores the application of a biblical world view. He runs his own blog at www.biblicallandmarks.com.
He is the author of:
· Why Would Anyone In Their Right Mind Believe the Bible? An introduction to the Christian Faith.
· Baptized Inflation: A Critique of “Christian” Keynesianism.
· Is This The End of Religious Liberty? The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.
· Making Sense of Your Dollars: A Biblical View of Wealth.
· How To Be Diabetes Free . . . For Life. An analysis of the biology of diabetes, and how this disease can be prevented and even halted.
· Ian Hodge’s Read, Write & Play Music, a self-teaching program that instructs young students on how to write (compose) music.
· Powerhouse Piano, online video and live lessons in classical piano.
· Publisher, editor, William the Baptist. A classic in Christian literature, reissued with an introduction by Dr. Hodge.
In his spare time, Ian can be found actively debating atheists on his city streets and elsewhere (anywhere) whenever the opportunity arises.