Sydney, 7 July, 2018There are too many community leaders around us. All you need to do is to register an association and become a community leader. It’s an easy job. This itself is not a problem, if you want to help people and do some good things for the community. The problem is when you form an association to serve your personal interests and you have nothing to do with community work or interests. If you do this, you become a con man. You do what you are not supposed to do, and you don’t do what you are supposed to do. Let’s see what is happening in our own community. In Indian Australian community, we have many associations and many community leaders. Many community leaders turn into “journalists” to stay relevant and to get invitations from the Consulate and Government agencies. Some of them turn back into community leaders again after a few years. Many of these “leaders” are into things, which have nothing to do with community interests. Some examples are;1. Contesting elections for MP seats or Council seats, while holding positions in their community associations, which, by rule, are non-political organizations. In 2016, three community “leaders” did exactly this in Chifley, Cumberland and Parramatta area. Whether they had ability or not is a separate matter, but their dismal & performance is an indicator of their worth as political candidates.2. Calling yourself as an “independent” candidate, when you are a card carrying member of a political party. People are not fools. They saw through this game and refused to support this type of “independent” candidates. 3. You put pictures of top leaders in your event posters, without these leaders’ approval and without a guarantee that they would be attending your event. This is not only a false advertising, but it’s also unethical. 4. You raise money purportedly to help the family of a deceased, but don’t care to establish the need for financial help from the family before collecting the funds. You do worse, when you don’t return the money to the donors, after knowing that family doesn’t need the money. This is clearly illegal and wrong. Using pics of the deceased in your fundraising posters is not an acceptable behavior. 5. Lying and falsely claiming something, which you are not and haven’t done are your standard operating procedure, thinking people are fools and wouldn’t know about it. 6. Not doing any AGM for 4 years and not presenting financial reports to the members and Department of Fair Trading, while roaming around looking important as community leaders. 7. Allowing close family members as part of the executive committee and ignoring the concept of conflict of interest, and receiving membership fees into the personal accounts of the leaders, instead of the official account of the association. 8. Not having any idea or understanding about ethical behavior & governance, as is the case with some associations and community leaders. 9. Swindling and “wasting” of hundreds of thousands of your association’s funds, without any accountability, and getting away from the misdeed because the co-leaders are braindead and grossly incompetent.That’s not all. There are some who sell Visa sponsorships. They take $50K for sponsoring a visa. This is an illegal activity. It’s a crime in Australia to seek benefit (cash or kind) for sponsoring a visa. It is punishable with up to 2 years prison term and up to $300K fine. It appears that this illegal activity is the only business for some of the community leaders. The fraud is compounded by these con men by appearing to be “connected” and influential as a result of being seen in pics with top political leaders like ministers, Premiers and Prime Minister. As we know, having pics with Chief Ministers (Premiers) and Prime Minister in India is very difficult and is generally taken as an indicator of influence and being highly connected. Some associations and community leaders have given, and still give, “role model of the community” awards to scammers and fraudsters. This they do after getting some money from the scammers.Things are very frustrating and upsetting.There is a need for reflection matched with commensurate action here. Our community needs to look into community associations and should start asking questions from community leaders and community associations. We must make them accountable. We mustn’t allow such community “leaders” to damage the name and reputation of our community. We know that the vast majority in our community is that of decent and upright people, but we also know that a minuscule minority is capable of killing our reputation and good standing in front of the broader community.Before it’s misconstrued that my post is painting all associations and community leaders with the same brush, let me make it very clear. My intention is not to bag a good number of associations and people running them, because I know they are doing wonderful work, without being in the forefront. I admire them and am grateful to them. What I am concerned about is the growing number of selfish and self-seeking people, masquerading as community leaders, who are dragging us all down. Dr Yadu Singh http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSinghwww.twitter.com/dryadusingh
Friday, 13 April, 2018
Today is Vaisakhi, which is being celebrated by Punjabis, especially Sikhs throughout the world.
Vaisakhi commemorates the beginning of Khalsa Panth. Vaisakhi is also the Remembrance Day of Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. Today is the day when farmers celebrate the beginning of the harvesting season in Punjab. Vaisakhi is also celebrated as the Sikh New Year!
On Sunday, 8 April, 2018, National Sikh Council of Australia organised a spectacular Vaisakhi celebration at Ryde Civil Hall. The organising committee included Mr Ajmer Singh Gill, Mr Bawa Singh Jagdev, Dr Yadu Singh, Mr Gurcharn Singh Kahlon and Bill (Baljinder) Singh Nanda. 300+ people and several political leaders were in attendance.
Dr Yadu Singh
Sydney, 1 March, 2018
Happy Holi folks!
Holi is a well known Indian festival and is called the Festival of Colours.
This year, Holi falls on March 1 and March 2.
Holi will start with Holika Dahan, which takes place in the night between 1 and 2 March. People will gather, worship, sing, dance and party around the bonefire.
Rangwali Holi (festival of colors) will take place next morning ie 2 March.
In India, this is a free-for-all festival of colours. People play and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. People from all segments, age and gender take part in the festivities.
It is celebrated all over India and countries where Indians, especially Hindus, have migrated to. People exchange pleasantries and good wishes, visiting homes of friends and relatives.
In Australia too, Holi festivities are organised by Indians in various cities. In Sydney, Holi events are lined up in Strathfield Park by Strathfield Australians of Indian Sub-continental Heritage (SAISH), and Dolls Point by South Asian Australian Association on Sunday, 4 March, 2018, in which I will take part.
More details of Holi festival: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi
Dr Yadu Singh
Sydney, 10 February, 2018
Many of us have been following various reports coming out of print and digital media, and various television and radio channels relating to the Adani’s projects in Australia. As you would be aware that this has been the largest investment by an Indian company in Australia and has become a signature project strengthening ties between Australia and India. Adani has invested a lot of resources and time on its projects in Australia and continued to progress in-spite of huge resistance coming from anti-coal groups.
The information that we gathered from the publicly available information, they have invested over $3.3 billion in Australia since 2010. We as a community have been closely watching and monitoring the progress of this project and of late are getting very concerned about how a project of this magnitude is being unfairly targeted.
The projects that are being undertaken by Adani is a private investment and we normally do not comment on the positions taken and decisions made by a private company. However, the reports coming out of the media have caused us serious concerns as a community who love the Australian way of life and believe in providing ‘fair-go’ to everyone irrespective of one’s affiliation to a particular community, race, or sexual orientation.
We strongly feel that we are not giving a ‘fair-go’ to Adani, and we have been creating one hurdle after another. Again, based on the publically available information, we understand that Adani’s projects have gone through onerous approvals processes (at federal, state and local levels). These approvals were challenged at various courts of law (including the matters relating to the impact on environment), and after due consideration of all the facts, and based purely on the merit of the projects, decisions were given in favour of the company. Once the company has followed the due process and has adhered to the law of the land in which the projects are being developed, we believe they have full right to proceed with the business. If we raise the same issues that have already been considered during the approval processes and the court processes then we are conveying the message that either we do not wish to follow the verdict of the law or we are ignorant about the process undertaken. In either situation, this impacts negatively the company that is trying hard to develop the project.
We were dismayed with the backflip from Qld Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, during last election after supporting Adani Group for years. Crash politics was at play in her decision.
Our dismay is compounded with recent statements from the leader of the Opposition, Mr Bill Shorten, who seems to put his party’s interest before Australia’s interests. Votes of anti-investment Extreme Left groups in Batman seat of Melbourne are more important.
It is becoming very clear that the activists disguised as the protectors of the environment are not only disregarding the law of the land but also, to some extent, undertaking unlawful activities. This is clearly demonstrated by the protests to stop the rail traffic or disturb the operation of the port and creating life threatening situations.
We are also disturbed by the fact that the politicians (especially those with far-left views) are using the project for their political benefit. This is evident from the recent election in Queensland and the upcoming by-election in Batman – governments who have made various comments in media supporting the project in the past are back-flipping at the time of election to capture green votes. The parties may be able to garner few additional seats by using these petty tactics, however, we strongly believe that it undermines the fabric of a “fair go” and the Australian way of life.
In a democratic society, everyone’ voice needs to be heard. It applies to both the sides- activists as well as that of the proponents of the projects. Also, the oppositions should be based on facts and not on some ill-informed views and opinion.
Some important facts are:
– India is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide on a per capita basis
– There are over 300 million Indians that do not have access to power
– The project is intended to provide electricity to thousands of villages in India
– Will generate significant jobs in Australia
India has been one of the fastest growing economies of the world. India with its huge middle-class population, in need of improving the standard of living of its masses through provision of luxuries of life, which we as Australians take for granted, is on the cusp of becoming one of the largest economies of the world. Australia is very well placed to benefit from the growth of India. The success of Adani project will provide a very positive message to the Indian investors who are looking to invest in a stable and investor friendly country. The trade between India and Australia will suffer a massive blow if we let our petty politics to jeopardize investor sentiment.
Adani Fact Sheet:
Adani has been building a long-term future with Queensland and Australia
Adani’s presence in Australia
• Adani commenced its journey in Queensland, Australia more than 7 years ago when it acquired mining tenement in August 2010 and have its presence in following business:-
• Adani Australia is developing the “Carmichael Coal Mine” project which will be the first mine in the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland.
• Adani Australia is developing multi user, open access 388 km Rail linking the mine to Abbot Point Terminal
• Adani Australia owns and operates existing Abbot Point Port Terminal.
• Adani Australia is progressing 2 solar projects located at Rugby Run, Queensland and Whyalla in South Australia
• Over $3.3 billion has been spent to date on the projects. It is the largest Indian Investment to date
• Adani Australia currently employs more than 800 people across all our operations.
Environment & Approvals Journey
• The Carmichael Coal Project has been granted approvals under 7 different Commonwealth and Queensland Acts.
• Adani has obtained 112 approvals and permits from both State and Federal government
• There are over 1,800 strict conditions across these permits and approvals.
• Adani had ZERO land holder objection to the Carmichael Coal Mine under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 or Mineral Resources Act 1989.
• Their approvals have been tested in the courts and Adani has won ALL the court cases to reach this stage
• All the litigations were filed by anti-coal NGOs to delay and disrupt the development.
• Adani has all the agreements (ILUA) in place with all 4 Traditional Owners. Only a minority of one group (W&J) has challenged the agreement which has been funded by foreign NGOs through back channels.
• In Summary, Adani has been subject to rigorous and at times multiple approval processes over nearly 8 years at both State and Federal level that have been tested and upheld in the courts resulting in net delay of approximately 3 years
Benefits of Project
• Adani Australia will create more than 10000 direct and indirect jobs at full capacity of mine
• Over $22 Billion in the form of Royalties and taxes which shall be reinvested by government into community
• The Coal from Carmichael project will replace the poorer quality of domestic coal burn in India and will reduce the associated carbon emission
• This project is intended to provide energy security to those in the 18000 villages in India that have no access to electricity and thus lifting millions of Indians out of energy poverty
• Will build a strong economic relationship between Australia and India
As concerned people, we appeal to both sides of politics to provide confidence to the investors in Australia by providing unequivocal support for the Adani project who have spent years to obtain approvals from the government and through the court processes.
We as Australians should certainly provide assurance to the investors that Australia is open for business and would assist anyone who follows the law of the land with full support and protection for it to grow and at the same time benefit all Australians.
Finally, ALP and Bill Shorten should listen to people, Mayors and Union leaders operating in regional Queensland, who are supporting this investment, instead of listening to anti-investment extreme Left activists and groups. Bill Shorten and ALP should give a “Fair Go” to Adani Australia, and not backflip this late in piece after saying YES for years.
There are formal processes to go through for any development. If Adani Australia complies with all those conditions they have any right to go ahead with the development. One should be challenging the process that gives the approval, not the applicant.
Dr Yadu Singh
Sydney, 26 January, 2018
Today is Australia Day!
It’s our national day, which will be celebrated throughout the nation with a variety of ceremonies, picnics, barbecues, parades, citizenship ceremonies, announcement of Australia Day Honours & Australian of the year and fire works.
It’s a public holiday.
Australia Day commemorates Landing of First Fleet at Port Jackson & raising of the flag of the Great Britain at Sydney Cove on 26 January, 1788.
Enjoy Australia Day celebrations and festivities today.
I wish my co-Australians a happy Australia Day!
More details: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day
Dr Yadu Singh
Sydney/11 October, 2017
Australian High Commissioner to India (New Delhi), Ms Harinder Sidhu, is in Australia presently. She is here for the mid term consultations with the Government and various stakeholders. As part of these consultations, she met a select group of Indian Australian community representatives These reps included people from various segments and faiths.
An hour-long session in the DIBP offices in Parramatta gave an opportunity for all of us to understand and raise relevant issues.
From Federation of Indian Associations of NSW (FIAN), Abhijeet Martand and I participated. Mr SK Verma participated on behalf of the Consulate General of India in Sydney.
We emphasized the role of Indian Australian community as the bridge between India and Australia and their usefulness in enhancing the relations between Australia and India. I pointed out how we (community) took up the matters during students’ troubles in 2009-10 and helped counter “Australia is racist” campaign by Indian media. I reiterated that then Australian Government did not utilize the community meaningfully in countering the campaign by Indian media.
Some wanted to be listed with the Govt agencies for people to contact them when needing help, but we expressed our strong view that no such listing etc should be done without involvement of, and vetting by, the Government agencies because some “leaders” are known to exploit our own people.
The issue involving the visa for priests was raised. It was mentioned that the standard of English requirement is onerous and excessive. I pointed out that the matter was also raised in the Q & A session with DIBP Assistant Minister, Alex Hawke, in a recent meeting organized by FIAN, and that it will be better if we work together and raise the matter with the Minister directory. The High Commissioner agreed that the matter is in the policy domain and will better be dealt with the Government. We have a plan to organize a meeting involving key stakeholders and then meet the DIBP Assistant Minister.
Dr Yadu Singh