From Little Things, Big Things Grow – Annual Report

“…but this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege can not move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow”

From Little Things, Big Things Grow,  Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, 1991

Let’s Fix the Tax Treaty! seeks to be an open, transparent and effective advocacy group.  As part of this commitment, not only do we, the Steering Committee, believe it is good practice to set annual objectives as part of our action planning, it is also useful to look back and reflect on what was achieved with the resources available to us.

2017 was our first full year of existence and much of the year was spent building the foundations upon which we intend to build activity, momentum and scale over the coming years.   Key milestones along the way included publishing our Strategy Roadmap, creating and implementing a Wiki framework for knowledge capture and ongoing membership development and support.

Many of you will recall that we prepared a 2017 Scorecard which we issued as part of the Strategy Roadmap document.  How did we do?  See the table below this post.  Although not everything was achieved, we believe we made solid steps towards our goals.  Currently, we are finalising our 2018 objectives which will inform our efforts over the coming year.

As always, we value your feedback and comments.  Most of all, we value your involvement.  Are we moving too slow?  Do you want us to go in new or different directions?  Get involved!

Karen, Carl & Caroline

Table 1:  2017 Achievements versus Objectives

Objective AreaObjectives2017 Achievements
1Policy Maker Engagement• Appropriate policy makers identified and contacted
• Position (“White”) Paper developed and sent to policy makers for feedback
• Key policy makers identified
• White Paper development in progress - Talking Points summary of Aus / US tax Issues completed
Call to Action! campaign developed and implemented; follow-up ongoing
2Media Engagement• Tools developed for effective media engagement
• Group awareness and support broadened
• Minimum two media campaigns completed
• Media kit - media release template and guidelines document developed
• Commenced compiling media contacts database
• Call To Action campaign - letter to Prime Minister issued including media release
• Twitter account: 173 followers for @fixthetaxtreaty
3Negotiating Strategy Framework• Negotiating strategy documented (confidential – will not be widely shared)• Deferred; conceptual work only in 2017
4Freedom of Information (FOI) Campaign• Government documents obtained through FOI process to better understand past framing / decision making for Tax Treaty & IGA• Five FOI requests to Treasury and ATO; ATO data received and under review; waiting on (late) Treasury response who have indicated materials will be available early Feb.
• Phase 2 FOI follow-up requests framed
5Knowledge base development• Online Wiki framework developed
• Wiki Editors (contributors) recruited
Wiki framework developed, implemented and initial population completed
• Four editors recruited from outside Steering Committee (three from outside of FTT group and only assisting with general media links)
Our Stories area developed to capture the human dimensions to our issue; these stories have become the most visited pages on our website.
6FTT Community Development• Improved group engagement (volunteerism as measure)
• FB Group Size increased by 50%
• Blog site traffic increased 20%
• Two new members of Steering Committee added
• Total of 23 blog posts published in 2017
• See website report below for traffic stats info
• FB group doubled in size
• Additional volunteers (3) identified for Wiki / Media
• New member welcome process developed and Implemented
• FB and web based member polls trialled
• No additional Steering Committee volunteers
7Alliances• Australian alliance partners identified, prioritised and engaged• Volunteer identified and working this topic
• Initial identification of potential partners completed. Second pass in progress. Engagement won’t occur until we have more campaigns.
8Strategy & Organisation• FTT Advocacy Strategy and Action Plan developed and documented• FTT Strategy Roadmap developed and published

Table 2:  2017 Website Report

DateTitlePage Views
12 JanExplaining the Saving Clause I300
14 JanStrategy Document Feedback103
19 JanExplaining the Saving Clause II297
29 JanExplaining the Saving Clause III419
7 FebOur Stories – The Human Element357
24 FebFOI Take 2397
18 MarHow can they do that?303
27 Mar“Just the facts, ma’am” … Introducing the Fix The Tax Treaty Wiki!235
14 AprAustralia’s best investment pal?121
1 MayCRS – Coming soon to a bank near you…709
19 JunHow do US Tax Rules Constrain the Investment Choices of US Taxpayers Living in Australia?651
26 JunInvestment Constraints 2: Real Property396
3 JulInvestment Constraints 3: Equity399
19 JulCitizenship matters…148
31 JulPlan to Succeed (Part II) – Strategy Roadmap & Action Plan224
15 AugCitizenship matters – Take 2249
19 AugInvestment Constraints 4: Structures313
3 OctInvestment Constraints 5: Final Thoughts257
24 OctBehind the Scenes190
24 NovUN Human Rights Complaint65
30 NovBehind the Curtain – FOI Requests162
4 DecCall to Action!272
16 DecHave you written your MP yet?41

Pages Published in 2017

DateTitlePage Views
7 FebOur Stories1824
7 FebSusan’s Story231
13 FebSadly Noton’s Story367
13 FebDon’s Story239
13 FebP’s Story200
13 MarMary’s Story347
13 MarShaun’s Story722
19 MarGramps’ Story385
29 NovAussie’s Story183

Page Views, by month

3 thoughts on “From Little Things, Big Things Grow – Annual Report”

  1. Good work on ‘fix the treaty’ issues. Your organisation is notoriously difficult to contact. How do I get involved?

    1. Bob, thanks for the feedback re that we are “notoriously difficult to contact.” That certainly is not our intent! We would be happy to take advice on how to make contact with us easier. Right now, we have a contact form on the area and people can also contact us on the FB group through open posts or PMs. Would it be easier if we added a Contact area to the main website?

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