ETU ramps up ad campaign targeting crossbench senators

The advert states that the Morrison Government “wants to make it harder for working Australians to seek fair pay and safe workplaces” yet allowed “big business and the banks” to get away with criminal banking breaches, workplace deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen wages. The newspaper adverts will be accompanied by a social media campaign targeting the crossbench senators’ constituencies. Senator Patrick responded to an earlier ETU advertisement targeting him and Senator Lambie by cutting off talks with the Australian Council of Trade Unions over the bill,…

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Government in robo-debt ‘backflip’

During a Sydney press conference, Mr Robert did not elaborate on how many people were in the “small cohort” or the potential budget impact. Loading But a Services Australia (which includes Centrelink) submission to a recent Senate inquiry suggests it could conservatively involve more than 220,000 cases. According to the government, it has identified 734,000 cases of overpayment since July 2015. The submission notes that during income-compliance decisions, about 30 per cent of people do not engage with Centrelink’s requests for further information and another 30 per cent start the…

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Josh Frydenberg upsets older Australians with retraining comments

While Mr Frydenberg believes people in their 50s and 60s will have to learn new skills to continue contributing to the economy, Mr McLean said the Treasurer was effectively telling prospective retirees what to do with their lives. “I’m doing it myself, to keep my mind active and to learn a new skill. I wouldn’t do it just because I need to keep working. It’s my choice,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of friends in their 50s who’ve got retrenched and 10 years on they’re still looking for work.…

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China’s demand for Australian beef provides silver lining for drought-stricken farmers

A growing middle class and free-trade deal with Beijing has led to the Asian powerhouse becoming Australian beef producers’ second biggest market and is rapidly closing in on Japan. About 70 per cent of cows sold though saleyards have been purchased by processors in 2019, predominantly destined for Asian and United States markets, with global demand driving average prices to the highest domestically for three years. One cattle buyer at Lismore said he’d “never seen the market hotter”.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen Bindaree Beef’s John McDonald, among the buyers at Lismore on Tuesday,…

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Record household debt as RBA knuckles down to further rate cuts

NAB senior economist Kieran Davies said while total debt had only grown “modestly” to $2.5 trillion, wages were simply not keeping up with the extra imposts being carried by most households. Loading He said even though interest rates were at a record low, the debt servicing ratio of households was just short of the peak reached in 2008 when the official cash rate was 7.25 per cent. It is currently just 0.75 per cent. The high debt left the country’s households, particularly those in Victoria and NSW, at an increased…

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Security concerns about government staff to be passed on to bosses

It can also be revealed more than 300 security clearance applications by ministerial staffers were cancelled before a decision was made over the past four years. These included some cases where security concerns were identified, according to government sources. Loading The overhaul comes after an audit report found the sensitive security checks were failing to protect the government against potential insider threats. A subsequent parliamentary inquiry this year raised concern about private companies contracted by the AGSVA “frequently” breaching information security requirements. In 2018-19, about 85 per cent of security clearance assessments…

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Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy says economists need to be more humble

He said the fallout from the global financial crisis, which occurred in 2008, was still being felt and was behind criticisms of the economic profession for failing to focus on the lived affects on individuals. Promised improvements from economic change may have delivered overall benefits but some parts of the community had struggled. “The profession is probably not riding on a high after the global financial crisis,” he said. “People are wondering about our focus on aggregates and averages rather than distributions … these are the debates around inequality.” Dr…

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ACCC’s Rod Sims questions Google assurances over Fitbit data

“Given the history of digital platforms making statements as to what they intend to do with data and what they actually do down the track, it is a stretch to believe any commitment Google makes in relation Fitbit users’ data will still be in place five years from now,” he said. Loading “Clearly, personal health data is an increasingly valuable commodity so it is important when consumers sign up to a particular health platform their original privacy choices are respected and their personal data is protected even if that company…

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Government to overhaul robodebt program, staff told

Previous debts raised where a person didn’t respond to the welfare agency will also be methodically worked through, to clarify whether a debt is still owed and for customers who are affected, their debts will be frozen. Loading For debts with existing reviews in process, more information will be needed “before ultimately raising a debt”. Centrelink’s online debt recovery system has been in place since 2015, and matches a person’s declared income to the agency with annual data reported to the Australian Taxation Office. If more income has been reported…

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Vegan ‘militants’ lose charitable status in ‘win for common sense’: Zed Seselja

Commissioner Gary Johns said the commission only revoked an organisation’s charitable status in the “most serious of cases. ” He cited media coverage of the organisation’s protests and break-ins at farms and abattoirs but said the commission’s reasons for its ruling would remain secret. Loading “Charities must stick to their purpose, and maintain their obligations under the ACNC Act, Charities Act and adhere to governance standards,” he said. “By revoking the charity registration of Aussie Farms Inc, the organisation is no longer able to access Commonwealth charity tax concessions,” he said.…

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