Judges urged to report concerns

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 7 : 3-Jul-20

The New South Wales Supreme Court has issued a new policy on unacceptable workplace conduct, covering issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying. It applies to judges and ­judicial staff, and encourages judges and staff to report unacceptable workplace conduct or suspected misconduct. The policy has been introduced in the wake of sexual harassment allegations raised against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, and includes the appointment of an external consultant to investigate complaints of unacceptable workplace conduct against judges and other judicial staff.

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SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Trad in clear but no recall to cabinet

Original article by Michael McKenna, Charlie Peel
The Australian – Page: 7 : 3-Jul-20

Queensland’s Crime & Corruption Commission has cleared former deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad of deliberately trying to intervene in the appointment of a secondary school principal in her electorate. However, the Commission stated her involvement in the appointment process created a "corruption risk". Trad says she feels vindicated by the Commission’s findings, and that the issue had been turned into a "political witchhunt" by the Liberal National Party. Despite being cleared by the Commission, it is believed Trad will remain on the backbench until the state election on 31 October, when she is expected to struggle to hold her seat of South Brisbane against the Greens.

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QUEENSLAND. CRIME AND CORRUPTION COMMISSION, LIBERAL-NATIONAL PARTY OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

JobSeeker’s $200 boost could cost $4 billion for six months

Original article by Shane Wright
The Age – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s director, Alan Duncan, says the JobSeeker payment should be increased when the coronavirus supplement ends in September. Duncan contends that the unemployment benefit was insufficient prior to the pandemic, and he has suggested that it could be increased by $200 a fortnight; he estimates that this would cost about $3.8bn over six months. Duncan adds that the JobSeeker payment must be scaled back in order to provide people with an incentive to seek work.

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BANKWEST CURTIN ECONOMICS CENTRE

‘A national security scandal’: Kevin Rudd names three gaps in defence strategy

Original article by Anthony Galloway
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

The federal government’s new defence strategy includes expenditure of $270 billion over the next 10 years on boosting the Australian Defence Force. However, former prime minister Kevin Rudd contends there are three major gaps in the strategy: failing to build up Australia’s cyber defences with sufficient speed; insufficient spending in the Pacific region, and delays in the delivery of new submarines. Rudd noted his government’s 2009 Defence White Policy had called for a doubling of Australia’s submarine fleet, and he claims the submarine project has been "comprehensively botched".

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE

Australian visa fast track for HK nationals fleeing strife

Original article by Simon Benson, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 3-Jul-20

Tensions with China may increase after the federal government advised that it will consider options for allowing Hong Kong nationals to migrate to Australia. The skilled migrant visa program is expected to be the government’s preferred option when cabinet discusses the issue on 8 July. However, part of the annual refugee intake could potentially be allocated to Hong Kong nationals who are at risk of persecution under the Chinese government’s national security laws for the former British colony. China has criticised the UK’s decision to offer citizenship to more than three million Hong Kong nationals.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Over 2 million Australians still unemployed in June, down 42,000 on May

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 3-Jul-20

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the unemployment estimate for June shows 2.05 million Australians were unemployed (14.5% of the workforce) and 1.41 million (10.0%) under-employed – a total of 3.45 million Australians (24.5%). The small changes in unemployment and under-employment in June show how much new growth is required to provide jobs for the more than 1 million Australians now unemployed that were working prior to the Australia-wide shut-downs enforced in mid-March. In addition the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne over the last two weeks demonstrates the virus poses an ongoing threat to lives, livelihoods and the economy more broadly.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Australia to spend $270bn building larger military to prepare for poorer, more dangerous world

Original article by Jade Macmillan, Andrew Greene
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

The federal government will shift the focus of its defence policy to the Indo-Pacific, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning of a heightened risk of conflict in the region in the post-coronavirus environment. The government will increase its defence budget by $270bn over the next 10 years. Amongst other things, it is expected to spent about $800m on long-range anti-ship missiles from the US which have a much larger range than Australia’s current generation of missiles. About 800 additional Australian Defence Force members are expected to be recruited over the next decade, while the defence R&D budget will include research into hypersonic weapons.

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AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Fair Work backs penalty rates waiver

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

The Australian Services Union has failed in its bid to end flexible working arrangements for administrative employees who are covered by the clerks award. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours in response to the coronavirus. The deal regarding overtime and penalty rates was initially slated to end on 30 June, but the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed to extend it until the end of September.

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AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Jobs clawback sees 250,000 return to work

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of employees on companies’ payrolls has increased by 2.7 per cent since mid-April. This equates to about 250,000 workers, and follows an 8.8 per cent fall in payrolled jobs in the four weeks from 14 March. However, there are still 670,000 fewer workers on companies’ payrolls than prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The figures are based on payrolls data from the Australian Taxation Office.

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AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Victoria reimposes drastic lockdowns in 10 hard-hit COVID hotspots across Melbourne

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 1-Jul-20

Victoria reported a total of 64 new coronavirus cases on 30 June, prompting the state government to reimpose stage three lockdowns in 36 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and west for four weeks from 11.59pm on 1 July. Residents in the postcodes of 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064 will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise or to buy food and other essential items until at least 29 July. Police will be deployed to enforce the lockdown in the coronavirus hotspot suburbs.

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