Categories: Australia

Australia news LIVE: Suspected visa scams choking immigration system; Labor to replace building watchdog

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In the present day’s headlines

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Thanks for becoming a member of me on the nationwide weblog this afternoon. That’s all for right now.

Listed below are the primary headlines of the day:

  • The early phases of a brand new COVID-19 wave throughout Australia has resulted within the momentary closure of a Sydney highschool.
  • A royal fee heard that the robo-debt scheme was created to seek out price financial savings.
  • A Senate estimates listening to heard a senior public servant give up over claims he urinated on a colleague.
  • Labor senator Glenn Sterle apologised for calling Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie a “naughty little lady” in parliament.
  • Kristina Keneally was appointed chief govt officer of the Sydney Kids’s Hospitals Basis.
  • Defence Minister Richard Marles stated Australian taxpayers would want to spend an “monumental” amount of cash to accumulate a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines.
  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated in query time that local weather change was a nationwide safety difficulty, and refused to rule out paying compensation to poor nations.
  • In worldwide information, former US president Donald Trump described Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an “animal” on the eve of the midterm elections.

Bob Brown moved on by police from Tasmanian forest protest

Former senator and Greens co-founder Bob Brown has been moved on by police whereas staging a protest towards logging in Tasmania.

Protesters had been staging a “peaceable occupation” of swift parrot habitat close to Swansea within the state’s north-east, the place birds have been pushed out of their regular breeding and feeding forests by intensified logging.

Police attended the timber manufacturing zone at Lake Leake after experiences a gaggle of individuals was obstructing the work of logging contractors.

“A number of the individuals within the group had been moved on with out incident, nevertheless a person who initially failed to maneuver on from the world shall be summonsed to attend court docket on a trespass matter,” a police spokeswoman stated.

Police stated one man who failed to maneuver on could be summonsed to attend court docket on a trespass matter, and two ladies who had tied themselves to logging gear had been arrested and charged with trespass and obstructing police. They are going to seem in court docket at a later date.

Brown stated he was “upholding the legal guidelines of nature” and a global conference on biodiversity.

“The parrots cross the Bass Strait in three hours, whereas it takes the ferry all day or all evening, and so they discover the place the eucalypts are blossoming and that’s the place their largest inhabitants shall be,” he stated.


“This 12 months, it’s within the north-east of Tasmania, and as a substitute of defending that habitat because the biodiversity conference would have us, they’re logging.”

Brown joined the protest yesterday and camped out in a single day on the website, the place two individuals had tied themselves to equipment and one staged a tree-sit right now.

“It’s broadscale destruction,” Brown stated.

“The present coupe that they’re logging is 200 hectares and, considerably, what they’re doing is taking out the massive timber, and so they’re the very ones that these birds want for nesting.”

Brown questions the legality of logging within the space, and is looking on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to finish logging in Australia’s native forests.

Bob Brown Basis campaigner Erik Hayward stated protesters’ requests to avoid wasting swift parrot habitat had been ignored by the Tasmanian premier and forestry authorities.

“The forests of the Jap Tiers are among the final remaining habitats for the swift parrot,” he stated.

Mr Brown was arrested twice in two days in December 2020, additionally over anti-logging protests in swift parrot habitat in Tasmania’s Jap Tiers.


Stress to seek out {dollars} created robodebt, royal fee informed

Important strain to seek out price range financial savings mixed with “overwhelming” workloads generated the thought for the robodebt program, an inquiry has heard.

A royal fee is investigating the failed robodebt program, which falsely accused welfare recipients of owing the federal government cash.

This system was initiated underneath the previous Coalition authorities in an try to get better debt and improve price range financial savings.

Former Division of Human Providers nationwide supervisor Scott Britton, a senior public servant who labored on the coverage proposal, gave proof right now.

Britton recalled that round 2012 there was “a major shift” within the division in the direction of the era of financial savings.

“[If] any authorities is in search of financial savings they’d usually come to fraud and compliance as a result of it’s a mechanism by which financial savings will be discovered and {dollars} will be generated,” he stated.

“Undoubtedly the emphasis was on the {dollars} and the financial savings related to these measures.”

Britton wasn’t certain whether or not the emphasis was coming from the ministers or the division itself, however he felt the strain.

He stated there was “important” non-compliance within the welfare program and the division was overwhelmed with workloads making an attempt to crosscheck claims towards precise incomes.

“[We were] actually … taking a look at methods by which we may deal with that quantity of labor,” he stated.

The coverage that will turn into robodebt was proposed as a way of automating and lowering among the workload and Mr Britton stated it was additionally seen as a strategy to modernise the division’s processes.

“There have been a number of layers and drivers extra than simply in regards to the financial savings,” he stated.

“Financial savings, I believe, grew to become the first driver, however initially it was about modernisation.”

Authorized recommendation from the Division of Social Providers rejected the proposal due to points with the debt calculation technique.

Calculations had been executed by means of a course of known as revenue averaging, which in contrast individuals’s reported revenue with tax workplace figures.

The fee has beforehand heard the social providers division obtained authorized recommendation in 2014 that the proposal was illegal.

However Britton stated he couldn’t recall receiving this authorized recommendation.

“I don’t keep in mind particularly ever receiving the precise recommendation, conversations related to it perhaps, however not the bodily [advice],” he stated.

“It might have been a kind of factors that I might have remembered if anyone got here again and stated, ‘that’s not lawful’.”

Britton informed the fee there have been identified points with the tech system used to supply the debt notices.

“It wasn’t actually an choice on the time to not ship,” he stated.

“We simply all pushed on with what we had to make sure we had programs that had been capable of help the intent.”

Tons of of 1000’s of Australians had been despatched debt notices underneath the scheme, which recovered greater than $750 million.

The fee is accepting submissions from individuals affected till February 2023, with a closing report due by mid-April.


The Australian suburbs with the very best life expectancy

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Staying on the subject of COVID-19, new figures recommend Australians reside longer regardless of the pandemic, which induced life expectancy to drop in lots of the world’s richest nations.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures launched on Tuesday recommend a woman born in 2021 can anticipate to stay 85.4 years, up a number of months on the pre-pandemic determine.

Males had been anticipated to stay 81.3 years, the same improve.

The ABS famous Australia was one of many few nations to point out a rise in life expectancy since COVID hit, and had the third-highest life expectancy on the planet behind Monaco and Japan.

US life expectancy has dropped to the bottom stage since 1996, plunging 2.7 years between 2019 and 2021.

In the meantime, in England, the pandemic led to the most important year-on-year drop in life expectancy in 2020 since figures had been first collected in 1981.

ABS demography director Emily Walter stated life expectancy in Australia was 11.9 years longer for males and 10.6 years longer for females than the 2020 UN world common.

The bureau stated a 65-year-old Australian male may anticipate to stay one other 20.3 years, in comparison with 23 years for a lady the identical age.

The figures confirmed a large disparity in life expectancy between individuals in well-off city areas and essentially the most distant communities.

The very best life expectancy in Australia for girls was within the Ryde area of Sydney, the place a feminine may anticipate to stay 88.4 years from start.

For males, the very best life expectancy was 85.6 years within the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury area of Sydney.

In distinction, the bottom figures for women and men had been each within the outback Northern Territory, at 71.7 and 77.1 years respectively.

The ACT has the very best common life expectancy of any state or territory, adopted by Western Australia, Victoria and NSW.

The NT has the bottom common life expectancy, adopted by Tasmania.

Nevertheless, College of Melbourne demographer Tim Adair famous there had been extra deaths than anticipated in 2022 because of a rise in COVID-related mortality in addition to deaths from different causes reminiscent of diabetes.

With AAP

Related Post

New COVID-19 wave closes highschool

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

To NSW now, an unbiased Catholic highschool in Sydney’s north-west has closed its doorways to most college students and moved to distant studying after a 3rd of academics examined constructive to COVID-19.

In a letter to oldsters, Tangara Faculty for Ladies in Cherrybrook principal Rita Sakr stated the varsity had made “a really tough however mandatory resolution” to shut to most pupils for the remainder of the week after one pupil and greater than 30 per cent of its secondary academics contracted the virus.

College students in years 7, 8, 9 and 11 shall be taught remotely, and 12 months 10 college students sitting end-of-year exams are being supervised by workers on the faculty.

You possibly can learn the complete story by the Herald’s schooling editor Lucy Carroll right here.

Most of Australia within the early phases of one other COVID-19 wave as new Omicron offshoots higher evade immunity, resulting in an increase in circumstances.

I’ve made this graph with the most recent accessible figures from the Australian Division of Well being.

It’s most likely an underestimate given the figures are actually every week outdated, and it’s not obligatory to report the outcomes of a speedy antigen take a look at in plenty of states, together with NSW and Victoria.

Public servant quits over claims he urinated on colleagues

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

There was numerous discuss requirements of office behaviour recently with the passing of legal guidelines advisable by the Respect@Work report this week, and the federal government calling for extra respect for girls.

However query time right now was peppered with the speaker calling the Home to order and admonishing largely Coalition MPs speaking excessive of ministers.

On the flip facet, Treasurer Jim Chalmers was admonished for calling the Coalition “dregs” – to which he requested if calling them “leftovers” could be extra parliamentary.

And Labor senator Glenn Sterle has apologised for calling Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie a “naughty little lady” throughout a listening to of the regional and rural affairs committee.

However all that pales compared subsequent to a very eyebrow-raising story that has emerged right now.

Get this: A senior public servant has resigned from a federal authorities company after being accused of urinating on colleagues.

Below questioning about sexual harassment on the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, chief govt Lisa Croft was requested if she was conscious {that a} male senior workers member had allegedly urinated on colleagues at a piece operate.

Croft stated she had been made conscious of a “personal urination matter”.

“I’m conscious of an incident that occurred in a personal capability, not at a piece operate,” she informed a Senate estimates listening to.

“People raised the matter with me straight.”

The authority, which is the Australian authorities regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical merchandise, has its headquarters at Armidale in NSW.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson informed the listening to he was conscious of doubtless three complaints from feminine workers members in regards to the alleged incident.

Croft informed the listening to that whereas the individuals straight concerned had needed her to pay attention to the matter, there was no official grievance made.

“I’m not conscious of any complaints from these workers members in relation to a sexual harassment matter,” she stated.

Croft stated after discussions with the organisation’s human sources workforce, the workers member resigned from their place.

“Discussions had been had when it comes to what could possibly be executed in relation to the matter, and the workers member resigned very quickly after that,” she informed the listening to.

Croft stated she didn’t converse on to the manager workers member.

Whish-Wilson stated he could be submitting additional inquiries to the authority.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt described the questions as “regarding”.

“Definitely, it’s the primary time I’ve heard about any of them, and I’ll be in search of an pressing briefing from my division about it,” he stated.

With AAP

Labor Senator Glenn Sterle apologises for ‘naughty little lady’ remark

By Lisa Visentin

An replace from Senator estimates, from Lisa Visentin.

Labor Senator Glenn Sterle has given a extra fulsome apology for calling Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie a “naughty little lady” throughout a listening to of the regional and rural affairs committee.

“I’ve mirrored upon my phrases earlier right now and Senator McKenzie I wish to apologise for my outburst … there is no such thing as a excuse for the language I used,” Sterle stated.

Deputy Liberal chief Sussan Ley stated the feedback had been unacceptable, noting Labor had used the passing of legal guidelines advisable by the Respect@Work report this week to name for extra respect for girls.

“Is that this the respectful office Anthony Albanese promised us?,” Ley stated in an announcement.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, who was on the listening to when Sterle made the remark, additionally condemned the remarks as unacceptable.

“I’ve spoken with Glenn about it. I do know that he’s remorseful. He’s clearly made his apology. However it’s totally unacceptable for these sorts of remarks to be made in any office setting or in society as an entire,” Watt informed reporters.

You possibly can learn the complete story right here.

Kristina Keneally proclaims new job

By Lisa Visentin

Former Labor senator Kristina Keneally has been appointed chief govt officer of the Sydney Kids’s Hospitals Basis.

Keneally’s political profession got here to an abrupt halt on the federal election when she was thwarted in her bid to maneuver from the higher home to the western Sydney seat of Fowler. In a significant upset, unbiased MP Dai Le received the seat.

In an announcement, Keneally stated she was excited to affix the SCHF management workforce.

As I start this new chapter in my skilled life, I’m extremely humbled by the chance I’ve been given.

I don’t take this appointment flippantly and coming to work every day now has an unimaginable new which means.

I’ve had the pleasure to fulfill among the workforce and I perceive what drives and motivates them, which brings better goal to my new place.

Over the course of her public life, Keneally incessantly drew consideration to the plight of moms and households of stillborn kids, having misplaced her personal daughter Caroline.

SCHF board chair Len Chersky welcomed Keneally’s appointment. She is going to exchange Nicola Stokes who served the organisation for six years.

“We all know her voice and imaginative and prescient will assist SCHF proceed to make a constructive influence on the lives of sick children and their households by means of funding world-class healthcare and analysis,” Chersky stated.

The headlines to date

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Australians ought to put together for ‘monumental’ submarine prices: Marles

By Matthew Knott

Staying on the subject of defence, Defence Minister Richard Marles stated Australian taxpayers would want to spend an “monumental” amount of cash to accumulate a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines.

Nevertheless, he stated the funding was essential to permit the Australian Defence Power to venture deadly drive.

Marles informed the Submarine Institute of Australia convention in Canberra right now that buying nuclear submarines underneath the AUKUS pact with the USA and Britain was “completely basic” to defending Australia’s nationwide safety.

Marles stated that submarines “can place the one largest query mark in our adversaries’ minds” by advantage of their stealth and distinctive capabilities.

“And if our strategic setting going ahead must be extra like a porcupine, then in reality query marks in our adversaries’ minds are going to be actually, actually essential and the dimensions of them goes to matter,” he stated.

“That’s what submarines do, and I believe with the ability to clarify that to the Australian public so that folks can perceive why we’re spending an infinite amount of cash on a relatively small variety of platforms.”

Defence specialists have stated they anticipate the price of a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines to succeed in at the least $100 billion.

Marles stated that defence spending, which is about $50 billion a 12 months, “goes to go north” and Australians must imagine they’re receiving worth for cash.

“Defence will have to be probably our highest spend, given the threats that we face and the capabilities that we subsequently must construct and purchase,” he stated.

Marles stated the ADF wanted to be “reconceived” round a brand new framework of “impactful projection”.

“This implies a capability to carry an adversary in danger, a lot farther from our shores, throughout type of the complete spectrum of proportionate response,” he defined.

He stated this represents “a distinct mindset” to Australia’s earlier slim deal with defending the continent.

Marles stated that “a long-range succesful submarine does impactful projection greater than every other platform that now we have inside our defence drive proper now”.

The federal government’s nuclear submarines taskforce is predicted to report on the advisable mannequin for a nuclear submarine by subsequent March.

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