A job gives people ‘pride, hope, opprtunity and choices’: Employment minister

Employment Minister Stuart Robert says a job gives people pride, hope, opportunity and choices.

Mr Robert spoke to Sky News about the government’s push to get more Australians into jobs.

“Right now, we’re seeing the unemployment rate come down because demand for labour is so strong”.

Mr Robert said there needs to be a focus on skills, training and connecting people to jobs.

“We’re pulling out all stops as we seek unemployment to get a four in front of it”.

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British retailers say closures and job losses still a risk despite lockdown easing

Trade body urges government to deliver on promise to reform business rates to protect sector

Store closures and job losses are a threat to Britain’s retail sector despite an increase in activity following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the government has been warned by the industry’s trade body.

The British Retail Consortium said a pick-up in April as non-essential stores reopened should not be seen as evidence of full recovery and urged ministers to make good on their promises of reform to business rates.

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Greens Budget push to force billionaires & big corporations to return Job Keeper – 16 News

Greens leader Adam Bandt will announce the next steps in the Greens campaign to make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share today, with a Budget push for the Morrison government to force the billionaires and big corporations who profited from JobKeeper to pay it back.

Launching the campaign in his electorate outside a Harvey Norman store in Richmond, Mr Bandt said the Greens would seek to amend the Budget to effectively force the repayment of JobKeeper by billionaires and big corporations, like billionaire Gerry Harvey’s corporation, who received JobKeeper yet paid dividends, executive bonuses or were otherwise profitable.

Mr Bandt will also outline the details of a campaign by Greens supporters to name and shame the billionaires and big corporations who have profited during the pandemic. Flanked by supporters and holding a giant debt collection notice outside the Harvey Norman store, Mr Bandt will say Greens supporters would be serving debt notices online and outside stores and offices of the billionaires and big corporations.

Mr Bandt will write next week to Crossbench Senators and MPs and Labor to ask for their support for the amendments to the Budget.

A Parliamentary Budget Office costing, commissioned by the Greens, shows that 65 of the big corporations that have made excessive profits or paid out executive bonuses during pandemic would return $1.1 billion to the public if effectively forced to return JobKeeper. This is a low estimate of what could be returned, as the government has not disclosed any comprehensive list of excessively profitable companies who received JobKeeper for inclusion in the PBO costing.

Greens Leader, Adam Bandt said:

“The Greens will make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share.”

“While everyone else was suffering during the pandemic, billionaires and big corporations took government handouts and got even richer.

“If you’re making enough money to buy a private jet or pay executive bonuses, then you can pay back JobKeeper.

“Billionaire Gerry Harvey doesn’t need public handouts. Australians have shoveled money through the front door of Harvey Norman and the government has shoveled public money through the back door. Big corporations like Harvey Norman should be made to pay JobKeeper back.”

“The PBO estimates over $1 billion dollars has gone to just 65 big corporations who then made big profits, paid dividends or gave out executive bonuses, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“It’s not enough to just ask them to pay back JobKeeper, Parliament has to make them do it. Simply appealing to these billionaires’ better nature won’t work, because they don’t have one.”

“The Greens call on every member of Parliament to back our push to force these billionaires and big corporations to pay back JobKeeper.”

“We will be naming and shaming these corporations with debt collection notices in the coming weeks.”

“JobKeeper was a lifeline for many, but for some billionaires it was another ivory back scratcher.

“Liberals and Labor take donations from billionaires and big corporations, but this is their chance to make them pay back the JobKeeper payments they didn’t need.”

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Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels has two games to save his job

Stan Sport commentator Tim Horan put the topic on the agenda on Rugby Heaven, labelling Wessels a “dead man walking”.

“I really feel for Dave. He’s a good, young coach and I feel for him,” Horan told the Herald on Wednesday. “He hasn’t had the players he should have. He’s probably two or three really good players short.

“At the same time, if you’ve had four seasons to bring players through, you can’t blame the system or recruiting.

“Look at where Brad [Thorn] is. His first two years were pretty ordinary. He only won six or seven in his first year.

“The same in his second year. But at least he had Sam Cordingley and he backed Sam and they decided who they would bring through and why.”


Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson and chairman Paul Docherty did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

If Melbourne decide not to offer Wessels another contract, former Wallaby and former Rebels assistant Morgan Turinui believes the franchise must hand the reins to Foote immediately.

“If they decide the time is up, they may as well rip off the band-aid and start again,” Turinui said on Rugby Heaven.

“Why would you waste time if you’ve made the decision? I’m not saying they should or they shouldn’t. If you’ve made the decision … why wait?

“If you want a change and improvement, you want the team to play in a different way, you want a change in direction – then make the change. If you want to back Dave Wessels, back him.”

Wessels has won 23 games, lost 29 and drawn one match in his four years as coach at a 43 per cent win rate despite boasting a list with several Wallabies stars in key positions.

He turned down an approach from Irish club Munster before signing with the Rebels before the 2018 season.

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Inpex gas plant workers in Darwin walk off job over pay dispute as EBA talks stall

Repairs and maintenance staff at Darwin’s multi-million-dollar export gas plant are threatening ongoing strike action, saying their pay and conditions are well below levels in other states.

Around 70 striking workers employed by Inpex contractor Trace Broadspectrum gathered outside the large-scale processing plant at Bladin Point on Wednesday morning.

Electrical Trade Union organiser David Hayes said the one-day action was being taken because enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations had hit a wall after 10 months of talks.

He said wages and conditions for the predominantly local maintenance workforce were below industry standard for such facilities and well below agreements in other states.

One protesting worker carried a sign reading: “This is a major hazardous facility, not a biscuit factory.”

“Other plants the same as this in Gladstone for example or in WA, we see workers on those plants are paid up to 20 per cent more than workers here in Darwin.”

Union members say EBA negotiations have stalled after 10 months of talks.(

ABC News: Emma Masters


A few hundred workers are now employed at the Inpex site, which was the biggest construction project in Northern Territory history and had an 8,000-strong, largely fly-in, fly-out workforce at the peak of construction.

Inpex said the maintenance contract would create around 160 local jobs when it was awarded to Trace Broadspectrum in 2017.

Ahead of a union meeting with the contractor scheduled for tomorrow, David Hayes said EBA negotiations were stuck on rates of pay as well as leave and rostered day off arrangements.

“The things that actually cost the company money are the sticking points that we are at at the moment,” Mr Hayes said.

“We need to use the options that are available to us to put pressure on the company and get back to the table and make some decisions.”

The union said staff expected the strike to interrupt some planned maintenance, although overall operations at the plant would not be affected.

Inpex and Trace Broadspectrum have been contacted for comment.

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Candice Warner: Ex-ironwoman realises lifelong dream with Olympics job on Channel 7

Candice Warner’s Olympic moment has arrived, with the former champion Ironwoman joining Network Seven’s studio commentary team for the Tokyo Games.

“Sport is my first love and will always be a huge passion of mine,” Warner said.

“To be able to commentate the men and women’s triathlon and open water 10km marathon … I’m really thrilled.”

As a little nipper, Warner grew up wanting to be an Olympian.

“I never got that opportunity with my sport,” she said.

Candice Warner
Camera IconCandice Warner pictured at Coogee before her next role with Seven for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Sam Ruttyn Credit: News Corp Australia

“But to be part of the commentary team alongside some of those voices and (the source) of such great sporting quotes, it’s honestly a dream come true and I really am honoured.”

Warner predicts “great success” for the Australian team in Tokyo in part thanks to the way the country has handled the COVID crisis.

“A lot of our athletes haven’t been in the lockdowns that we’ve seen in America, Europe or England,” she said.

“The athletes have been able to prepare, to get to the pool, do their cycling and running, so I really feel that these Olympics, Australia will excel.”

Warner came to prominence at 14 as Australia’s youngest ever professional Ironwoman.

“I understand the stroke side of things; it’s very different to a stroke in the pool, whether it be breathing … or different kicking,” she said.

Supplied Editorial Manly LSC Carnival
Camera IconCandice Warner nee Falzon excelled as an ironwoman. Troy Snook Credit: News Corp Australia

“Also (I know) how important the feeds are. Over a 10 km open water swim, having those feeds, stopping for your gels, bringing on fluids and increasing your caffeine along the way – they’re the things that people want to know.

“‘What are these athletes doing? How can they keep going for so long? What training they’ve done in the lead up … or why do some athletes wear goggles and some don’t?

“Having swum competitively in the pool and in the ocean, I just have a really good understanding of that sport.”

Lewis Martin, head of Seven Network Sport, said Warner knows exactly what it takes to succeed in elite sport.

“Candice has emerged as a highly promising commentator,” Mr Martin said.

Candice Warner
Camera IconWarner has become a promising sports commentator. Sam Ruttyn Credit: News Corp Australia

“She will bring an insider’s understanding to our coverage of the triathlon and marathon swimming in Tokyo, joining an unrivalled Seven commentary team that includes some of Australia’s greatest Olympic heroes.”

Warner is especially excited about introducing Australia to new athletes and having her three little girls tune in from home.

“For my daughters to watch the Olympic Games and hear their mother call certain events will really be something else,” Warner said. “For them to see, ‘Okay, you have to work for something to be able to get it, you just don’t get handed things’.”

Just don’t expect Warner to turn to cricket commentary post-Olympics.

“The last thing David would want is his wife’s (commentary) on his performance,” she laughed.

“I don’t know how well any marriage would survive that!”

Olympics 100 days cover. 9/4/21
Camera IconOlympics 100 days cover. 9/4/21 Credit: News Corp Australia

DON’T miss our eight-page 100 days to go until the Tokyo Olympics liftout on Wednesday in News Corp Australia newspapers.

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Yes, job vacancies are high. But laziness is not the reason they aren’t being filled | Australian economy

Right now the economy is not operating as it should. The government wants things to be normal, and so jobmaker is gone and the jobseeker bonus as well, and yet the economy is still dealing with the shock to its system that is the pandemic.

Now sure, on the surface things look fine … ish.

The IMF this week announced that it had revised up the estimate for Australia’s GDP growth for 2021 from 3.5% to 4.5%.

Yes, it revised down its projection for next year’s growth from 2.9% to 2.8%, and it does not expect the economy to grow faster than that out to 2026, which is another period of very middling growth. But hey, let’s focus on the positives!

This good news came on the back of the latest job vacancy report released by the bureau of statistics that showed the number of vacancies in February was some 26% above that in February last year.

That growth is stronger than any seen since the end of the GFC.

It also means that the number of unemployed per vacancy is well down – just 2.8 people per vacancy – lower than was the case before the pandemic hit.

Graph not displaying? Click here

And yet, all this great news of vacancies and improved economic growth is actually more of a sign that we are still within the great flux of the pandemic.

The economy, for all its moving parts and complexity, often works in pretty predictable ways.

For the past 25 years, there has been a pretty solid relationship between job vacancies and unemployment. But that has ended in a dramatic fashion with the pandemic.

Over the past quarter of a century when the job vacancy rate was around 1.8%, as it was last November, you would expect the unemployment rate to be around 4%. Instead, it was 6.8%. Similarly, when in February we had a job vacancy rate of 2.1% (the highest ever recorded) you would expect unemployment to be at record lows. Instead, it was at 5.8%.

There are jobs available, but they are not being taken up.

Now you might think this is because “people are lazy” or that the jobseeker bonus meant they didn’t want to work because the payment was higher. But the actual explanation is there are a lot of vacancies for jobs that most people are not seeking.

In February last year, 43% of job vacancies were for managers and professionals, and yet those two occupations only account for 23% of the growth of vacancies over the past 12 months.

ICT, and business, finance and HR professionals usually account for around 39% of all vacancies for all professionals, and yet they made up just 6% of the increase in vacancies over the past year.

Conversely, there has been a big surge in vacancies for labourers, machinery operators, technicians and trade workers, and for community and personal service workers.

So yes, lots of new jobs, but an unemployed accountant is hardly about to start applying for a job operating machinery. And saying “everyone should go pick fruit” sounds easy in a press release, but it’s not a realistic prospect if you have family commitments a long distance from a fruit orchard.

This is no one’s fault – it is what happens when an economy suffers a massive shock.

But these figures come from a time when the safety nets of jobkeeper and jobseeker bonus were still in place.

The treasurer’s department now anticipates up to 100,000 extra unemployed due to the end of jobkeeper. It is likely to see a rise in the unemployment rate even as job vacancies also rise.

The economy still has a long way to get to a point where the supply of workers starts to match the demand for labour.

As we begin the run to the budget, the temptation for the government will be to cherry-pick the good news and focus on restoring the budget to balance and claiming some sort of victory.

In truth, the economy remains in shock and in dire need of care.

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Titans coach urges Taylor to stick to job

He’s unlikely to have the leadership of Jamal Fogarty next to him but Ash Taylor isn’t being asked to take on extra responsibility for Gold Coast against Newcastle on Saturday.

Titans coach Justin Holbrook said co-captain Fogarty is almost certain to miss the NRL clash with the Knights at CBUS Super Stadium due to the corked thigh he suffered in last week’s loss to Canberra.

That will mean Taylor will make his return from a hand injury alongside 20-year-old Tanah Boyd in the halves for the hosts.

Taylor has found some of his most consistent form alongside Fogarty in the past 12 months, shedding the weight of responsibility which he struggled to handle at times during his Titans’ career.

With Fogarty set to miss Saturday’s clash, Holbrook insists he won’t be demanding anything different from Taylor against the Knights.

“I see him just playing the same role,” Holbrook said.

“Tanah is a pretty good organiser himself.

“I just want Ash to continue on the way he has played last year and a couple of games this year. I think Tanah will do a good job with that.”

The Titans will also be without veteran winger Anthony Don, who picked up a hip injury in the 20-4 loss to the Raiders which left the Titans with a 2-2 record.

Centre Brian Kelly makes his return with Phillip Sami moving to the wing to replace Don.

Injury-hit Newcastle head north without Mitchell Pearce (ruptured pec) while Tex Hoy (hamstring) and Kurt Mann (concussion) are also out.

Blake Green will make his first start since round 15 last year while Kalyn Ponga is back to play his first match of the year following off-season shoulder surgery.

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Leading contender puts hand up for Tahs top job

Gilmore is one of a new breed of home-grown coaches and a product of the elite coaching pathway.

He started his coaching career at Toowoomba Grammar before leading Brisbane’s Anglican Church Grammar School to a 1st XV premiership in 2014.

From there, he earned a job as the Queensland Rugby Union’s elite development head coach before making the leap to Rugby Australia and replacing Simon Cron as Junior Wallabies coach.

In 2019, Gilmore led the Junior Wallabies back to the World Rugby under-20s championship final for the first time since 2010. His side fell one point short of becoming the first Australian team to win the tournament against France.

He started with the Waratahs last year and now having worked under Penney, Gilmore knows the results of the next two months will likely determine whether he’s a chance of earning the job on a permanent basis.


“First things first, we have to deliver results. All of that stuff will take care of itself later,” he said. “But we want strong performance week to week at the Waratahs, first and foremost.”

The Waratahs played their best match of the season against the Brumbies but Gilmore is cognisant of the bounce a coach being fired can bring, and that it could easliy wear off before next week’s clash with the Force in Perth.

“It’s about embracing what they did in the second half [against the Brumbies],” Gilmore said. “It’s the first time the boys have felt confident about what they were doing. And they had some really good energy in that second half.

“When you have both sides of the ball combining really well, you want to drive that. Not happy with the loss but we have to take stock of that second half.

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Worker shortage hurting Gippsland businesses who cannot fill job vacancies

For Kevin Campbell, trying to find hospitality staff to keep his Lake Tyers pub open every day during the current tourism boom has been a nightmare.

Despite the spectacular East Gippsland location and beach lifestyle on offer for workers, the Waterwheel Tavern has been closed two days a week for the past six weeks due to a staffing shortage.

“Through no choice of our own we’ve had to shut on a Monday and Tuesday just from a lack of staff to cover the shifts,” Mr Campbell said.

“It’s disappointing for us because there are still plenty of people around but we can’t really capitalise on it, which is a bit of a bummer.”

An influx of grey nomads and campers exploring the region, about 350 kilometres east of Melbourne, has compounded the situation for Mr Campbell and his employees.

He said those left working were battling fatigue trying to cover the bases that would usually be covered by a team of kitchen, bar and floor staff.

But turning away customers just over a year since deadly bushfires ripped through the area, and the subsequent pandemic restrictions, had been particularly distressing, Mr Campbell said.

The Lake Tyers pub has been closing some days due to a lack of staff.(

Supplied: Waterwheel Beach Tavern


“And then we start losing clientele over an extended period of time.”

Mr Campbell said he used to rely on European backpackers and working holiday makers who stayed at the caravan park which is part of the hotel.

But during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the uncertainty of hours led many staff to return to home or move to pursue other work.

“We lost three of our core staff who chose to go down another path outside hospitality, which was real pity,” said Mr Campbell, who employs up to 35 people during peak season.

“It was a real kick in the guts when we went to reopen again as we were having to retrain the staff that we could find.”

Calls for better educational opportunities

It is a similar story in other industries.

Therese Kearney works for Catholic Care Victoria, which started offering free counselling services to the community after the bushfires; it too cannot find qualified staff to live and work in the region.

“But we cannot get the personnel, we can’t get counsellors to come to the rural areas — even if we do, we can’t get them to stay.”

The organisation has been advertising for nine months to fill roles in the region, prompting Ms Kearney to suggest education needed to be better targeted.

“We’ve got to train people for these areas knowing they will be coming into regional areas,” she said.

A woman sitting in a n office in front of a computer
Laura A’Bell just moved into a new office and wants a local to fill a vacant marketing job.(



Better education opportunities for locals was something Mirboo North-based business owner Laura A’Bell said could help match jobseekers with available positions.

She is still trying to fill a marketing role at her communications firm which was first advertised in December.

A lack of public transport in regional areas and not enough affordable housing were also a problem, she said.

“There is less than 1 per cent vacancy in towns across Gippsland and rents have spikes from this demand.

“There was one girl who would consider moving up here for the role but there was a lack of housing.

“We have a beautiful new office space in Mirboo North to service clients nationally; I thought it would be a really great opportunity to have a local Gippsland person join us.”

Workers lacking confidence

Luke Henderson, a director of a Gippsland-based recruitment agency, said it was an unusual job market over the past six months.

He said the agency was receiving fewer applications because jobseekers were being more fussy in what they applied for and that less people were leaving secure roles.

“In the past you had people who were [looking at] changing careers or employers and looking for something new,” he said.

Woman working on a strawberry farm
Farm workers are in short supply.(

Supplied: LuvaBerry


Mr Henderson said it was just as hard to recruit for high-skilled roles as it was for entry-level jobs, with transport and logistics and agriculture the sectors with the highest vacancies.

The expectations of businesses and jobseekers needed to be adjusted to get more people into vacant roles, he said.

Little interest in casual roles

Erica resident Kelly Miller has been looking for work but said opportunities were often part-time or casual roles, which was “not always practical” because she had a mortgage.

“And the positions I have been offered have been at a substantially lower pay rate than I’m on at the moment,” she said.

“What [businesses] are offering is not always competitive.”

Back at his Lake Tyres pub, Kevin Campbell said issues recruiting hospitality staff could also be linked to changes to the training and apprenticeship system over the past 10 to 15 years.

“The big picture of hospitality and tourism has to be reinvented career-wise,” he said.

He said he wanted more government incentives, among them education, to make hospitality a more desirable and rewarding career.

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