Queensland’s nation-leading jobs recovery grows stronger

After being the first state to recover all its jobs lost during the COVID pandemic, Queensland continues to see strong employment growth according to the latest ABS Labour Force data.

Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said another 23,300 jobs were added during March – equivalent to more than 750 Queensland jobs added per day.

“Today’s Labour Force data shows the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan is working,” Mr Dick said.

“Queensland was already leading the nation in job creation out of COVID-19, and that positioned has been strengthened with these latest numbers.

“This is good news for Queensland, but it’s particularly good news for the 23,300 Queenslanders who now have jobs.

“Queensland is now further above the pre-COVID level of jobs than any other state or territory.

“There are now 62,800 more jobs in Queensland than there were in March last year, and almost 60 per cent of these are full-time positions.

“This result also means almost 320,000 Queenslanders have found new jobs since the Palaszczuk Government was first elected in 2015.”

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said overwhelmingly these jobs have been in the private sector, which lends itself to greater industry investment and more job opportunities in the future.

“For every job we’ve created, particularly on our frontline services, another six jobs have been added elsewhere in the economy,” Ms Farmer said.

“Queensland has seen the highest percentage point increase in labour force participation of the states over the past 12 months.  

“That means more people are coming to Queensland, more people are seeking work in Queensland, and more people are finding work in Queensland.

“These are all major positives for our state and come off the back of our Unite and Recover plan for jobs, skills and training.”

This new Labour Force data takes in the final month where JobKeeper was in place. 

Mr Dick said with JobKeeper now cut by the federal government, it’s likely there will be rough headwinds looming for employment.

“We will have to wait another month to see how badly Queenslanders have been impacted by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper cut-off,” he said.

“And we’re putting the Morrison Government on notice – if unemployment worsens next month, it will be on them, because they cut JobKeeper without suitable support measures to replace it.

“With all these delays to the vaccine rollout, it’s the last thing they should have cut.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is calling on the Commonwealth to reinstate JobKeeper, at a minimum, for our affected industries in international tourism.”


Media contact: Ben Doyle 0400 775 561

Change in employment to March 2021 (seasonally adjusted)


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Facebook’s ad algorithms are still excluding women from seeing jobs

The study supplies the latest evidence that Facebook has not resolved its ad discrimination problems since ProPublica first brought the issue to light in October 2016. At the time, ProPublica revealed that the platform allowed advertisers of job and housing opportunities to exclude certain audiences characterized by traits like gender and race. Such groups receive special protection under US law, making this practice illegal. It took two and half years and several legal skirmishes for Facebook to finally remove that feature.

But a few months later, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) levied a new lawsuit, alleging that Facebook’s ad-delivery algorithms were still excluding audiences for housing ads without the advertiser specifying the exclusion. A team of independent researchers including Korolova, led by Northeastern University’s Muhammad Ali and Piotr Sapieżyński , corroborated those allegations a week later. They found, for example, that houses for sale were being shown more often to white users and houses for rent were being shown more often to minority users.

Korolova wanted to revisit the issue with her latest audit because the burden of proof for job discrimination is higher than for housing discrimination. While any skew in the display of ads based on protected characteristics is illegal in the case of housing, US employment law deems it justifiable if the skew is due to legitimate qualification differences. The new methodology controls for this factor.

“The design of the experiment is very clean,” says Sapieżyński, who was not involved in the latest study. While some could argue that car and jewelry sales associates do indeed have different qualifications, he says, the differences between delivering pizza and delivering groceries are negligible. “These gender differences cannot be explained away by gender differences in qualifications or a lack of qualifications,” he adds. “Facebook can no longer say [this is] defensible by law.”

The release of this audit comes amid heightened scrutiny of Facebook’s AI bias work. In March, MIT Technology Review published the results of a nine-month investigation into the company’s Responsible AI team, which found that the team, first formed in 2018, had neglected to work on issues like algorithmic amplification of misinformation and polarization because of its blinkered focus on AI bias. The company published a blog post shortly after, emphasizing the importance of that work and saying in particular that Facebook seeks “to better understand potential errors that may affect our ads system, as part of our ongoing and broader work to study algorithmic fairness in ads.”

“We’ve taken meaningful steps to address issues of discrimination in ads and have teams working on ads fairness today,” said Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborn in a statement. “Our system takes into account many signals to try and serve people ads they will be most interested in, but we understand the concerns raised in the report… We’re continuing to work closely with the civil rights community, regulators, and academics on these important matters.”

Despite these claims, however, Korolova says she found no noticeable change between the 2019 audit and this one in the way Facebook’s ad-delivery algorithms work. “From that perspective, it’s actually really disappointing, because we brought this to their attention two years ago,” she says. She’s also offered to work with Facebook on addressing these issues, she says. “We haven’t heard back. At least to me, they haven’t reached out.”

In previous interviews, the company said it was unable to discuss the details of how it was working to mitigate algorithmic discrimination in its ad service because of ongoing litigation. The ads team said its progress has been limited by technical challenges.

Sapieżyński, who has now conducted three audits of the platform, says this has nothing to do with the issue. “Facebook still has yet to acknowledge that there is a problem,” he says. While the team works out the technical kinks, he adds, there’s also an easy interim solution: it could turn off algorithmic ad targeting specifically for housing, employment, and lending ads without affecting the rest of its service. It’s really just an issue of political will, he says.

Christo Wilson, another researcher at Northeastern who studies algorithmic bias but didn’t participate in Korolova’s or Sapieżyński’s research, agrees: “How many times do researchers and journalists need to find these problems before we just accept that the whole ad-targeting system is bankrupt?”

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Chris Wallace grills Buttigieg on false jobs claim: ‘Why mislead people?’

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday grilled Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for exaggerating the number of jobs that would be created by President Biden’s $2 trillion-plus spending proposal.

Wallace noted that Buttigieg and other Biden administration officials overstated the number of jobs that would be created by Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” last Sunday and then asked, “Why mislead people?”

“You’re right. I should have been more precise,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg then attempted to spin the projected number of jobs created by saying that there would be over 2 million more jobs created with the “infrastructure” plan than if there wasn’t a plan.


Wallace said there was a huge different between 2 million jobs created and 19 million jobs, prompting Buttigieg to say it’s “very important” for Americans to know 2.7 million jobs will be created. He then asked Buttigieg whether he agrees that he and other Biden admistration officials exaggerated the “jobs impact.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg takes a question from a reporter at a press briefing at the White House, Friday, April 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik))

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” last Sunday, Buttigieg claimed that Moody’s estimated the Biden plan would create 19 million jobs. National Economic Council Director Brian Deese also pushed the talking point last week on “Fox News Sunday.”

On Sunday, Buttigieg claimed there were several analyses on the spending plan estimating millions of jobs created, but Wallace pointed out that he was the one who cited an analysis from Moody’s.


“Secretary, you’re the one who cited Moody’s Analytics as 19 million, and it’s actually 2.7 million, which is a bunch, but it’s not what you said,” Wallace said.

“It’s part of a scenario that Moody says will create 19 million jobs, but the bottom line is it’s going to add jobs and this is a direct refutation of people who are saying otherwise,” Buttigieg said. “So yeah, you’re right, I should be very precise. The difference in jobs that that particular analysis suggests is 2.7 million more. That is a great place to be.”

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April a month devoted to odd jobs and planting


April is traditionally the busiest month on the gardener’s calendar as wherever you look in the garden there appears to be a job that needs attention.

Initially focus on all the must do jobs that generally require immediate attention.

Pest and disease numbers will have built up over the Summer months and they tend to explode quickly as numbers of pests increase dramatically. For example as the temperature drops the insect population can quickly explode, a classic case being aphides.

Presently the aphid population is exploding as each aphid in capable of producing 25 babies a day, do your maths and you will realise that you can have several million aphides in a very short period of time.

Check the lilies in your fish pond you will find aphides, check your chilli plants, check new growth on citrus, and closely check your new and old vegetables as the aphides will be now appearing.

Aphides are easy to manage. Only a few, squash with your fingers or hose off with sharp jets of water of spray with a light spray of pyrethrum.

Many forms of scale have built up over Summer. Most common is white lace scale, large black or brown scale and I have noticed a lot of white cushion scale this year.

White cushion scale should not be confused with mealy bug. Cushion scale is white, oval shaped, has ribs on its back and has a black spot on its back.

All the scale can be managed by spraying with white oil. As the temperatures drop to around 30 degrees and below it is safe to use oil sprays as with temperatures of 35 degrees and above oil applied to plant foliage generally will cause the leaves to burn. This will not occur particularly once temperatures drop into the 20’s.

Mealy bug seems to have bred up in late Summer particularly on Hibiscus shrubs and citrus trees and needs to be treated as they can result in considerable harm to your plants. Squash the odd mealy bug with your fingers, jet off with sharp jets of water and follow up by spraying with white oil or malathion and white oil to kill off the tiny mealy bug hiding in little crevasses that you can’t see.

Compost bins should be full with their contents fully broken down nicely ready to add to existing garden beds. Dig your compost through the soil while also adding organic animal manures.

If you want to plant immediately only used blood and bone or pelletiSed organic fertiliSer like Grow Better as when using fresh animal manures you need to allow it to mature in the soil for many weeks.

Roses that have survived the Summer may need to be sprayed with copper oxychloride to manage fungal diseases, citrus will need feeding along with lawns if not previously fertilised in February. By feeding your citrus lawns now they will spark up and put on a flush of new growth and then toughen up before the onset of Winter.

Garden beds that have been fallow for a while should be topped up with a blend of potting mix, compost and organic fertilisers ready for immediate planting.

Spring garden beds for the vegetable garden should also be topped up. To these beds add lots of animal manures, straw and compost. Water these beds periodically and gradually they will mature and be in an ideal state for planting into in Spring, not now.

Winter vegetables, flowering annuals, herbs, citrus, fruit trees, grapes and perennial evergreen plants should all be planted this month. Don’t forget of course native plant species they thrive when planted over April and May.

There is almost nothing that can not be planted this month. Planting now while the soils are still warm and the daylight hours are long making for conditions that are ideal for plant growth.

Planted now plants will quickly develop a new extended root system put on new growth and toughen up well before winter conditions prevail.

Don’t delay too long with planting particularly with reference to the longer maturing vegetables as some can take four months and longer to mature.

Left too long and Spring will be approaching before you know it and the arrival of pesty aphides that quickly spoil crops of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kale will be breeding up spoiling your mature produce.

As a side note aphides have just commenced appearing in some home gardens. A quick spray with pyrethrum with a little white oil will bring them under control. Check your water lilies, new growth on citrus, check your chillies and both old and new vegetables.

For those gardeners who prepared garden beds two to three months ago it will be an ideal time to plant. Manures should have broken down and been worked into the soil and ready to assist plant growth, soil organisms will have breed up and assisted with working the soil and weed seeds will have germinated being easily turned in prior to any planting taking place.

For those who have not prepared in advance fear not as it’s not too late, simply your approach will have to vary.

I wouldn’t be introducing rare manures and fresh home made composts to the garden bed unless really well broken down. Rare manures and half decomposed compost can be too rich for new plants or can compete with new plants robbing them of much needed nutrients.

If confronted with using fresh manures and new compost its simply a matter of preparing the garden beds and irrigating for some time prior to planting. Prepare these beds now and wait until conditions are ideal for planting be it six to 12 weeks away or as stated earlier in the article wait until Springs when everything will have broken down nicely.

Prepare these beds for the future and then turn your attention to preparing new beds for immediate planting. This however will require a different approach.

Organic fertilisers such as GrowBetter or Blood & Bone can however be used safely in preparing a bed ready for immediate planting although it’s still best to allow a week or two between preparing the soil and planting.

As a general formulae for a 2.1m x 0.9m x 0.40m raised garden bed I blend 0.5m cubic metres of fresh top soil (with a pH of 6.5), four bags of cheap potting mix, fours bags of compost and two bags of cow manure. To this I add up to one or two kilograms of GrowBetter organic fertiliser.

Using this formulae I prepare the bed one weekend and the following weekend or two I plant out with a range of flowering and food producing seeds and seedlings. I offer the formulae above as an example as so many people are purchasing easy to assemble metal raised garden beds.

The above formulae using potting mix, compost, cow manure and organic fertiliser can be incorporated into a traditional garden bed and once prepared can be planted out literally immediately.

With vegetable and flower seedlings I compliment the use of an organic fertiliser by watering seedlings and seeds in with a liquid fertiliser. The liquid fertiliser tends to reduce the shock of transplanting seedlings, provides valued nutrients that are quickly taken up through the foliage and roots of the young seedlings.

In the vegetable garden April is the optimum time to plant Asian greens beetroot, broadbeans, celery, lettuce, leeks, parsnips, peas and spinach. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese spinach, endive, onions, parsley, radish, shallots, snow peas, spring onions, swede and turnips can also be grown with great success.

In the flower garden ageratum, alyssum, antirrhium (snapdragon), calendula, candytuff, canterbury bells, carnations, centurea (corn flower), chrysanthemum varieties, delphinium, dianthus, gypsophila, helichrysum, larkspur, lobelia, lupins, marigolds, nemesia, pansies, poppies, primula, stock, sweet peas, verbena, viola, and wallflowers can all be planted.

Throughout the garden generally it is also an optimum time to plant strawberries, many winter herbs and citrus, grape vines, passionfruit and fruit trees.

PHOTO by Kathy Keatley Garvey: Three soldier beetles search for aphids on a rose bush.

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Keppel Prince boilermaker leads last-ditch effort to save mates’ wind farm jobs

When boilermaker Dean Wombwell packs his bag and flies to Canberra next week, he’ll be thinking of 42 mates back home who just lost their jobs. 

Mr Wombwell is a second-generation steel worker, plying his trade building wind farm components for Keppel Prince Engineering in Portland, about four hours west of Melbourne. 

Keppel Prince is mainland Australia’s only wind turbine manufacturer, and a point of pride for those who ply their trade in the coastal town, otherwise known for its whales and industrial shipping port. 

In many ways, Mr Wombwell is one of the lucky ones. 

He didn’t lose his job when the company made 42 positions, or roughly 15 per cent of its staff, redundant late last month because of supply concerns.

But he’s worried that round of cuts could be the first of many.

The winds of change

Keppel Prince says about 150 jobs are on the line at its Portland factory unless the federal government brings in new laws to force companies to use local products when building new wind farms. 

Their latest gripe is with Danish company Vestas, which secured the contract to build the 218MW Ryan Corner wind farm near Port Fairy in south-west Victoria, which will provide more than half its power to the federal government’s Snow Hydro 2.0.

After hours of lobbying, the Keppel Prince workers were able to secure a meeting with representatives from Danish company Vestas(

Supplied: AMWU


Dozens of steelworkers rallied outside Vestas’ Melbourne office this week, demanding a meeting to discuss the impact the company’s decision to use cheaper imported components was having on the town of Portland and its workers. 

And after hours of chants, progress was made: they secured a meeting.

Mr Wombwell, along with some union delegates, will travel to Canberra next week for a meeting with Vestas bosses.

“I’m just trying to stand behind our blokes after seeing the devastating affect it had on the community and the Portland families of the 40 that were made redundant,” he said.  

Vestas has previously procured towers from Keppel Prince and has indicated it’s open to working with the company again.

A company spokesperson confirmed they’d been invited by federal trade minister and Wannon MP Dan Tehan to meet with the relevant unions and company representatives. 

“Vestas’ preference is to work with local suppliers and manufacturers where possible. However, we do not compromise our expectations on safety, quality, reliability, timeframe and cost to do so,” a spokesperson said. 

“Vestas will source transportation, crane work and installation services from local suppliers. In addition, the long-term maintenance and operation of Ryan Corner Wind Farm will create a number of local jobs. “

How did it get to this?  

Keppel Prince and the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union are pleading with the federal government to order Vestas to use local products at the proposed farm at Ryan Corner. 

Mr Tehan has also expressed his disappointment in the company’s decision not to contract Keppel Prince, and reached out to Vestas, whilst also meeting with a team from Portland in Canberra earlier last month. 

The unions believe this issue could have been headed off at the pass. 

A wind energy turbine
A Vestas windfarm turbine in Macarthur in western Victoria.(

Supplied: Vestas Wind Systems A/S


“The Morrison government should include local content requirements in every contract that it signs,” AMWU secretary Steve Murphy said.

“It is effectively underwriting this project through its contracts to purchase power for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme.

The Victorian government forces companies that build new wind farms under state-backed projects to use local companies and product for the majority of content  — something Keppel Prince has benefited from previously. 

Implementing a national version of this scheme would bring security to Portland’s workforce, unions believe. 

A group of workers in yellow workwear
Federal member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, met with Keppel Prince workers and union delegates in Canberra in March(

Supplied: AMWU


For Dean Wombwell, the fight’s a simple one. 

It’s about sticking up for his mates, and proving that the work they do stands up on a global scale. 

“It’s just so important for Vestas to see that we matter, we’re only a small community of 10,000 people,” he said. 

“It’s It’s a simple task to change the direction that it’s going in.

“And I believe with the action that we’re taking has definitely been noticed. And it’s definitely been highlighted that it needs to change.”

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As central Queensland abattoir nears completion, owners hope to create jobs for the industry’s up and comers

The finishing touches are being put on the first abattoir built in Queensland in two decades and the owners hope it will encourage a new generation of beef producers.

Located just outside of Moranbah in central Queensland, the 200-head-a-day boutique plant is the first of its kind in the region.

It has been a long-held dream of Josie and Blair Angus from Signature Beef to get the $37-million project off the ground.

“[The] roof is currently going on,” Mrs Angus said.

“It’s finally starting to look like an abattoir.”

The couple has set its sights squarely on the future leaders in the field.

“We’ll bring some experienced people from the industry, but our goal then is to fill that team, particularly with young people from the bush,” Mrs Angus said.

After a lengthy pre-production and smooth construction phase, the abattoir is set to be finished by July.

It had largely relied on funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to boost job opportunities in the region.

The Australian Meat Industry Council previously said it would be difficult to find enough staff to run the operation, but the Angus family always remained confident.

“As we start, we’ll obviously go through some training and ramp-up phases,” Mrs Angus said.

Signature Beef already has a mix of experienced staff and next-generation producers, including three graduates from the University of New England.

Mrs Angus said this showed interest in production work was starting to grow, particularly in the regions.

She hoped their abattoir would get the ball rolling for others to follow suit.

“We’d like to see processing move strongly back into the region and keep processing as small and local as we can.

“We believe that will deliver strength to our industry.”

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New $20m hub to create 170 jobs

Higher Education Minister Gayle Tierney this morning announced the facility would be built at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

Planning for the project is well advanced, with state government expecting construction to begin in September and take about eight months to complete.

Deakin’s existing ManuFutures hub currently manufactures the world’s lightest and strongest carbon fibre road bike wheels, enhanced fabrics for athletic clothing and equipment, and smart sensors to improve water management on farms.

South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman said the investment would help continue Geelong’s reputation as “a proud manufacturing city”.

“Through the ongoing efforts of Deakin University we are transitioning to high-tech innovations that will secure jobs and prosperity for our region for decades to come.”

ManuFutures2 will include a product engineering development laboratory and six adaptable spaces for tenants to develop, field test and manufacture products to market, according to government.

ManuFutures2 received $10 million from state government under the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund.

The pitch was one of many from Victorian universities for funding under the program, which state government developed in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

“This project is a great example of how universities, governments and the private sector can work together – and it will link-in and enhance Geelong’s existing strengths,” Deakin University vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin said.

The $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund supports capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focussed on productivity at universities.

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Massive development kickstarts jobs bonanza

Logan City Council has granted approval to one of the biggest industrial developments in the city’s history.

An industrial park of nine warehouses will be constructed by Mapletree Investments, a leading real estate development, investment, capital and property management company headquartered in Singapore.  

The new $500m Mapletree Logistics Park – Crestmead will be built on 36 hectares of the new $1.5 billion Crestmead Logistics Estate launched by Council last year.

The development will deliver approximately 200,000 square metres of high-grade logistic warehousing and office space.

The site is expected to include buildings ranging in size from 5000sqm up to possibly a massive 100,000sqm – the equivalent of almost 20 football fields.

The project is expected to create at least 2500 jobs over four stages of construction.

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said the project was a strong endorsement for investment in the city.

“This is the start of a development that will deliver thousands of jobs for locals,” Cr Power said.

“This project is a game-changer, not just for the City of Logan, but all of South East Queensland.

“Mapletree, one of the largest industrial developers in the world, is leading the way in showing investors that the City of Logan is an ideal place for businesses to set-up and grow.

“Despite the setbacks of last year, this project sends a clear message that Logan is again open for business and a new hub for jobs and investment.”

Mapletree Group’s Chief Executive Officer Hiew Yoon Khong said the organisation had a strong conviction on the growth prospects of Australia’s logistics real estate sector.

“Mapletree Logistics Park – Crestmead’s excellent connectivity to key transportation nodes will provide companies with a high-quality space in a strategic location,” Mr Hiew said. 

The Mapletree development was approved under Council’s innovative RiskSmart approval process.

It was subject to a comprehensive pre-application review prior to the application being formally lodged and approved by Council and the State Government.

The Crestmead Logistics Estate, on the corner of Green and Clarke Roads, was launched by Council in August last year.

It will be rolled out over the next five years and will eventually deliver 650,000 sqm of warehousing, business, logistics and manufacturing space.

The estate’s appeal includes its easy accessibility to the Logan and Gateway Motorways, two of the busiest transport arterials in South East Queensland. 

Crestmead Logistics Estate adds to an existing 367,000 sqm of commercial activity recently completed or planned in the City of Logan over the coming year.

Developments include:

  • DHL – 19,000sqm $38m 132 jobs (complete)
  • Mitre 10 – 27,000sqm $50m 110 jobs (complete)
  • Alphabet (Wing) – 15,000sqmm 36 jobs (complete)
  • Queensland Logistics Service – 15,000sqm 20 jobs (complete)
  • Pinnacle Hardware – 14,000sqm 36 jobs (complete)
  • CEVA – 21,000sqm (complete)
  • Hutamaki and Phoenix Transport – 25,000sqm (complete)
  • GPT – 13,000sqm (under construction) a further 72,000sqm to complete
  • Rinnai 13,000sqm (complete)
  • McPhee Transport 17,000sqm (under construction)
  • Berrinba Central Shopping Centre (Stage 1 complete, Stage 2 and 3 under construction)
  • Goodman 56,000sqm (under construction)
  • Quilton 60,000sqm (13 sheds under construction) 

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Tom Cotton’s Big Idea: Raise the minimum wage while keeping American jobs

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill last month that would do something Republicans have been resisting for years — raise the minimum wage. 

Cotton, R-Ark., was joined by Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio in introducing the bill. It would eventually raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour, while requiring all businesses to check the immigration status of their employees. 

The minimum wage would increase to $8 per hour immediately upon the enactment of the bill and slowly increase to $10 per hour three years after the bill is signed. The minimum wage would be indexed to inflation every other year after that. 

Increases would also be delayed until after the pandemic is over, and the wage increase would be slower for small businesses. 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is seen in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)


Meanwhile, all employers would be required to use the federal E-verify system, which allows them to check whether a person they are planning to hire is in the United States legally. The fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants would be increased significantly. 

Cotton discussed his Big Idea during an interview with Fox News at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Why do you think it makes sense to pair a minimum wage increase with mandating E-verify? 

Well, minimum wage laws and E-Verify are not just a horse trade between Republican and Democratic priorities. They’re tightly connected.

So the minimum wage will give workers a raise — that the minimum wage hasn’t changed for 12 years now — a little bit more than what it would have if it had been adjusted for inflation each of those years. 


But obviously, when you raise the minimum wage, that gives unscrupulous employers more incentive to hire illegal aliens. And we want to make sure that those wage gains are going to American workers. And the effect of it will be to create rising wages through tight labor markets because American employers will have to hire American workers first. 

Striking McDonalds workers demanding a $15 minimum wage demonstrate in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S., June 14, 2019.A bill from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would increase the minimum wage to $10 and strengthen federal E-verify. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RC1753F868A0

Striking McDonalds workers demanding a $15 minimum wage demonstrate in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S., June 14, 2019.A bill from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would increase the minimum wage to $10 and strengthen federal E-verify. REUTERS/Mike Segar – RC1753F868A0

Aren’t you concerned that this would hurt small businesses that Republicans have said would be harmed by a minimum wage increase? 

Well, we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that challenge.

So first, our minimum wage bill would not increase wages until the pandemic ends — until President Biden rescinds the public health declaration that President Trump issued last year.

Second, we would have a longer phase-in time for small businesses. So for big businesses, it would phase in over four years. For small businesses that would phase in over six years.

A few other wrinkles — a lot of small businesses or restaurants or bars. We retain the tipped wage, which is lower the minimum, so waiters and waitresses and bartenders can make more than the minimum wage.


And we double the length of the summer teenage exception. So currently, you can employ teenagers at a wage below the federal minimum wage for 90 days. We would extend that to 180 days to help teenagers who are often working at small businesses get their foot on the economic ladder and be able to work their way up in the workplace. 

This seems like it’s part of the GOP’s move to be a more populist party. Why do you think the GOP needs to move in that direction? 

Well, one thing that President Trump has done over the last five years is kind of reset the view of a lot of Republican politicians and help them understand the views of Republican voters.

You know, when he first said that we should put America first, it gave a lot of Republican politicians in Washington the vapors.

But for most Americans, certainly most Republicans, it’s just common sense that America should come first and that American workers should come first. That’s been my view on immigration since I got the Congress — really before I was ever in the Congress — is that our immigration policy should put the interest of America’s workers and America’s communities first. 

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Hydro Tasmania announces restructure of its operations, estimated 50 jobs to go

Hydro Tasmania says 50 jobs will go in the next 12 months as the business begins a restructure of its operations.

In a statement, Hydro chief executive Evangelista Albertini said the company needs to adapt to market conditions so it can be more productive and responsive to leverage advantages, which includes hydropower schemes and the potential to expand to include pumped hydro.

The company said it needs to focus on its “core business of generating clean and affordable electricity for Tasmanians” and must be able to “adapt quickly to take advantage of opportunities that will grow our business and return economic value to Tasmania”.

Hydro Tasmania has estimated around 5 per cent of its staff, approximately 50 full-time employee equivalents, will be cut over a 12-month period.

The energy business said where jobs are lost, “we will offer training and development to support them to transition to newly created, future-focused roles, as well as roles which become available through natural attrition where possible”.

Staff are being consulted about the process.

Karen Tantari from the Australian Services Union said Hydro Tasmania had not consulted with unions before announcing the redundancy process.

“We knew it was coming, they talked about the new horizons and there were stages and they told us they would consult with us when they were in a position to have a preliminary decision as to where they’re heading,” she said.

It isn’t yet known which divisions will be affected by the restructure.(

Facebook: Hydro Tasmania


Ms Tantari said Hydro had asked the union to attend a meeting later this week, but had yet to lock in a date.

“In the meantime, they’ve been calling staffing today in 15-minute intervals, telling them that their jobs are being displaced and they’ve got until Monday to provide feedback, which is not acceptable,” she said.

She said it’s the second restructure the organisation has seen in less than 18 months.

“They just had another restructure only 14 months ago and now we’re going with another one, which is just a new CEO coming in and cutting staff to save money.”

Mr Albertina was appointed as the Chief Executive of the business in September last year.

A man wearing glasses and a pinstripe suit sits in a leather chair.
Evangelista Albertini was appointed Hydro Tasmania’s CEO in September last year.(

ABC News: Luke Bowden


Opposition energy spokesman David O’Byrne said the restructure casts doubt on the future of the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation projects.

“When we’re telling the world that Tasmania is the centre of renewable energy globally, where we have the expertise and the people and the resources to respond to the renewable energy challenge, you’ve got our biggest renewable energy generator and Hydro is sacking workers,” he said.

“It seems to be that Hydro has been in constant restructure mode and thousands of taxpayer dollars have been paid out to executives and senior staff under the name of restructure.

In a statement, energy minister Guy Barnett said the changes announced by Hydro Tasmania were a matter for the business and its board.

He said that its consultation process to restructure the business was to “better capitalise on opportunities presented by transformation of the Australian energy sector”.

“I understand this includes organising its resources to focus on its core business, while flattening its organisational structure to empower its people,” Mr Barnett said.

Hydro Tasmania declined to comment further on the restructure.

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