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Issue #1705      October 7, 2015


That corporate octopus Transfield is facing legal action over online job advertisements aimed at recruiting migrant workers to some of its biggest electricity networks. This was after cutting 120 jobs in Victoria, bring the cuts to 400 this year. Under the 457 visa scheme employers are required to demonstrate they have searched for local job-seekers first to fill trade positions. But a big question mark arose about whether the redundancies were “genuine” when it was found that overseas recruitment ads were running online looking for workers from Britain to fill vacancies in Transfield’s powerline maintenance division in Australia. As one ad puts it: “Transfield Services in Australia are looking to relocate UK-based electrical linesmen, construction supervisors and project managers with utilities experience to capital cities within Australia.” Transfield, of course, denies all.

A climate change denier who has compared Adolf Hitler’s tactics to those of the wind energy generation industry and who claims the Australian Medical Association’s support for wind power is “corrupt” is being pushed by the Senate crossbench as a government advisor on wind power. Flat earth society.

The Turnbull government’s bids for UN positions – including the human Rights Commission and Security Council – will run into the contradiction of the government’s treatment of asylum seekers, among other violations of international law. President of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs said it was proper for Australia to promote protecting human rights as part of Australia’s international engagement, but that Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers would be “a major matter of concern to the human rights community and to the Human Rights Council itself.”

Campbell Newman, who ran amuck in Queensland in his brief one term as Premier blames his electoral downfall on ... the media. Newman, whose slash-and-burn economic policies destroyed the biggest parliamentary majority in Australia’s political history within three years, has written a book just a few months after leaving politics (expect a Tony Abbot scornful tell-all soon). The book, ironically called Can do – Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform, shoots the messenger. “They (journalists) are not interested in the government or reform or the reasons behind the decisions we made. They are only interested in the tactical, in the here and now … they have always ridiculed and sneered.” After his shambles of a campaign in January, he a told an MP colleague, “That’s the last press conference I’ll ever have to do … that’s the last time I’ll ever have to talk to that pack of bastards.” You were right there, Campbell.

Next article – Culture & Life – UN sustainable development goals miss the point

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