Please allow me the space to explain to your readers why the Australian Parliament is being recalled on the 18th of April and the important decision that lies with it. The Federal government wants to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission to rein in the lawlessness of some in the union movement. ABS data shows that during the operation of the ABCC until 2012, the labour productivity index for the construction industry increased by 20 per cent, in contrast to the 16 Market Sector industries index which increased by only 12 per cent. Since the abolition of the ABCC by Labor, the number of days lost to industrial disputes in the construction sector (per 1,000 workers) has increased by 34 per cent. The worst offender is the CFMEU and 100 of its members are currently before the courts. The Royal Commission exposed incidents of blackmail, thuggery and threats but still that is not enough for Labor and the Greens to support legislation to pull them into line. Of the 25 Labor Senators, 17 are sponsored by Unions, and of course unions are the major donor to the Labor party and a significant contributor to the Greens.
The Senate Economics committee has handed down its report into the reasons for the failure of so many Managed Investment Schemes (MIS). These schemes typically are forestry but in the case of Timbercorp (raised around $1 billion) and Great Southern ($1.8 billion) which were the two major collapses in 2009, people invested in olives, almonds, macadamias, stone fruit, citrus, mangoes, avocadoes and table grapes. MIS encouraged investors to borrow heavily and pay tax-deductable fees in the first few years as orchards were planted with the promise of big returns at harvest time. But the Senate committee determined the industry descended into nothing more than an ‘abhorrent Ponzi scheme’. Most investors walked into the concept blind to the consequences, and poured an estimated $8 billion into MIS from 1998.
Today the Turnbull-Joyce government announced there will be major changes to the misuse of market power provisions in the Act which is what small business has been calling for according to the Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams.
He said the Nationals have fought long and hard to secure these protections for small business against big business and multi-national companies.
Senator Williams said small business is the engine room of our nation, employing 4.7 million people and contributing $340 billion to the economy.
He said the reforms to Section 46 will address weaknesses in the current law and will give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission more teeth to protect businesses that have been subject to the misuse of market power by their bigger competition.
“It has been a long and arduous process to get to where we are today in our pursuit of a so-called “effects” test.
Tony Windsor finally came clean during last week’s SKY Great Debate in Tamworth. Put on the spot by Member for New England Barnaby Joyce, Mr. Windsor admitted he would have no problem with the Shenhua Mine going ahead if the science found it would have no impact on the water resources. I am sure this has come as a major shock to those on the Liverpool Plains who do not want the mine at any cost and have pinned their hopes on Mr. Windsor stopping it. They should not be surprised by his admission because as Mr. Joyce said on the night, Mr. Windsor did nothing to try and stop it when he had the balance of power in the previous Labor government.
The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has welcomed today’s decision to consider a delay in the introduction of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016.
Senator Williams said he is pleased the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is seeking feedback on a draft amended order which adopts a new commencement date of the 1st of January next year.
He paid tribute to the intervention of the Minister for Employment Senator Michaelia Cash and the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester in support of the Australian Industry Group’s application for a variation of the Order.
Senator Williams said the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal had today heard various applications and has decided to seek comment from all interested parties on a draft amended order which would put the commencement date back to January next year.