Media Releases

$100,000 SUPPORTING LANDCARE PROJECTS ON NORTH COAST

  THE HON. KEITH PITT- ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

  SENATOR JOHN WILLIAMS- NATIONALS SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

  MATTHEW FRASER- NATIONALS CANDIDATE FOR RICHMOND

The successful applicants have been announced for funding from the National Landcare Programme Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Round 2015-16.

The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams and the Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser said three projects have been approved.

They said Brunswick Valley Landcare Incorporated will receive $19,083 for Keeping Our Land Productive – Farmers Sharing, Learning and Planning for a Sustainable Future.

The project will deliver eight workshops and field days over 18 months on soil and water quality improvement, sustainability and increasing biodiversity.

Border Ranges Richmond Valley will receive $29,040 for Maintaining natural resources and productivity on Richmond Valley farms delivered by 12 workshops with four distinct natural resource, biodiversity and production themes.

Senator Williams and Mr. Fraser also congratulated WetlandCare Australia which will use its funding of $54,970 to improve the management of acid sulphate soils on floodplain lands.

Read more: $100,000 SUPPORTING LANDCARE PROJECTS ON NORTH COAST

Letter to the Editor-Backpacker Tax

Dear Sir

The Turnbull / Joyce Government has announced  that if re-elected it will defer the commencement of the ‘backpacker tax’ and undertake a review of the broad range of issues affecting the supply and taxation of working holiday maker 417 and 462 visas.

The Nationals have strongly argued that applying this tax would be detrimental to local industries, including our many local farms that rely on backpackers to assist during harvest and local businesses that benefit from a surge in visitors during these periods.

The review will report back to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources on 14 October 2016.

During the review, The Nationals will continue to fight for local jobs, fight for local businesses and fight for regional Australia.

The Nationals are the only party solely focused on the needs of regional Australia and this is an example of what The Nationals in Government can achieve.

John Williams

Nationals Duty Senator for Hunter.

7-ELEVEN CAN’T HIDE FROM THEIR OBLIGATIONS

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has described as disgraceful the dumping of the independent wage panel which was scrutinising the treatment of workers employed by 7-Eleven.

Senator Williams said he is astounded that 7-Eleven would even think people would have confidence in a process effectively run within the company rather than an investigation run at arms’ length.

Senator Williams said the joint Fairfax-Four Corners expose of the wages paid to employees of 7-Eleven, headed by Adele Ferguson, shocked the nation.

 “Evidence to the Senate inquiry was revealing of how employees were treated.

One said he asked for a pay rise from $10 to $11, and soon after he was fired.

He told the committee that employees were warned if they spoke out they risked being deported.

What happened to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work in this country?

The independent panel headed by the widely-respected Professor Allan Fels had paid around 400 claims averaging $35,000 but many more were under consideration.

Read more: 7-ELEVEN CAN’T HIDE FROM THEIR OBLIGATIONS

COURT ACTION AGAINST FORMER FINANCIAL PLANNER

I welcome and congratulate the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on the news that a former representative of Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) is before the court.

For several years I have been a vocal critic of ASIC and I sense the 2014 Parliamentary Inquiry into its performance was a watershed moment in that it realized it was seen as virtually incompetent and unwilling to make the hard decisions.
Too many hard working Australians lost their hopes and dreams as ASIC ignored their complaints.
Since then ASIC has been far more proactive in ridding the financial and insolvency industries of people who break the law, and people’s dreams.
Today’s announcement will restore some faith in ASIC’s ability and desire to act against alleged wrongdoing.
I hope it continues.

OPINION PIECE-BANK INQUIRY

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, of which I am a member, has completed its inquiry into whether banks deliberately forced small business and commercial customers into default to clean up their loan books. The committee found no evidence that CBA, in its purchase of Bankwest, and ANZ, in its purchase of Landmark, took any action that caused the impairment of loans, but made it clear the banks’ desire to deliver ever-increasing returns to shareholders led to irresponsible lending. Customers were offered high risk credit facilities such as credit cards instead of secured loans, and banks displayed unconscionable conduct in their treatment of customers who were in financial distress. ANZ was proactive in recompensing customers who they believe were treated badly, but the committee said CBA did not display the same consideration and consistently denied there were issues with the way they dealt with customers. There are eleven very good recommendations to government including penalties for receivers who cannot demonstrate they made every effort to sell a property at or near its market value; improving the ethics and standards of valuers; a further inquiry to examine the remuneration of insolvency practitioners; and lenders to review their contentious cases and if they don’t then the independent Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will review them.

Read more: OPINION PIECE-BANK INQUIRY

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