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.
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.
I refer to the Counterpoint article by John Carter (Land 3/3/16) and his view that the proposed Senate voting reforms are not democracy. I ask Mr. Carter to consider if the make-up of the current cross-bench in the Senate is democracy or the will of the people. The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has studied the 2013 Federal election at length and in one of its reports stated – “The Committee received evidence that other attempts at ‘gaming’ had occurred during the 2013 federal election, with the formation of a micro-party alliance organised by Glenn Druery. Of particular interest to the inquiry is Mr Druery’s reported practice of negotiating preference deals. The Committee received extensive evidence that supports the view that such practices distort the will of the electorate.” Consider that this practice, described as “gaming”, allows micro-parties to allocate higher preferences to each other yet they may have nothing in common and certainly have different policy positions. In other words people have no control over where their vote ends up.
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.
This Friday is the target date for parents in the Richmond electorate to have their children immunised against preventable diseases.
The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams has reminded parents who are in receipt of the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate that their child’s immunisations must be up to date by this Friday or they will lose their payments under the Federal government’s No Jab No Pay policy.
Senator Williams said following the announcement of the policy last year, the percentage of 12 to 15 month old fully-immunised children rose from 90.69 per cent in 2014 to 92.28 per cent by the end of 2015.
This is fractionally higher than the New South Wales average, but it still means there are many children including in the Richmond electorate who are not fully immunised.
“Babies under six months are at the greatest risk of severe whooping cough disease and death.