Harvey Norman makes record profits as inequality soars

Harvey Norman’s record profits show the need to make big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of tax, the Greens say.

“Harvey Norman is making super profits while millions of workers are trying to make ends meet in lockdown,” Greens Economic Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“Paying back some of the JobKeeper they took is a drop in the bucket compared to the massive dividends Gerry Harvey has paid himself and other shareholders.”

“Harvey Norman only paid back part of JobKeeper, and only after being publicly named and shamed.”

“This is why we need to know which companies got JobKeeper and how much they got, and to legislate to force profitable companies to pay it back.”

“The Australian Greens have tabled the Ending Jobkeeper Profiteering Bill which would achieve these things, and is currently before a Senate Committee.”

“Gerry Harvey pocketed $137m in dividends last financial year.”

“That Gerry Harvey is able to accumulate so much wealth in the middle of a pandemic shows just how broken Australia’s tax system is.”

“One in three big corporations pays no tax at all, and billionaires are accumulating obscene levels of wealth.”

“We need a billionaires tax to make the mega rich pay their fair share.”

“And we need a corporate super profits tax to stop mega corporations from draining life out of the economy to enrich their shareholders.”

“Making our tax system fairer would allow us to fund things like real climate action, dental into Medicare, affordable housing for everyone, an increase in Jobseeker to $80 a day and free childcare.”

Harvey Norman’s Results:

Company
Net profit (after tax): $841m
Dividends: $436m

G. Harvey
Dividends: $137m

JobKeeper
Parent company (paid back): $6m
Franchisees (not paid back): $14.6m

Labor Commits to Keeping Australians Safe from Workplace Sexual Harassment

An Albanese Labor Government will help keep Australians safe from sexual harassment at work by investing in women’s support services, and establishing a one-stop shop to assist victims.

Labor will commit around $24 million to ensure there are properly funded Working Women’s Centres in every Australian state and territory.

Working Women’s Centres provide free, confidential assistance and advice about workplace matters, including sexual harassment, wage theft, and discrimination. Sadly, many Working Women’s Centres have cut back their services, closed, or face closure, because of the Liberals’ federal funding cuts.

Labor would work with states and territories and other relevant stakeholders on the establishment of new Working Women’s Centres.

Labor will invest $1.27 million to establish a one-stop shop, within the Australian Human Rights Commission, to assist victims of workplace sexual harassment. The one-stop shop would provide information about a victim’s rights, options for making a complaint, and referrals to support services. Employers will be able to access the one-stop shop for help understanding their responsibilities.

The Australian Human Rights Commission would also receive $1.5 million to hear and confidentially document the experiences of victims of historical workplace sexual harassment. This will allow the Commission to better identify how to strengthen the way we prevent and respond to sexual harassment at work, as well as helping victims come to terms with their experiences.

The announcements Labor is making today are part of our commitment to fully implement all 55 recommendations of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s Respect@Work Report, to help keep Australians safe from sexual harassment at work.

Back in April, Scott Morrison promised he would adopt every recommendation in the Respect@Work Report. Sadly, he’s not.

After commissioning the work in 2018, the Morrison Government ignored the final Respect@Work for over a year, leaving it to gather dust on the desk of former Attorney General, Christian Porter. It should not have taken this long.

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner herself has described the Federal Government’s weak response to her Report as a “missed opportunity.”

In the past five years, one in three people experienced sexual harassment at work, including two in five women. This widespread workplace harassment costs the Australian economy $3.5 billion a year. It must stop.

Lock in the perfect lockdown gift on the NSW Government’s Buy Regional website

With stay-at-home orders currently in place across NSW, shoppers are encouraged to jump online and support regional businesses without leaving their home by checking out the myriad of gifts available on the NSW Government’s Buy Regional website.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said online gift shopping is a great way to support regional businesses during the lockdown, particularly with Father’s Day just around the corner.

“We know that businesses in the bush are doing it tougher than ever with the ongoing COVID-19 situation across the state, so now is the perfect time to support our country communities by buying direct from the producers online,” Mr Barilaro said.

“During this lockdown I’ve taken the opportunity to try out new recipes and I encourage others to do the same. What better way to indulge your taste buds than with a condiment gift pack from The Other Chef, or a carefully curated beer and snack package from the Riverina Hamper Co.

“It’s no secret that Buy Regional has an impressive array of farm-fresh meat, hand-distilled spirits and unique fashion and homeware design pieces, with more than 500,000 online shoppers visiting the website since its launch in 2019.”

Mr Barilaro said Buy Regional is a win-win for Sydney siders who can score a special present for their dad or a father figure this Father’s Day while supporting regional businesses at the same time.

“Buy Regional continues to go from strength to strength and provides critical economic stimulus to hundreds of businesses who have battled through drought, bushfires, floods and the continuing impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Many rural towns are seeing good harvests after much needed rains across the state over the last year, but in the face of the pandemic they still need your support, and there’s no better way to help regional businesses than by giving them your business.”

To register your regional business or to lock in the perfect lockdown gift, head to www.nsw.gov.au/buyregional.

More Free TAFE courses announced

The NSW Government has announced additional fee-free TAFE NSW lockdown learning courses after more than 10,000 NSW residents enrolled to study in less than a month.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the strong interest in the TAFE NSW courses showed that the people of NSW are looking to the future.

“It’s great to see many NSW residents take up the opportunity to boost their employability and gain new skills through TAFE during the lockdown,” Mr Lee said.

“TAFE NSW is offering these courses via online learning or virtual classrooms, which means that students can learn at home and stay safe while upskilling and getting ready for when the economy opens back up.

“Recently added courses include using drones in agriculture, starting a career in hairdressing, barbering or beauty, designing spreadsheets, and food safety supervision.

“All courses link to further training pathways so that students can get a head-start now to a full qualification later.

“There are a variety of courses available to study from different industries. I encourage all NSW residents to take advantage of the high-quality and COVID-safe training available.”

Recently added fee-free short courses include:

  • Statement of Attainment in Start your Career in Hairdressing/Barbering
  • Statement of Attainment in Start your Career in Beauty
  • Statement of Attainment in Drones in Agriculture
  • Statement of Attainment in Create and Design Spreadsheets
  • Statement of Attainment in Food Safety Supervision

For the full list of courses and to view the eligibility criteria, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/fee-free-short-courses or call 131 601.

Disaster assistance for victims of storms and flooding in northern NSW

Disaster assistance is now available in the northern NSW local government areas of Glen Innes, Severn, and Inverell following severe storms and flooding earlier this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Nationals Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“The severe winds and heavy rainfall resulting from these terrible storms caused widespread damage across the impacted councils,” Mr Joyce said.

“The Australian Government is standing with the people of New England who were sadly impacted by the severe flooding and storms in July.”

A range of practical assistance measures is now available to help individuals, primary producers, small businesses and charities get back on track.

The assistance available under the DRFA may include:

• Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria applies)
• Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
• Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations
• Freight subsidies for primary producers, and
• Grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88. To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW Government website via www.nsw.gov.au/resilience-nsw

Targeted Covid -19 Support For Aboriginal Communities

The COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response Program has opened today.

Quick response grants of up to $10,000 are available for Aboriginal community organisations and groups to meet the immediate health and wellbeing needs of Aboriginal people across the state as part of Aboriginal Affairs NSW’s COVID-19 response strategy.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the grants would help to provide Aboriginal communities with targeted COVID-19 information and assistance from trusted services.

“These quick response grants will help communities access local, culturally appropriate services so they are informed and supported to take actions like staying at home to reduce community transmission,” he said.

“Aboriginal communities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and these grants will enable Aboriginal services to support people already impacted by COVID-19 as well as taking preventative steps such as encouraging vaccination.”

Applications for the COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response Program are now open via www.aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au/grants/covid-19-aboriginal-community-response-grants-program

Second round of $100 million NSW sports infrastructure fund opens

The State’s sports infrastructure boom is set for a further boost, with the opening of the latest round of a $100 million funding program by the NSW Government.

Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the funding would be available for new and upgraded sports facilities in Round 2 of the Greater Cities and Regional Sport Facility Fund.

“This fund is not just an important boost for local economies and jobs, but also promotes health and wellbeing for residents across NSW,” Mrs Ward said.

“By investing in new and existing sports infrastructure, we are helping more people experience the benefits of participating in sport and active recreation.

“The Fund is creating a sports infrastructure construction boom across the State as part of the NSW Government’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline.”

Providing facilities that meet community needs and expectations is a priority.

“We welcome inclusive projects that encourage the participation of women and girls and people with a disability,” Mrs Ward said.

The Fund will provide grants from $100,000 up to $1 million to eligible sport and recreation organisations and councils. Eligible projects include lighting, amenity buildings, clubrooms, change rooms and grandstands.

Round 1 of the program resulted in $54 million being awarded to 91 projects. They included $1 million to Snow Australia for community snow sport facilities at the National Snowsports Training Centre (NSTC) at Jindabyne, $1 million for a new skate park at Wyatt Action Sports Campus in Lidcombe and $937,500 for a new grandstand and amenities at Darling Street Oval, Newcastle.

Round 2 is the final round of the program and sporting organisations and councils are urged to apply. The grant application and assessment process will be overseen by an independent probity advisor. Applications open today and close on 8 October 2021. For more details, see: https://www.sport.nsw.gov.au/grants

Five men issued $5000 PINs after breaching the Public Health Order – Leppington

Five men have been issued $5000 Penalty Infringement Notices after allegedly breaching the Public Health Order in Sydney’s south-west yesterday.

About 11.30am on Monday (30 August 2021), officers were conducting proactive patrols on Optimism Street at Leppington, as part of ongoing COVID-19 compliance checks, when they observed five men sitting at a table on the footpath.

None of the men were wearing face masks.

Officers stopped and spoke to the men, who revealed they had tested positive to COVID-19 in rural NSW and had been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days after being escorted back to Sydney last Monday (23 August 2021).

Following inquiries, all five men – aged 23, 25, 26, 31 and 32 – were issued $5000 Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) for not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

The men were escorted back to the premises to continue their mandatory isolation.

$12,500 of PINs issued over Public Health Order breaches detected at Rydalmere brothel

Police have issued $12,500 in Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) to employees and customers at a Western Sydney brothel, which was still operating in breach of current Public Health Orders.

About 10.15pm yesterday (Monday 30 August 2021), officers from Cumberland Police Area Command attended a brothel at Rydalmere, after receiving a report via Crime Stoppers that it was still in operation – a breach of the Public Health Orders.

The officers first spoke with the 57-year-old female owner before entering the premises and locating three female employees – aged 31, 36, and 56 – and two male patrons – aged 56 and 57, none of whom were wearing face masks.

All parties initially denied the business was operating – one man stating he was quoting for painting works, and the other visiting his girlfriend.

Police soon confirmed the business had been operating, and the group was advised they would each receive a PIN for not wearing face masks and all but the 36-year-old woman, who was living at the location, would receive a PIN for breaching curfew in an area of concern.

Further, the owner was issued a $5000 PIN for fail to comply with noticed direction – corporation.

All parties were directed to return to their homes, but a short time later, police observed the 31-year-old woman attempting to return to the location.

She was arrested and taken to Granville Police Station, where she was charged with not comply with curfew-area of concern and not wear fitted face covering indoor area of common property.

The Strathfield woman was granted conditional bail and is due to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

Netball NSW launches Reconciliation Action Plan

Netball NSW, alongside the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball, is delighted to announce the launch of the organisation’s first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

A project which started in 2019, Netball NSW’s RAP has now been formally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. This is the first step in turning intentions into actions to create a safer space for Indigenous Australians across NSW’s netball community. It is also key to netball’s role in the wider reconciliation of the nation.

Through this framework Netball NSW can ensure it is in the best possible position to implement effective and mutually beneficial initiatives which also properly respect and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within our community.

The Reflect RAP has been developed as a collaboration between the Netball NSW RAP Working Group and internal and external stakeholders. Netball NSW would like to extend their gratitude to RAP Working Group Members Casey Ralph, Marcia Ella Duncan OAM, Professor John Evans, Ali Tucker Munro, Donna Coady, Georgina Cohen and Whitney Skuthorpe.

Netball NSW CEO, Tain Drinkwater said the release of the organisation’s RAP was a very meaningful step towards reconciliation and awareness in the state’s netball community.

“This is a hugely important day in our organisation’s history,” she said.

“I would like to thank the RAP Working Group the Netball NSW staff involved for their dedication to this project over the past three years, as well as their patient and sensitive approach to it.

“They have addressed actions under Reconciliation Australia’s four key pillars – relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance – which will form a framework for significant impact and outcomes across our game state-wide.

“It is important to note that netball, across the nation, hasn’t always been leaders in this space but the past 12 months have seen a much greater celebration of our nation’s Indigenous culture – from Super Netball to grassroots.

“This RAP now gives us a much-needed reference point and I look forward to stakeholders of all levels in our game making use of this excellent resource, which will be revisited annually to ensure it remains relevant in an ever-changing society.”

To view Netball NSW’s RAP and Artwork CLICK HERE

ABOUT RAP ARTWORK:

Netball NSW’s Reflect RAP artwork, entitled Together For Growth, has been designed by proud Wiradjuri woman Maree Bisby, who hails from the Mudgee Region.

Bisby is based in the Hunter and enjoys netball with family and friends in the Newcastle area, as both a player and parent.

Together For Growth symbolises the many dimensions and levels of the netball community. The use of traditional symbols such as footprints, rain, meeting place and watering hole, along with stars, and universe show the ability of all to dream and reach for their goals.

Individually we can soar but in a team we can reach higher. It takes all of the natural elements of the earth to connect to one another and to believe and achieve greatness.

The seven paths around the netball symbolise the seven players on the court with the symbols of man, woman and person again representing the netball community, inclusive of gender identity or fluidity.

No path in life and success is straight, hence the curvature and direction of the path, leading to one’s own destiny. The path is off the canvas, to highlight that we each are members of community and can influence each other in our own way. The brightness of the colours symbolise the fun and positivity of netball and the harmony and connection we all have.