More in-language resources now online to help migrant workers understand their rights

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THE Fair Work Ombudsman is making a difference for new arrivals to Australia with the development of six videos to help visa holders understand their workplace rights.

Each video has been produced in 16 languages other than English and builds on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s commitment to remove barriers that prevent migrant workers from accessing workplace assistance.

The initiative follows the launch of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s International Student Strategy on September 25.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah said research commissioned during the development of the strategy indicated that expanding and enhancing the information available to migrant workers in-language would improve their awareness of their workplace rights.

“We are working hard to break down these barriers for both migrant workers and new arrivals who are interested in starting businesses in Australia,” Ms Hannah said.

The new and updated resources are available at

The new videos are available in 16 languages:

·       Chinese (Simplified)

·       Chinese (Traditional)

·       Korean

·       Hindi

·       Arabic

·       French

·       German

·       Italian

·       Japanese

·       Spanish

·       Vietnamese

·       Indonesian

·       Filipino

·       Portuguese

·       Thai

·       Nepali

“Migrant workers have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia,” Ms Hannah said.

“In addition to factors such as a lack of awareness of workplace rights and limited English skills, cultural barriers can also mean that migrant workers can be more vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace.

“We want to make sure all people working in Australia, including those from overseas, are aware of their rights and know where and how to seek help.”

Ms Hannah said conduct the agency sees against migrants and visa-holders is often serious and highly exploitative.

Last financial year almost half of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s cases filed in court involved a visa holder.

Yet visa holders can be reluctant to speak up, fearing that doing so could compromise their future job prospects or lead to the cancellation of their visa.

“Visa-holders can be reassured that in line with an agreement between the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, they can seek our assistance without fear of having their visa cancelled,” Ms Hannah said.

Information about the agreement with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is available at

The Fair Work Ombudsman recently launched its popular Anonymous Report function in 16 languages other than English to make it easier for migrant workers to report workplace concerns. 

Ms Hannah said she will continue to encourage visa holders to seek free help from the agency if they experience any issues while working in Australia.

“We want migrant workers to know that they can come to us for free advice and assistance and to report their concerns. We are here to help,” Ms Hannah said.

Any employee or employer who has questions or concerns about their workplace rights and obligations can obtain free advice and assistance by visiting or calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. 

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 59 and information on the website is available in up to 30 different languages.



Resources sector calls for strong voice from next Queensland Government

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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is calling on the next State Government to be a strong voice for the sector and the 309,500 full-time employees it supports.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources industry underpins the economic prosperity of the state, and a government supporting the sector both inside and outside the Parliament would see more investment for regional economies.

“The resources sector drives our regional communities from Townsville and Mt Isa in the North through to Toowoomba and Roma in the South.  Resources investment and jobs also make Brisbane the state’s biggest mining town – with $27 billion of Brisbane’s Gross Regional Product coming from the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“It’s paramount the next Queensland Government recognises the sector’s contribution to the economy, including $3.8 billion in royalties forecast for the Budget this year.

“In particular, QRC is asking for all parties to commit to a royalties freeze.  The resources sector already does much of the heavy lifting for the Queensland economy, paying payroll tax, income tax, stamp duty, council rates and royalties.  Those royalties help pay the wages of teachers, nurses and police in communities across the state.

“In addition, QRC is seeking a commitment that there will be no new restrictions imposed on oil and gas exploration and development through the extension of the Pristine Rivers policy in the Cooper Basin.”

The key priorities of QRC’s Election Policy Agenda – Resourcing Queensland’s Future are:

  1. commit to royalty stability – the current government’s commitment to royalty stability and a freeze on current royalty rates to be matched;
  2. provide regulatory certainty – stable, workable and predictable policy and regulation based on genuine consultation;
  3. deliver affordable energy – stabilise electricity costs while reducing emissions;
  4. stand up for leading environmental practice – support a positive and realistic policy and regulatory framework and assess activist claims on scientific merit;
  5. maximise investment in infrastructure – stimulate resources sector growth as well as regional development including by maximising funding from all government sources.

“By taking a proactive approach to exploration, standing up to anti-development activism, supporting projects and securing reliable and affordable power, thousands more construction jobs and permanent jobs could be created,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Queensland resources companies have absorbed a three-fold increase in wholesale electricity prices over the last five years. The economy needs reliable, dispatchable power at an affordable price. Queensland also needs to play our part in reducing emissions.  The next State Government needs to deliver a balanced energy mix.”

Mr Macfarlane said every Queenslander, regardless of where they call home, had a vested interest in seeing our minerals and energy industries succeed and grow.

“A strong voice from government will mean that the resources sector can continue to underpin the state’s economy, jobs, and royalties for decades to come.”



Hunter Valley to host the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation

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NEWCASTLE will host the next public hearing of the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation.

The Chair of the Committee, Dr John McVeigh MP, said “this will be the Committee’s second public hearing in New South Wales, and will be held at the University of Newcastle’s new $95-million NeW Space campus.  The Committee is looking forward to hearing about the innovative strategies that drive growth and regional development in this area.

“The Hunter Valley is one of the more heavily-populated regional locations in Australia, with a highly diversified economy centred on mining, shipping, energy, wine production and tourism. The Committee is keen to hear about the strategies and approaches taken to adapt to shifts in the global economy over the last decades. How different regional locations use their endogenous strengths to promote development and reinvigorate their communities is of interest to the Committee.” Dr McVeigh said.

Dr McVeigh indicated that witnesses will include business and community leaders, universities, and regional development specialists.

Public hearing details:

9.00 am to 1.00 pm, Thursday 2 November 2017
The NeW Space University of Newcastle City Campus, Room-X703-Moot Court, 7th Floor, 409 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW

The proceedings will be broadcast live at

For the full program of this public hearing, see the Committee’s website.

Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website


Twitter to live broadcast Digital Media Asia November 1

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The news media elite is gathering in Singapore on November 1 and 2 for Digital Media Asia 2017 (DMA), Asia's largest digital event for the news publishing industry.

Organized by WAN-IFRA, the event's first day will be broadcast live on Periscope at @AsiaEditorForum.

Digital Media Asia 2017 will gather over 250 participants (check who's coming here) from 30 different countries.

Speakers include: Shailesh Prakash, CIO and VP product of the Washington Post; Gary Liu, CEO of SCMP; Sachin Doshi, co-founder, Scroll; Chris Janz, managing director, Metro Newspapers, Fairfax; Gyan Gupta, CEO, DB Digital, Sue Brooks, global head of products, Reuters, Marc Lourdes, director, CNN Digital Asia; Hiromi Ohnishi, executive director, Digital Business, Asahi Shimbun; Su Lin Tan, head, sales and strategy operations, SPH; Yusuf Omar, founder, HashTagOurStories, and many more...  

Click here to check the full program.

Follow the conference live at @AsiaEditorForum

For those unable to attend the event, Twitter will live broadcast Digital Media Asia sessions on Periscope from @AsiaEditorForum, on 1 November. The following DMA sessions will be available on live streaming:

  • Session 1- Leading digital trends, with presentations from Reuters and WAN-IFRA, at 9:00-10:30 (SG time)
  • Session 2 - Are Alibaba and Amazon reinventing the news ecosystem, with presentations from the Washington Post and SCMP, at 11:00-12:30 (SG time)

Top 5 digital priorities

Asian news publishers are reaching on digital platforms more readers than they ever did before! Through mobile, chat apps, websites or on social media networks, journalists are constantly innovating with new content formats and creating outstanding news experiences... But the one and only issue for everyone remains finding sustainable ways to monetise this great content.

Digital Media Asia 2017 will notably focus on five digital priorities:

  • Paid content and digital subscriptions
  • Reclaiming the ad premium market
  • Enhancing programmatic yields
  • Big Data and AI in today's newsrooms
  • Creating viral mobile content for millennials

Event venue & registration

Seats are still available for the conference. Register here, or buy your ticket at the door.

The conference's updated program and speakers list is available at To register, go to the event's website or contact Wilson Leong at +65.6562.8446 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Digital Media Asia 2017 will also feature a Services & Tech Expo and the presentation of the annual Asian Digital Media Awards. It will take place at The Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road -- in the heart of Singapore's premier shopping and entertainment district.

For more information on sponsorship or exhibiting, please contact Kimberly Lim at +65.6562.8444 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hashtag: #DMASG17


Networks map path for a smarter, decentralised grid

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INTERACTIVE maps of the Australian electricity grid to support more reliable, cleaner and local energy solutions have been released in a collaboration between research agencies, government and industry.

The Network Opportunity Maps provide detailed information to encourage local renewable energy, battery storage and smart demand management in the Australian electricity grid.

“Energy Networks are excited about the potential for these maps to help build a smarter and more reliable grid, enabling alignment of customer assets to avoid spending more on poles and wires in the future,” Energy Networks Australia interim CEO, Andrew Dillon said.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CEO Ivor Frischknecht said better information about the grid will help develop vibrant markets for new energy services.

“The Network Opportunity Maps complement the forthcoming Demand Management Incentive Scheme for network businesses, and ARENA’s three-year demand response trial projects. These initiatives should lead to creative solutions to reduce network costs and improve grid relability,” Mr Frischknecht said

“This is where the sharing economy meets the electricity sector,” said ISF research director Chris Dunstan. “The Network Opportunty Maps will identify areas of emerging constraint in the grid. These may be areas where businesses and residential customers can use their own energy resources, like solar, batteries, and smart energy management to support the network and be rewarded for it.”

The new Maps include the latest network investment and load forecast data and indicate how much new generation – such as new solar and wind farms – can be connected in each area.

Don Harwin, Minister for Resources, Energy and Utilities, said, “The NSW Government is proud to have supported the Network Opportunity Maps. I’m excited that this resource will make it easier to choose the right location and size of clean energy projects.

“The maps will help drive investment in regional NSW, and improve the grid whilst reducing network costs for consumers.”

Today’s map launch is the culmination of a three-year research project by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at UTS in collaboration with Energy Networks Australia. The maps were developed with support from ARENA, the NSW Government, CSIRO and industry partners including Ergon Energy, AusNet Services, Powerlink, ElectraNet and Transgrid. Energy Networks Australia will be responsible for ongoing management of the Maps.

Energy Queensland CEO David Smales said that the Ergon Energy network business was proud to have been a founding partner of the Network Opportunity Maps.

“Geo-spatial mapping and the provision of richer sources of information enable us to engage and interact with our customers in a more efficient and dynamic way to support the development of sustainable energy solutions for Queensland communities,” Mr Smales said.

The Network Opportunity Maps are now available on the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI) site: .

A webinar briefing on the maps will be conducted 2 November 2017 from 2.30-4:00pm. Register HERE.