Business News Releases

RMIT refuses to pay all staff on National Day of Mourning

ROYAL MELBOURNE Institute of Technology (RMIT) casual staff will not be paid on the national day of mourning to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in a decision that puts the university at odds with most of the sector.

The National Tertiary Education's request for RMIT to pay all staff one the one-off public holiday has been rejected.

In Victoria, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University and La Trobe University have all made a common sense agreement not to shortchange casual staff.

But RMIT has advised the union casuals will not be paid for the day.

Casual staff members at RMIT will receive no compensation for cancelled classes and workshops.

NTEU Victorian assistant secretary Sarah Roberts said RMIT's actions were unfair.

"RMIT management's pathetic excuse that they are not legally required to pay casuals for this public holiday is an insult to hard-working casual staff," she said.

"The death of a monarch shouldn't result in workers missing out on a day's pay -- money that some people desperately need to put food on the table.

"This decision is especially galling given RMIT is Australia's only higher education institution with the right to use 'Royal' in its name and the monarchy's coat of arms."

"This terrible call highlights just one of the problems caused by the scourge of insecure work in universities.

"The national day of mourning has created an unforeseen an anomaly which many of Australia's leading universities have fixed after listening to the NTEU.

"Not only do casual staff have to endure precarious employment, now they don't get paid on a day which their permanent colleagues do. It simply doesn't pass the pub test."

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Treaties Committee to inquire into Australia-US Cloud Act Agreement

THE Joint Standing Committee on Treaties will hold a public hearing on Wednesday September 14, 2022 into the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America on Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime (Australia-US Cloud Act Agreement).

The Australia-US Cloud Act Agreement would allow Australian authorities to seek an Order under Australian law to obtain the electronic data of a Covered Person where it relates to a serious offence, directly from communication service providers that operate under the jurisdiction of the US, and vice versa.

Committee Chair, Josh Wilson MP said, "The Committee looks forward to hearing from representatives from the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as it progresses its inquiry into the Australia-US Cloud Act Agreement.

"The Australia-US Cloud Act Agreement would enliven the International Production Order regime of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act) and the Committee will be interested in exploring the interface between the agreement and the TIA Act."

Public hearing details

Date: Wednesday 14 September 2022
Time: 11.55am (approx) – 1.45 pm AEST

The program for this hearing is also available online.

Further information on the inquiry can be found on the Committee website.

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Treaties Committee to inquire into Australia-Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement

THE Joint Standing Committee on Treaties will hold a public hearing on Monday September 5, 2022 into the Agreement between Australia and Japan concerning the Facilitation of Reciprocal Access and Cooperation between the Australian Defence Force and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan (Australia-Japan RAA).

The Australia-Japan RAA would provide a legal framework to facilitate defence cooperation between Australia and Japan and define the status of the Visiting Force and Civilian Component of a Party while in the territory of the other Party.

Committee chair, Josh Wilson MP said, "The committee looks forward to hearing from representatives from the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as it progresses its inquiry into the agreement.

‘While the Australia-Japan RAA reflects measures commonly found in status of forces agreements, there are some unique provisions and the committee will be interested in exploring their implications."

Public hearing details

Date: Monday 5 September 2022
Time: 11.10am (approx) – 1pm AEST

The program for this hearing is also available online.

Further information on the inquiry can be found on the Committee website.

 

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RBA the first to face parliamentary scrutiny from the new Economics Committee

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will hold a public hearing with the Governor of the Reserve Bank (RBA), Mr Philip Lowe, on Friday September 16, 2022 — the first public hearing for the Economics Committee this Parliament.

Committee Chair, Dr Daniel Mulino MP, said that with “Australia experiencing its highest inflation in 20 years, household budgets are feeling the pressure”.

“Australians have also seen interest rates rise for the past five months, which not only affects mortgage holders and families but small businesses and investment, too," Dr Mulino said.

“In this context, continuing scrutiny of our monetary policy settings remains important, particularly in view of the need to learn from past decisions,” Dr Mulino said.

“Accordingly, the committee will probe the recent decisions of the RBA regarding interest rate policy, the challenges of tackling our high inflation, and the RBA’s approach to returning inflation to the 2-3 percent range over time.

“The committee hearing will thus complement, not replicate, the work of the Independent Review of the Reserve Bank” announced by the Treasurer in July," Dr Mulino said.

Dr Mulino noted that the first independent review of the Reserve Bank in four decades would be conducted in the face of challenging economic circumstances, the likes of which Australia had not seen for generations.

“Ensuring the RBA remains fit for purpose in the longer term is critical.”

Public hearing details

Date: Friday 16 September 2022
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Location: Main Committee Room, Parliament House, Canberra

The hearing will be broadcast live at aph.gov.au/live

 

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Unravelling the impacts of long COVID and repeated COVID infections

THE health, social, educational, and economic impacts of long COVID and repeated COVID infections will be the focus of a new inquiry by the House Health Committee.

Chair of the committee, Mike Freelander MP said, "The committee recognises that both long COVID and repeated COVID infections are emerging as significant health challenges for Australia. Currently we have a limited understanding of these issues, and it is hoped that this inquiry will build a picture of the health, social, educational, and economic impacts long COVID and repeated COVID infections are having on individuals, their families and the broader community, which can be used to inform public policy recommendations.

"The committee wants to draw upon the experience and insights of healthcare service providers supporting patients with long COVID and/or repeated COVID infections, to better understand the impacts on Australia’s overall health system," he said.

Deputy chair of the committee, Melissa McIntosh MP said, "The committee is also particularly looking forward to hearing from individuals or loved ones of people with long COVID and/or who have had repeated COVID infections, particularly about their experience seeking diagnosis and treatment.

"The committee hopes to engage with researchers, peak bodies, members of the public, mental health organisations, the Australian Government, and state and territory governments, about the potential and unknown effects, causes, risk factors, prevalence, management and treatment of long COVID and/or repeated COVID infections," she said.

The committee will also consider how long COVID and/or repeated COVID infections may be impacting groups that face a greater risk of illness due to factors such as age, existing health conditions, disability and background.

Submissions from interested individuals and organisations are invited by November 18, 2022. The preferred method of receiving submissions is by electronic format lodged online using a My Parliament account.

Further information about the committee’s inquiry, including the full terms of reference and details on how to lodge a submission are available at the committee’s website.

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