Business News Releases

End of Jobs Summit heralds start of decade-long program of work says CPA Australia

THE jobs and skills shortage could take a decade to fully resolve, according to Australia’s leading professional accounting organisation, CPA Australia. But this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit has delivered quick wins which could deliver rapid relief for businesses crippled by employee shortages.

“The jobs and skills shortage was decades in the making and will take years to unwind,” said CPA Australia CEO Andrew Hunter. “But the government now has momentum on its side and we are excited to see action on short-term wins.

“Our message to the government is don’t let this momentum go to waste. Continue to deliver meaningful relief to businesses where possible and get to work on the longer-term challenge of future-proofing Australia’s workforce.

“We want to see more concrete initiatives included in the October Budget. Longer term, the White Paper will help us map our way out of this crisis.

“We can’t navigate out of this problem overnight. But we shouldn’t keep the handbrake on while we plan the second half of the journey. The Summit took us closer to a solution; now is the time for action.”

CPA Australia is rating the Summit as a success, after participating in multiple roundtable meetings and consultations with government ahead of the two-day forum. Several of the organisation’s key asks have been implemented, including a focus on improving visa processing timelines and lifting the permanent migration cap.

“We have been very encouraged by the shift towards consensus building and collaboration," Mr Hyunter said. "The Summit focused some of Australia’s leading experts on a topic of great economic importance.”

Now that the Summit is done, CPA Australia is pleased steps towards increasing migration have been taken but says increasing the skilled migration cap alone isn’t sufficient to solve the challenges.

“Australia is in a war for talent against many other countries who are also experiencing a skills shortage. We need to ensure we are as attractive as possible to new migrants.

“We are also asking for a focus on skilling up Australians into the future, including a rethink of how we attract young people to professions struggling with shortages.

“We look forward to continuing to work with and advise the government on solutions to the skills crisis.”



About CPA Australia

CPA Australia is Australia’s leading professional accounting body and one of the largest in the world with more than 170,000 members in over 100 countries and regions. Core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. CPA Australia engages with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. cpaaustralia.com.au

 

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National Tertiary Education Union to help shape higher education policy through new working group

THE National Tertiary Education Union will be a key member of a new working group to advise the Federal Labor Government on higher education policy.

The advisory body, announced as part of the Jobs and Skills Summit on Friday, will help inform Education Minister Jason Clare's decisions about issues in the higher education sector including visa arrangements for international students.

NTEU national president Dr Alison Barnes welcomed the opportunity to help form government policy.

"Giving the Union a seat at the table will lead to better outcomes for Australia's higher education sector," she said.

"Our members are experts in what needs to be done in the sector and they'll inform our input in this new working group."

The working group will also include the Council of International  Education, the Departments of Home Affairs and Education, and Universities Australia.

The Federal Government is proposing to increase the duration of post-study work rights for recent university graduates in select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages by two years in order to help grow our skilled labour capacity in Australia.

"We will work to ensure any change to post-study work rights has appropriate safeguards to protect international students and are in genuine areas of skills shortages," Dr Barnes said.

"The government has made it clear this is about strengthening the pipeline of skilled labour in Australia. We're willing to help with that work including through guaranteeing there are no unintended consequences.

"We want to ensure that international graduates are working in the areas of their expertise and are not subjected to exploitative practices, so we're eager to shape this plan.

"This group will also give government advice on other critical issues to our sector."

The working group is due to report to Minister Clare by October 28.

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Senators release statement on state-backed cyber attack

OPPOSITION SENATORS Simon Birmingham and James Paterson have released a statment on the alleged state-backed cyber attack reportedly identified by Australian cyber security services as having originated from China.

"The Coalition is deeply concerned about media reports claiming that Chinese state-backed cyber criminals have sought to target sensitive Australian government agencies and media companies.  

"These actions, if corroborated by our security agencies, represent a significant threat to our institutions and our democracy.

"We urge the government to use every available resource to investigate this serious alleged cyber incident.

"We call on the government to provide clear advice to Australian individuals and businesses about how they can protect themselves against this kind of malicious cyber activity, that has the potential to cause serious harm to our national security.

"In government, the Coalition provided record funding to and equipped our security agencies with a suite of legislative tools to respond to incidents such as this. All options should be on the table for consideration, including using the specially designed 'cyber sanctions' that are contained within Australia's Magnitsky Autonomous Sanctions Regime to send a clear message that these kinds of actions are not acceptable.

"We will continue to seek regular briefings from government agencies, including the Australian Signals Directorate and Departments of Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs."

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Inflation worries 85pc of workers: a third moved jobs for less than $5k

ONE OF THE MAIN FOCUSES of the Job and Skills Summit this week will be how Australian workers can get wage increases while companies find and keep talented employees. 

Data from an RMIT Online survey released today reveals inflation is pressuring workers to ask for pay raises and that the talent war hasn't been enough to make them satisfied with their current paychecks. 

The vast majority of those interviewed (85%) say they are much more worried about the cost of living and financial compensation today than a year ago. Almost half of the respondents (47%) complained privately to peers and friends about lower pay. 

Over a third of the respondents have changed jobs in the past 12 months, primarily led by higher salaries and career advancement. Of those, almost one-third (28%) moved jobs for a raise of $5,000 or less, and 61% moved for less than $10,000. 

Of the other two-thirds who stayed in their companies in the past year, 75% would change for an increased wage, with most (52%) saying that it would take $10,000 or less to convince them to make a move.  

Not feeling valued is the primary reason (57%) why employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, closely followed by not having an adequate salary for their role (51%). 

"Our survey shows Australians are really feeling the impact of the rising cost of living and inflation. However, while a higher salary may sway some employees in the short term; if an employee is unhappy or unsupported in their role, better remuneration alone will not be sufficient to facilitate long-term retention,” RMIT Online Interim CEO Claire Hopkins said. . 

“Future career opportunities were the second highest driver for Australians looking for a new role. The current labour market demands employers weigh up their entire employee value proposition. This includes personal development and upskilling to help team members feel recognised, challenged and excited for their own career development.”

Graphs and data


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Survey methodology 

The survey was produced by the RMIT Online team in partnership with the market research company IPSOS. In total, the research team interviewed 800 Australian workers between August 8 and 15, 2022. The positions were classified as managers (executive or business owner, CEO, director and manager) and non-managers (employees and interns).   

About RMIT Online

RMIT Online was created by RMIT University to provide a world-class digital learning experience at the nexus of business, design and technology, leaning into future of work needs to equip students with in-demand skills and qualifications. RMIT Online teams up with industry thought leaders and experts to deliver the best in flexible education using the latest digital tools and technologies for a highly interactive, virtual cohort experience. RMIT Online is dedicated to achieving its mission of future-ready careers and creating a “community of lifelong learners, successfully navigating the world of work".

www.online.rmit.edu.au

 

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Have your say on the 2022 Federal Election

THE AUSTRALIAN Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is now inviting submissions to the review of the 2022 Federal Election. The committee conducts a review of the previous election early in each new Parliament.

Committee Chair Kate Thwaites MP (Jagajaga, Vic) said the inquiry is an important part of ensuring that Australia’s democracy remains strong.

"This review is an important opportunity to examine how things worked during the last election, including areas that could be improved for future elections. It helps to ensure the conduct of our elections is accountable and transparent and supports public confidence in our electoral system and our democracy,"  Ms Thwaites said.

The terms of reference for the inquiry include examining proposals to reform laws on political donations, including real time disclosure and a reduction to the disclosure threshold, and potential reforms to election funding.

Additionally, the committee expects to focus on the potential for 'truth in political advertising' laws to enhance the integrity and transparency of the electoral system; and increasing participation of First Nations People; as well as increased electoral participation and enfranchisement generally.

The committee will be interested in hearing from anyone with a view to share, whether from a major institution like the Australian Electoral Commission, or an individual who has an interest in the electoral process.

The Terms of Reference are included below and are available from the committee website.

Submissions are open until October 7, 2022. Comments are welcome on one or more of the terms of reference, or other matters of relevance to the conduct of the 2022 Federal Election.

The committee expects to hold public hearings in due course. All relevant information will be available from the committee website as the inquiry progresses.

Further information will be available on the Inquiry website

 

Terms of Reference:

That the committee inquire into and report on all aspects of the 2022 federal election and related matters, including consideration of:

(a) reforms to political donation laws, particularly the applicability of 'real-time' disclosure and a reduction of the disclosure threshold to a fixed $1,000;

(b) potential reforms to funding of elections, particularly regarding electoral expenditure caps and public funding of parties and candidates;

(c) the potential for 'truth in political advertising' laws to enhance the integrity and transparency of the electoral system;

(d) encouraging increased electoral participation and lifting enfranchisement of First Nations People;

(e) the potential for the creation of a single national electoral roll capable of being used for all federal, state and territory elections in Australia;

(f) encouraging increased electoral participation and supporting enfranchisement generally, and specifically in relation to:

  1. i. accessibility of enrolment and voting for persons with a disability;
  2. ii. voting rights of Australians abroad;

iii. Australian permanent residents and new Australian citizens; and

  1. iv. New Zealand citizens residing in Australia; and

(g) proportional representation of the states and territories in the Parliament, in the context of the democratic principle of 'one vote, one value'.

 

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Chartered Accountants welcome support for small business

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS ANZ (CA ANZ) said the Federal Government’s commitment to legislate tax deductions for small business was "a big win for those already struggling to retain talent".

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced the government’s intention to legislate initiatives which allow businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million the capacity to deduct 120 percent of expenditure on training of staff up until June 30, 2024.

Small businesses will also be able to gain a bonus 20 percent deduction which will support the uptake of digital technologies until June 30, 2023.

“This is a big win for small business, and I thank the Federal Government for moving swiftly to legislate these proposals as it is something, as a profession, we have been advocating for,” CA ANZ chief executive Ainslie van Onselen said.

“Small businesses are grappling with the capacity to retain their staff, and this move will give them certainty to invest in their people, and to give their staff some clear pathways in their professional development,” Ms van Onselen said.

“This type of investment may be the difference between a staff member staying with a business or deciding to pursue another opportunity.

“This is a great boost for smaller businesses in the lead up to the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra where I will be representing the accounting profession,” Ms van Onselen said.

“At the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit, I’m looking forward to sharing solutions to address skilled migration, boost domestic skills and education, and increase the workforce participation of women, mature workers and underrepresented groups.”

www.charteredaccountantsanz.com

About Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents more than 131,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. 

 

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Qld mining sector welcomes new safety inquiry

THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the opportunity to show all Queenslanders what the resources industry is doing to continuously improve safety in the mining industry, following yesterday's announcement by the State Government of a new Parliamentary Inquiry into mine safety.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the safety of every mine worker was a priority and a core value of every mining operation in Queensland. This has resulted in the state's mine safety record being the envy of every other mining region in the world.

"When it comes to worker safety, our industry operates on the basis we're on an ongoing, continuous cycle of improvement and that any injury or fatality is unacceptable,” Mr Macfarlane said.

"We look forward to sharing with the Queensland community just how seriously our companies take their responsibility to provide a safe operating environment, and where improvements can be made in any area, we will listen and follow the recommendations of the experts."

Mr Macfarlane said almost 1000 people are set to attend the industry's four-day, annual health and safety conference on the Gold Coast later this month, with hundreds more expected to attend online.

"Queensland's safety conference is highly regarded internationally and the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

“It has been overwhelming to see the response from industry to the conference this year, after the Covid-related postponement of the past two years. This again demonstrates just how committed our industry is to our goal of zero harm.

"The conference will feature presentations by the best health and safety experts in the world as well as from leading, independent regulators and government representatives.

“The goal is to share knowledge and insights into critical health and safety issues and innovations in order to continuously improve safety in our industry."

www.qrc.org.au

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Building approvals data 'disguises turn in housing market'

BUILDING APPROVALS data for July continues to reflect the magnitude of Australia’s existing pipeline of home building work, rather than the declines in housing demand that are evident in other leading indicators, according to Housing Industry Association (HIA) economist Tom Devitt.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released its monthly building approvals data for July for detached houses and multi-units covering all states and territories.

“Building approvals for new houses in July increased by 1.0 percent compared to the previous month," Mr Devitt said. "This leaves approvals 23.0 percent lower in the three months to July 2022 compared to the same time last year. Despite this decline, house approvals in the three months to July 2022 were 12.0 percent higher than the same time in 2019.

“The strong volume of house approvals in recent months reflects the significant volume of new homes across Australia that had been sold earlier in the year, but not yet approved.

“The strong volume of approvals in July 2022 hides the impact that rising interest rates are already having on more timely data," Mr Devitt said.

“New home sales across Australia declined by 13.1 percent in July, following even earlier reports from the industry of a slowing in the number of groups visiting display sites. This will see weaker sales volumes in the second half of 2022.

“Approvals of multi units fell sharply in July, to see approvals in the three months to July 16.8 percent lower than in the same period in 2021. Despite this decline they remain comparable with volumes of approvals prior to the pandemic.

“Given the large volume of work under construction and approved but not commenced, there will be a significant lag between the increase in the cash rate and an adverse impact on new home construction.

“The long lead times in this current cycle will hide the impact of rate rises and risk the RBA over shooting with unnecessary rate increases,” Mr Devitt said.

 

 

 

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Mining companies hate tax but royalties won’t affect investment says union

QUENSLAND’s new coal royalty regime will not affect international mining investment but will make sure current record prices deliver better returns to regional communities, the Mining and Energy Union said this week.

Mining and Energy Union president Tony Maher said it was disappointing to see the Japanese Government weigh in on royalties when Japanese mining companies have been profiting from Queensland resources for decades.

“Coal prices are at staggering highs and no mining company is making investment decisions based on these prices, or on Queensland’s new royalty rates triggered by these prices,” Mr Maher said.

“In fact, some Japanese players in the Queensland coal industry already had their coal assets on the market before the royalty changes.

“Sure, they would like to pocket a bigger share of the current super-profits on the way out, but we’ll back a new hospital for Moranbah over bigger payouts for Japanese shareholders any day," he said.

“Mining companies will make their investment decisions based on the long-term outlook for coal prices and demand. It’s absolutely appropriate for Australian governments to make sure the industry delivers for citizens, especially at a time of record high prices," Mr Maher said.

“Mining communities are calling out for a fair return for their long-term support for the coal industry and overseas governments and the mining lobby should respect this.”

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Finalists announced for 2022 Prime Minister's National Veterans’ Employment Awards

AUSTRALIA'S top veteran employers, employees and entrepreneurs are being celebrated today as finalists for the 2022 Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Awards are unveiled.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said the awards provide the opportunity not only to recognise organisations that actively recruit, employ and support veterans, but celebrate the successes of veterans in their careers post service.   

“As a nation we value the contributions made by veterans and their ongoing commitment to service, and we recognise the valuable skills they bring to the civilian workforce,” Mr Keogh said.

“Making sure that our community is aware of the great benefit that veterans can bring to business is so important, that’s why these awards celebrate the businesses who work with veterans and families.

“The finalists for this year’s awards have all gone above and beyond to create environments where veterans and their families will have successful careers.

“Judges were impressed with the quality and calibre of nominations received.  It is clear to me that many Australian businesses know just how great veteran employees are.”

Mr Keogh said that these businesses have a competitive edge.

“Veterans bring with them great skills that they have gained in Defence. These are individuals with great leadership skills, teamwork capacity, analytical skills, with the ability to work under pressure and to be agile, all critical skills in the modern economy," he said.

“I am also so pleased that there’s some new categories in these awards - ‘partner employee’ and ‘partner entrepreneur’.

“It is very hard to find a good ongoing job or further your own career as a Defence spouse or family member if you are having to relocate regularly. We need to work with business so they can better understand that even if this person is only going to be employed for a short time, they are going to provide huge value to business."

The annual awards are part of the Prime Minister’s National Veterans’ Employment Program.

Winners will be announced at an award ceremony taking place in Canberra later this year.

 

Full list of finalists

Category

Name/Representative

Company

Veteran Employee of the Year

Rodney Davis

Sonder

Nick Elston

GSA Management Consulting

Chris Gray

Vasey RSL Care

Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year

David Ballantyne & Chris Moss

BMCorp

Garth Chester

Valenhold

Warwick Penrose

EPE (Explosive Protective Equipment)

Partner Employee of the Year

Lydia Teychenné

Prince’s Trust Australia

Tamara Turner

Axon Property Group

Katie Vidal

She Maps

Partner Entrepreneur of the Year

Hayley Boswell

Defence Kidz

Jacqueline Brauman

TBA Law

Kelly Willmott

Green Fox Training Studio

Employer of the Year - Large

 

Cubic Defence Australia

 

Serco Australia

 

Veolia Australia & New Zealand

Employer of the Year - Medium

 

Bluerydge

 

JLB-Yaran

 

Veterans in Construction

Employer of the Year - Small

 

BRAVO Electrical and HVAC

 

Precision Technic Defence

 

Viden Consulting Group

Excellence in Supporting Veteran and/or Partner Employment

 

Brisbane Motorway Services

 

RSL Queensland

 

Vertical Scope Group

Builders respond to latest rise in interest rates

RESPONDING to the Reserve Bank of Australia's 0.5 percent rise in interest rates Master Builders Australia’s CEO Denita Wawn said the decision "to further increase interest rates is more evidence of the need for monetary policy to return to more normalised settings to combat inflation".

“However, while acknowledging the need to tackle the dire effects of inflation, we are concerned that a continuing regime of steep rate rises risks turning the economic dial too far in the opposition direction and stalling economic growth needed to for the continuing recovery from COVID,” Ms Wawn said.

“Time should be given to observe the impact of the monetary policy changes in the economy.

“Our industry is disproportionately affected by interest rises and a hard economic landing would put at risk the viability of many building and construction businesses who have managed to come through the pandemic but whose resilience has been eroded by severe supply chain pressures. Many now lack the resilience to withstand more sharp economic shocks,” she said.

“The building and construction industry has shouldered much of the responsibility for underpinning the economic recovery. Suppressing construction activity would counteract the efforts of governments and the expenditure of billions in taxpayer’s funds to shepherd the economy through the pandemic and protect growth,” Ms Wawn said.

“Today’s decision reinforces the need for the Federal Government to ensure that its fiscal policies, indeed all economic levers, must be tested against their ability to drive down inflation and increase productivity."

www.masterbuilders.com.au

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