A RECORD NUMBER of mining industry representatives will spend four days working on one focus - the well-being of every man and woman in the mining sector at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference on the Gold Coast.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said more than 900 people will attend the conference starting on Sunday (August 18) which was the largest cohort in the conference’s 31-year history.

“It has been overwhelming to see the response from industry to the conference this year after the tragic death of six mine and quarry workers,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“I’ll be sitting down with Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and union representatives to ensure the safety of all workers remains the number one priority. Everyone who works in a mine – or any other workplace for that matter – is entitled to leave for work and return home safely to their loved ones.

“Already industry is rolling out comprehensive safety resets across mine sites including two-way conversations with workers and safety professionals to remind them of the dangers faced on a site.”

The conference theme this year is ‘Working to the Future’ with a goal of making sure all delegates learn a new technique or approach to health and safety.  

Delegates will hear from Russell Whit, managing director of Driver Safety Australia, Brant North who survived a mine accident and has represented Australia at the Paralympics, advocate for countering violent extremism Gill Hicks and big wave surfer and Red Bull Athlete Mark Matthews.

Conference chair and CFMEU’s safety representative Greg Dalliston said the annual conference was a key event on the mining calendar.

“The conference brings together unions, industry and the Government and encourages all parties to work together and share ideas about new safety measures and health techniques,” Mr Dalliston said.

Sponsors of the conference, to be held at The Star, include principal sponsor Anglo American, Glencore, Yancoal, Uvex, Peabody and the CFMEU.

For a full list of conference speakers and the program click herehttps://www.qrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/QMIHSC-2019-program-V-10.pdf

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THE ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) has released an industry report that investigates the impact of retirement income projections on superannuation contributions, investment choices and engagement from members.

“Australian workers rely on information from their superannuation funds to understand whether they are saving enough for retirement,” said lead author George Smyrnis, CEPAR PhD candidate at the University of Sydney.

“Research shows that the overwhelming tendency to focus more on the present than the future, along with difficulties people have making forecasts that require compounding, make it likely that superannuation fund members will have poorly formed expectations of their retirement wealth,” he said.

Conscious of this evidence, superannuation funds, including the Construction and Building Unions Superannuation (Cbus) fund, have begun to show members projected retirement wealth, so-called retirement income estimates (RIE).

The CEPAR research team, comprising George Smyrnis and Professor Susan Thorp from the University of Sydney, and Professor Hazel Bateman, A/Professor Isabella Dobrescu and Professor Benjamin Newell from UNSW Sydney, set out to understand the impact of this change by analysing the data from a trial in 2013, when Cbus sent around 20,000 members an RIE, along with their current balance, for the first time.

George Smyrnis said that the impact of this new message on members’ contributions, engagement, and investment choices was remarkable.

“Our analysis shows the RIE motivated additional savings, raised member investment choices, and raised engagement with the super fund,” he said.

“Overall, the presentation of the RIE encouraged higher rates of salary sacrifice saving, and higher average amounts of salary sacrifice and voluntary contributions, as well as changes in investment options, compared to those who did not receive the RIE.

“The presentation of the RIE also encouraged higher rates of engagement between members and the super fund, particularly for advice, and for admin and processes related interactions. These results are important evidence that superannuation member disengagement can be partly improved by clearer communication,” Mr Smyrnis said.

“The results we found confirm that, for many superannuation members, the retirement income estimate is an important tool for understanding savings adequacy. This motivates super fund members to make adjustments that can substantially change their retirement outcomes.”

The industry report is available online at cepar.edu.au/publications/reports.

Details: George Smyrnis; Hazel Bateman; Isabella Dobrescu; Benjamin Newell; Susan Thorp (2019): The impact of projections on superannuation contributions, investment choices and engagement. CEPAR Industry Report 2019/1.

About CEPAR

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) is a unique collaboration between academia, government and industry, committed to delivering solutions to one of the major economic and social challenges of the 21st century. The research centre is based at the University of New South Wales, with nodes at the Australian National University, Curtin University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney.
cepar.edu.au

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A DELEGATION of senior Papua New Guinean ministers, including the country’s Treasurer, Foreign Minister and Minister for Commerce and Industry, will visit Sydney next Monday to attend the 2019 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference.

The powerful delegation will attend the event, at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel, to meet with the investment community and outline the new business and investment policies of the country’s new government, led by Prime Minister James Marape, which was installed in late May.

Ministers expected to attend include Commerce Minister Wera Mori (who will formally represent Prime Minister Marape), Minister for Treasury Sam Basil, Foreign Minister Minister Soroi Eoe and Minister of Works Michael Nali.

The ministers will lead a large contingent of over 120 Papua New Guinean business leaders and government officials, to meet with business people and investors from Australia, the United States, New Zealand and the Pacific.

The conference program, which starts Monday morning, will cover all sectors of PNG’s economy, from mining and petroleum, to agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, services, energy and technology. It will include investment case studies and feature participation from event partners such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, KPMG and the International Finance Corporation.

Papua New Guinea, Australia’s nearest neighbour, became an exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2014 and is on the cusp of green-lighting two major new resources projects, the US10 billion Papua LNG project (in which ASX-listed Oil Search Limited is a partner) and the US$9 billion Wafi-Golpu copper-gold project, led by ASX-listed Newcrest Mining.

In addition, the country is undergoing a massive investment in infrastructure, with a US$2 billion rural electrification project and undersea cable internet being part-funded by Australia. In addition, the conference will hear about opportunities in new road, port and aviation infrastructure. 

The World Bank predicts PNG’s GDP will grow by 5.6 percent this year - twice the rate of Australia’s GDP growth. It is projected to double its population by 2050 to approximately 20 million.

"This is the only Papua New Guinea-focused business event in Australia this year and it represents a unique opportunity to get acquainted with PNG’s new government,’ said Andrew Wilkins of event organiser Business Advantage International.

"We are expecting to welcome plenty of Australian businesses to the event."

The Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference will take place on 19 and 20 August at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

pnginvestmentconference.com

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MIGRANTS make an incredible contribution to Australia.

In fact, there are more than 7 million migrants living in Australia helping to stimulate growth, create more jobs and slow the ageing of the Australian population.

Every town and suburb in Australia has their own migrant success stories.

Many of our smaller cities and regional areas, however, cannot fill the jobs available - with an estimated 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia today.

A federal parliamentary committee is hitting the road to find out what can be done to increase the number of migrants moving to regional areas to fill these gaps and ease the pressure on our major capital cities.

Joint Standing Committee on Migration chair Julian Leeser MP said the inquiry has been prompted by recent trends indicating declining population growth in some regional areas of Australia.

While approximately 187,000 international migrants settled in regional areas between 2006 and 2011, this accounts for only 20 percent of arrivals in that period, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

"What we know is that some areas of Australia are having success attracting new migrants, while other areas are struggling to both attract and retain migrants and address skill shortages," Mr Leeser said.

"The answers to how to attract new settlers won’t be found in our big cities – so we’re going to travel to areas where migration settlement is and isn’t working, and talk to the people best placed to know why and why not."

Mr Leeser is encouraging people to contribute to the process. Submissions to the inquiry will be accepted until September 20, 2019.

The Committee intends to hold public hearings at various locations, which will be announced in due course on the inquiry website.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration shall inquire into and report on the breadth of migrant settlement strategies and migration settings – including for skilled and humanitarian migrants – in regional Australia, with reference to:

  • National and international best practice strategies to encourage people to settle and stay in regional areas;
  • Strategies to develop regional skilled migration;
  • Strategies to develop regional humanitarian migration;
  • Key local, state and federal initiatives for successful regional settlement outcomes;
  • Local volunteers, employers and community organisations and their role in facilitating regional settlement;
  • Relevant migration policy, including administration and state specific migration mechanisms;
  • Related infrastructure matters; and
  • Any other related matter.

The Committee shall give particular consideration to how communities and settlement services can best assist migrants to gain successful employment outcomes in regional Australia, including local work experience opportunities, skills certification and training, knowledge of Australian workforce regulations, accommodation and travel to and from the workplace

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THE Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the appointment of a senior government official to a new position of global investment commissioner with the State Government’s Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the appointment of former Trade and Investment commissioner to Japan Ross Buchanan as global investment commissioner within TIQ was a practical step that could support the government’s desire to attract more international investment in the development of Queensland’s resources and energy reserves, including renewables.

Mr Macfarlane said the industry had been working with the government and TIQ to further strengthen its TIQ Mining, Resources and Energy team and connect the resources industry with the 12 Trade and Investment commissioners representing the state around the world.

“A shared priority for the Queensland Government and industry is to lift the perception of Queensland as an attractive place to invest," Mr Macfarlane said. "Unfortunately, in February this year, the Fraser Institute global survey of mining companies found Queensland’s investment attractiveness fell from 12th to 13th place of 83 jurisdictions around the world.  Queensland’s Sister State of Nevada is number one.

“The appointment of Ross Buchanan gives our industry a global investment commissioner with experience in a key market and source of investment for our industry – Japan – and first-hand experience working with Macarthur Coal and Peabody Energy.”

Mr Macfarlane said with the resources sector employing more than 316,000 Queenslanders, delivering 81 percent of the state’s record $87 billion export earnings over the last 12 months and contributing more than $5 billion in royalties to the State Government, new and continued investment in Queensland resources and energy projects was critical.

Mr Macfarlane said the QRC and its member companies looked forward to working with recently appointed TIQ chief executive officer Paul Martyn and Mr Buchanan to work on:

• developing a collaborative work program to deliver on the Premier’s “working together” commitments to the QRC to improve exports, exploration and expertise and address areas of declining sentiment identified by the Fraser Institute survey;

• releasing an update on the investment resources and energy project pipeline; and

•  providing regular briefings for TIQ and its commissioners based in markets around the world, including a joint meeting with all commissioners during Export Week in October.

www.qrc.org.au

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