Supporting Refugees to Settle in Australia
(Translation appears in Arabic Section)
Canberra- M E Times Int'l: The Morrison Government is implementing a package of new measures to better support refugees and humanitarian entrants to settle in Australia.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the reforms would ensure better outcomes for refugees and the communities they settle in, while delivering efficiency and value for money.
“We want to ensure all refugees and humanitarian entrants have the best possible opportunity to settle into Australian life, gain employment and contribute to their new communities,” Mr Coleman said.
A statement from Multicultural NSW CEO
Sydney: Joseph La Posta, the CEO, Multicultural NSW, has strongly condemn the attack on a pregnant woman in Parramatta this week.
He added: NSW is one of the most culturally diverse states in the world and we pride ourselves on how supportive we are of different cultures and religions. I am appalled at the unprovoked attack on this innocent victim. There is no place for violence in our community, every person has the right to be safe and secure.
I understand the police are currently investigating the incident and I thank the members of the community who stepped in to support the victim.
Finally Mr La Posta said: My thoughts are with the victim and her family.
Road and Rail Investment to Boost NSW
Canberra: A joint media release from the Prime Minister 's office said that the New South Wales economy will be boosted by a $570 million infrastructure package to bust congestion and make regional roads safer.
“We’re bringing forward these important projects to cut travel times and make roads safer while boosting jobs and the economy,” the Prime Minister said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government was investing heavily in key roads in regional NSW that are vital to improved safety and supporting the economy through improved connectivity to the regions and to our markets.
Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian said the Australian and NSW governments had a strong record of working together to deliver crucial road and rail projects.
Liberal Government will cut the pension for migrants.
Sydney: The Liberals are proposing to stop the pension supplement for pensioners who spend more than six weeks overseas.
These pension cuts will hurt migrant pensioners visiting family overseas, or who need to spend extended time caring for relatives or grandchildren.
The Liberals also want to increase the residency requirement for the pension from 10 to 15 years.
Labor Opposition Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney says Labor will oppose these cuts.
Tougher water restrictions to be implemented in NSW
Sydney: Tougher water restrictions will be implemented in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra region from December 10. The level-two controls will be the harshest in nearly a decade, further limiting the use of water on gardens, washing cars and filling up pools. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the rapid decrease in dam levels made the tightened restrictions urgent. Fines of up to $550 will be applied to anyone breaching the ban. The dam level for the greater Sydney catchment was at 46.2 per cent on Wednesday.
PM puts $4billion worth of infrastructure in the fast lane
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison will accelerate infrastructure investment by bringing forward close to $4 billion in funding over the next four years. Responding to sluggish growth and calls from the Reserve Bank for extra economic stimulus, Mr Morrison will spend an extra $1.8 billion this year and next on major projects. Every state and territory is expected to benefit from the accelerated funding. The announcement was made at the Business Council of Australia's annual dinner, where the Prime Minister revealed elements of his deregulation agenda to boost investment. Morrison's government will justify its commitment to a budget surplus, declaring its primary purpose is to pay down debt. With the surplus, the government hopes to reduce more than $19 billion in interest Australia is paying annually due to more than a decade of deficits.
Climate change a health priority: Labor
Sydney: The effects of climate change must be treated as a health priority alongside cancer and diabetes, Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen says.
In a speech was delivered in Sydney recently, Mr Bowen has pointed to estimates that 250,000 people a year will die as a direct result of global warming by 2030.
"Natural disasters are already occurring more regularly," he says.
"Vector borne diseases will become more prevalent and widespread. Heat waves, which already claim many lives in Australia will be more common and more severe."
Mr Bowen says Labor will make the policy change if it wins government, but is calling on Health Minister Greg Hunt to act sooner.
He says the UK's National Health Service has a sustainable development strategy and several European countries have identified health as a priority area in their climate change adaption strategies.
Liberals and Nationals Fail to Warn the Public About Serious Scams
NSW: The Liberal National Government in NSW has been missing in action when it comes to protecting the public from serious scams, including tax office scams, phishing scams and travelling conmen spruiking dodgy bitumen laying and roof repairs.
NSW Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Julia Finn said since the former Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe left the role in July 2017, there had been no public warnings issued to protect consumers from these scams.
“Mr Stowe, who was the subject of a relentless campaign to remove him by the former Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox, was prolific in his efforts to protect consumers, particularly vulnerable consumers, from scammers,” she said.
“Under the stewardship of Mr Stowe, older citizens were regularly warned about travelling conmen and he orchestrated a highly successful national strategy to take the fight up to those organised crime gangs. These gangs target seniors and rural and regional consumers in particular.
Sydney residents urged to remain in-doors as hazardous air chokes the city
Sydney: Sydney residents are waking to hazardous air quality on Wednesday as a blanket of smog from bushfires chokes the city for a second consecutive day. The air quality is three and a half times the hazardous level in Sydney's north-west, and two and a half times in the city's east. Residents with heart or lung diseases have been urged to stay indoors.
Air pollution reaches 15 times the hazardous level in Sydney
Sydney: Air pollution in Sydney has reached 15 times the hazardous level after strong winds dragged smoke from a nearby fire at Gospers Mountain into the Sydney basin. New South Wales RFS deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said on Tuesday the Gospers Mountain fire was becoming “more active". “The smoke should start pushing out of Sydney fairly soon, unfortunately it’ll head to the north so those communities will get more of that smoke in toward the Central Coast, Newcastle area," he said. The RFS said fire danger ratings would be in place on Tuesday for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra, Central Ranges and Southern Ranges regions, up from Monday’s "very high" classification. A total fire ban remains in place for north-west NSW.
Corruption is 'cancer of local councils': Cunningham
Melbourne: Matt Cunningham called corruption “the cancer” of local councils after the City of Casey’s former mayor Sam Aziz and other councillors allegedly took donations from a major property developer. The state’s anti-corruption agency is investigating the allegations. “This is an absolute stinker,” Mr Cunningham said.
Assistance for Bushfire Disaster Cleanup
NSW: The NSW Government is providing disaster recovery relief to help bushfire affected communities get back on their feet as soon as possible.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott have committed up to $25 million to facilitate the cleanup of homes and properties damaged and destroyed by the recent fires.
“Having witnessed firsthand the devastation these bushfires have inflicted on local communities, it is vital the Government acts right away to provide assistance as quickly as possible,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Australian War Memorial Development Project
Canberra: Official plans for the nine-year Australian War Memorial Development Project have been unveiled, outlining how the contemporary story of service and sacrifice will be told to future generations.
In a joint media statement the Prime Minister said the Australian War Memorial told key stories of our nation.
“This Project is about ensuring the stories of an entire new generation of service are told and remembered alongside those that inspired their own sacrifice and to do the same for future generations,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is the most significant reinvestment in our War Memorial since it was established after World War One and ultimately completed following the Second World War. I am pleased our Government is making this overdue investment.
Report on religious discrimination
Sydney: I am appalled by the examples of discrimination against Muslim Australians contained in the report released by Charles Sturt University.
Freedom of religion is fundamental to Australian society. Australians of all religions should be able to practice their faith free of prejudice. The instances of discrimination against Australians of Islamic faith which are documented in the report are completely unacceptable.
The Morrison Government has no tolerance for racial or cultural prejudice against any group. In this year’s Budget, the Government invested $71 million into a package of measures designed to strengthen our social cohesion.
The behaviour outlined in the report is condemned in the strongest terms – Australia as a nation utterly rejects racism and religious discrimination of any kind.
Labor: Australians must 'accept' China is an 'economic superpower'
Sydney: Labor MP Jason Clare has defended former prime minister Paul Keating after he condemned the Australian government for its handling of the rise of China. Mr Keating said the government failed to respond appropriately to the “rise, legitimacy and importance” of China. “I think what Paul’s saying is we’ve just got to get real, we need a bit of sober realism here because China is the biggest kid on the block,” Mr Clare said. “When Paul became treasurer, the Chinese economy was about the same size as Australia’s, it’s now I think 10 times the Australian economy – it’s an economic superpower and we need to work with China. Mr Clare said Australia must “understand that we’re not going to agree on everything” but “China’s going to be an economic superpower in this region for the next century and what Paul’s saying is we’ve got to accept that and work with China”.
RBA seriously considered November rate cut
Sydney: Reserve Bank board members acknowledged there was a compelling case for cutting the cash rate to a new record low before leaving it unchanged at 0.75 per cent at this month's board meeting.
Minutes from the RBA's meeting on November 5 showed board members noted the disappointing data piling up at its door, including declining retail sales, a weaker outlook for household income and wages, and that inflation and GDP growth had both come in below forecast last year.
However, the board agreed that further evidence on spending by households was required before drawing any conclusions about the effectiveness of its three rate cuts since June or government tax rebates.