PM Scott Morrison: "We all have a role to play in stopping sexual harassment and creating safe workplaces"
(See Translation in Arabic Section)
Canberra - M E Times Int'l: Today the Morrison Government announces its response to the Respect@Work Report.
The Report provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for preventing and addressing sexual harassment. It also highlights that the Australian Government, states and territories, employers, and industry groups all have an important role to play in supporting cultural change and creating safe workplaces.
In ‘A Roadmap for Respect: Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces’ (the Roadmap for Respect), the Government provides its response and sets out its long-term commitment to preventing and addressing sexual harassment.
The Australian Government has agreed to (in full, in-principle, or in-part) or noted all 55 recommendations in the Report.
Our response to the Respect@Work report is about creating a new culture of respectful behaviour in Australian workplaces.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said we all have a role to play in stopping sexual harassment and creating safe workplaces.
“It is not only immoral and despicable and even criminal, it denies Australians, especially women, their personal security and their economic security by not being safe at work,” the Prime Minister said.
“Our response is based the Government’s values of respect, dignity, choice, equality of opportunity and justice.”
“This is a culture that we all have to change for the better across our society, by changing our behaviour.”
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said sexual harassment is unacceptable in any context – whether in the workplace or elsewhere.
“Building a culture of respectful relationships in the workplace is a key focus in responding to the Report. Everyone has the right to feel safe at work,” Attorney-General Cash said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said respect had to be a national commitment, with governments, workplaces, communities and individuals owning the problem of sexual harassment and the solutions.
“Ending sexual harassment is everyone’s business,” Minister Payne said.
“We can all find ways to show leadership to ensure women can contribute fully in our national life without being held back by sexual harassment.”
The Respect@Work Report was the product of the landmark National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces commissioned by the Coalition in June 2018 and conducted by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins. The Government thanks Commissioner Jenkins for her leadership and work in this role.
To lead this national effort, the Government has outlined a number of measures and reforms set out in the Roadmap, including:
• The creation of the Respect@Work Implementation taskforce to deliver legislative and regulatory reform;
• Simplifying and strengthening the legal framework, existing rights and obligations for employees and employers;
• Supporting greater coordination between agencies and services to ensure workers and employers have access to consistent information.
The Government’s response also places an emphasis on preventative measures, acknowledging more can be done to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the first place. To support preventative action at the national level, the Australian Government is also committed to:
• delivering education and training programs across a range of sectors;
• supporting targeted research and evidence development on prevention strategies;
• enhancing data collection and evidence gathering mechanisms.
The growth of Asian economies "is now window of opportunity now for Australia "
Canberra: Australia has reached an “absolute cross-roads” with an unprecedented opportunity to expand operations and trade in Asia.
A report into how best approach boosting economic ties with Asia has recommended a “Team Australia” approach to “diversify and grow” trade investment.
The report by the Business Council of Australia’s Asia Taskforce and the Asia Society recommended the establishment of a Asia business action group which will advise the Commonwealth government on trade and investment opportunities in the Indo-Pacific.
Asia Taskforce Chairman Mark van Dyke has told media the global coronavirus pandemic has meant there is now an “imperative” to expand Australia’s economic outlook to Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
“For Australia to grow going forward, we’ll need to look as much at external growth as domestic growth,” Mr van Dyke said.
There is a middle-class population of two billion in Asia which is expected to expand to 3.5 billion in the next ten years.
This growing population is “looking for premium goods and services” where Australia has the comparative advantage including industries like biotech, professional services, and premium foods, Mr van Dyke said.
“This is the window of opportunity now for Australia,” he said. “We have to make sure we don’t miss it because it’s a short window and it will be strongly competed for by other peer countries for whom we compete for trade in Asia.”
Laptop evidence 'strongly indicates' Joe Biden is 'compromised' on China
New York Post Columnist Miranda Devine says evidence on Hunter Biden's laptop indicates "strongly" that President Joe Biden is "compromised" through his family with President Xi Jinping.
“One night I’m sitting at home in this apartment in New York that I live in and I get a text message with some very curious photographs on it – one of them being that famous photograph I think a lot of people have seen … of Hunter Biden asleep with a crackpipe in his mouth”, she told host Cory Bernardi.
“That was the beginning. They had this enormous story six weeks before the presidential election that was going to reflect incredibly badly on one candidate being Joe Biden – because the laptop contains overwhelming evidence of the influence-peddling scheme that the Biden family was conducting for decades using Joe Biden's name.
“The reason this is so important now, not just in America but in Australia as well, is the evidence on the laptop really gives us a strong indication that China has something on Joe Biden – that Joe Biden is compromised via his family with President Xi."
PM: Australia will 'never yield its values' for a relationship with China
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has doubled down on Australia’s approach to ongoing relations with China – stressing the government will continue to work positively but will not compromise on its national interests.
Asked about the country’s relationship with China ahead of a press conference to be held by China’s ambassador this afternoon, the prime minister said “we are dealing with a lot of global instability at present and there are many relationships that are strained”.
“We want a positive relationship, but we will have a positive relationship that is consistent with Australia acting in accordance with its values and its national character,” he said.
“That will never be something we would yield for the sake of a relationship.”
NSW Premier: "NSW does not want to see any further delay and that's why we are moving forward to support the Commonwealth. "
Sydney: The NSW government will establish a “mass vaccination hub” at Homebush which will work side by side with 100 vaccination sites to deliver 60,000 vaccinations once the state has fulfilled its current requirements.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her government is already “in the process” of establishing 100 vaccination sites across the state with 80 already “up and running”.
The premier said the Homebush vaccination hub and the 100 sites will work to “support the Commonwealth” once the state has vaccinated the 300,000 people it initially agreed to do.
“We anticipate that, post-the 300,000 that we are responsible for, we will be able to do around 60,000 vaccinations a week”, she said. “Half will be done at Homebush and the other half across the other 100 sites across the state.
“This is to support the GP network and to support the Commonwealth because given where we are with the vaccine rollout, New South Wales doesn't want to see further delays and that's why we are stepping up to support the Commonwealth.”
Australia welcomes two-way Trans-Tasman travel
Canberra: Australia’s flight-path to recovery is well underway with the Australian Government welcoming the New Zealand Government's announcement that it will join the Safe Travel Zone between Australia and New Zealand.
This announcement will enable quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand on both sides of the Tasman helping to reunite families and friends and giving tourism operators a significant boost.
It follows Australia’s opening of a one-way Safe Travel Zone from New Zealand to Australia six months ago, with more than 34,000 arrivals into Australia from New Zealand during that period.
The Federal Government’s decisions to close Australia’s international border early last year, declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic before the World Health Organisation did and working with the States and Territories through the National Cabinet to suppress the virus has ensured we are the envy of the world today.
The importance of this announcement is demonstrated by the fact that the Trans-Tasman route is Australia’s busiest international aviation market with more than seven million passengers in the one year ending January 2020 before the effects of COVID-19 hit international aviation.
Throughout this pandemic, the Federal Government has supported more than 40,000 flights through various programs and initiatives.
The announcement today by the New Zealand Government will be a further boost to Australia’s aviation industry, with around 18 per cent of all international air arrivals from New Zealand annually and with visitors to Australia now having the opportunity to travel without having to quarantine at either end of their journey. In 2019, New Zealand travellers spent $1.6 billion on travel and tourism in Australia.
Malcolm Turnbull was ‘in conflict’ with NSW government policy: John Barilaro
Sydney: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has told media, Malcolm Turnbull “misrepresented his position” when he called for a moratorium on coal in the state and it was “in conflict” with government policy.
Mr Turnbull was appointed as the Chair of the Net Zero Emissions and Clean Economy Board by Minister Kean last week before the minister sensationally rescinded the offer today.
Only days after his appointment, Mr Turnbull called for a moratorium on all coal projects in NSW despite being in direct conflict with government policy.
Mr Barilaro said he put his “bias and past history on Mr Turnbull aside” and did not oppose the appointment when it was brought to Cabinet, “To be honest I have fought many Liberal fights, and I thought this is not my fight, this is a fight for the Liberal Party and I was prepared not to oppose it, so I’m just as responsible as anyone else,” he said.
“Within 48 hours of that, he came straight out opposing mining at a time where we know the mining sector and coal mining is what’s underpinning the economy. “Unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull… misrepresented his position and spoke against what is government policy.
“There will never be a moratorium on coal mining while I am there.”
PM Morison: “That is just a simple fact” 3.1 million out of 3.8 million doses did not come to Australia.
Canberra: A war of words has erupted between Australia and Europe over COVID-19 vaccines with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying millions of vaccine doses ordered by Australia simply “did not turn up”.
“3.1 million of the contracted vaccines that we had been relying upon in early January when we’d set out a series of targets did not turn up in Australia,” the PM said in a press conference in Canberra on Wednesday morning.
“That is just a simple fact. It’s straightforward maths. 3.1 million out of 3.8 million doses did not come to Australia.
“That obviously had a very significant impact on the early rollout of the vaccination program until we got into a position when the domestically produced AstraZeneca vaccine would be in place.”
Mr Morrison had sought to blame the European Commission for a shortfall in Australia of millions of vaccines as criticism mounts over the speed of the rollout at home, but denied any criticism of the European Union.
Instead, he said the European Commission had “introduced strict export controls” that meant overseas-produced doses “could not be delivered” but noted these issues had been addressed overnight.
“I am pleased to hear that the European Union overnight has indicated that they are not seeking to restrict these vaccines to Australia,” Mr Morrison said.
“So I’ll be very to write, again, in parallel, both to AstraZeneca, to seek the export licences for the full amount of the doses, the 3.8 million, to be provided to Australia.”
Back in January, the Prime Minister predicted that four million Australians would be vaccinated by the end of March, but two months later only about 855,000 people have received the jab as of April 5. - Samantha Maiden
Lynda Voltz: Passing of Tommy Raudonikis is a great loss
Sydney: The NSW sporting community is mourning the passing of rugby league legend, Tommy Raudonikis.
Member for Auburn Lynda Voltz said his passing is a great loss.
“Tommy is a local legend who brought Lidcombe Oval to life every time he led the Magpies onto the field,” Ms Voltz said.
“Not only was he one of the toughest players in rugby league, he also had a big heart."
Born in Bathurst and raised in country NSW, Tommy is regarded as one of rugby league’s toughest players. He made his name at Lidcombe Oval with 202 appearances for the Western Suburbs Magpies between 1969-1979, including captaining the team from 1971.
Tommy was the hero of a generation of Magpies fans for his toughness, tenacity and leadership, qualities which embodied the western suburbs of Sydney.
“Tommy’s passing is a great loss to rugby league and our local sporting community. Our thoughts go to Tommy’s partner Trish, his family and close friends," Ms Voltz said.