Election 2016: Labor pays penalty for dodgy rate position

21-08-2018 by admin

Putting on a brave face: under pressure Opposition Leader Bill Shorten meets with Nino, during a street walk with ALP candidate for Corangamite, Libby Coker in Geelong on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen ​Latest from Federal Election 2016Negative gearing politics invades the football groundUnions turn on Shorten over penalties 

What’s the penalty rate for political dissembling during an election campaign? Bill Shorten and his industrial relations spokesman, Brendan O’Connor may be about to pay it. An each-way bet on weekend penalty rates could invite fire from each way as well.

The workers’ party has refused to offer an iron-clad guarantee that weekend penalty rates would not be cut under a Shorten government. This, despite Labor’s decision to campaign on the issue as a key policy difference.

Labor’s position may be procedurally sound but so what? This is an election campaign where binary choices rule the roost and where nuance bespeaks weakness feeling more like political shiftiness than serious intent.

Labor’s policy suffers this from very affliction. Its headline statement communicates conviction via implacable opposition to reducing the Sunday rate to equal Saturday, but the fine print carries the caveat that the Fair Work Commission could so order them cut, without any legislative response even if Labor were elected.

The FWC may well consign the more generous Sunday rate for hospitality and retail to the dustbin. Some weeks back, Shorten had raised eyebrows when he said Labor believed weekend penalties should stay, but also conceded that Labor would respect the umpire’s decision. In truth, Labor believes the tribunal will retain the Sunday rate because it is required to consider such things as the unsociability of some hours.

Labor set up the FWC so can hardly propose to flatly disrespect it. It is also relevant that Labor made a submission to the wage case in question, arguing forcefully for the retention of the Sunday rate in the interests of countless Sunday employees who rely on the extra bread from waiting tables to put bread on their own tables.

The government’s argument, and that of employers, is that lower Sunday rates would see many more jobs created as businesses choose to trade and expand into an under-tapped Sunday market.

The FWC is weighing these respective claims and might just be persuaded by the employers’ case.

Politically, Labor’s problem is that it is not clear which it would protect first in the event of its submission being rejected: disadvantaged workers handed a pay cut (certainly a rarity), or the industrial umpire – or put more bluntly, its constituents or the system.

Speaking after O’Connor stumbled through an interview with Melbourne radio’s Neil Mitchell managing only to make Labor’s position more confusing, Shorten attempted to clarify.

His answer is to say that if Labor formed a government after July 2, it would use that added authority to petition the FWC to retain Sunday penalties.

Unions are unconvinced and so too, no doubt, are Sunday employees.

For the Greens party, nipping at Labor’s left flank, this is manna from heaven. Which is why it has promised to legislate to retain higher Sunday pay.

For Shorten, that’s a penalty rate to be paid in votes.

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Chambers dominates Sharks

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TOWERING: Old Collegians’ full forward Chris Chambers booted a personal best 16 goals as the Warriors thumped Deakin University on Saturday. Picture: Rob GunstoneSOMETHING about playing against Deakin University brings out the best in Chris Chambers.

The Old Collegians’ full forward booted a remarkable 16 goals against the Sharks on Saturday in his side’s 31.20 (206) to 8.6 (54) win.

It’s not the first time he’s wreaked havoc on Deakin University’s back line, having kicked 10 goals against them in a match last year.

But on the “bowling green” surface at D.C. Farran Oval on Saturday, everything clickedfor the 30-year-old.

“I started off pretty well and kicked a couple early,” Chambers said.

“I knew I was in for a decent day. Once you start to get a few, your teammates start to look for you more.”

Chambers had six majors to his name by the first break and 10 to half-time.

He added another six in the second half as more of his teammates chimed in on the scoreboard.

The 152-point win was the Warriors’ biggest for the year to date and the ideal note to head into the bye on.

They are undefeated, sitting second on the ladder behind Kolora-Noorat, but are widely considered the competition’s benchmarkwith wins over Merrivale, Dennington and Nirranda.

Chambers said Old Collegians had beentackling the season in blocks of six weeks.

“We had a meeting before round one and had another chat …after round six,” he said.

“We’re a bit ahead of where we thought we’d be.

“We just wanted to finish top three, but after the start we’ve had, I think we should be aiming for top spot.”

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$80m roads backlog for region

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ORANA region councils are facing a more than $80 million road infrastructure backlog, according to a National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) report.

The Funding Local Roads report, which has been released as part of the NRMA’s federal election platform, analysed the backlog of works reported by local councils in their 2014-25 annual reports.

The newly-amalgamated Dubbo and Wellington councils faced a combined backlog of almost $6.7 million in their 2014-15 financial assessments, while the stand-alone Narromine Shire Council had more than $5.1 million in local road maintenance work on its books.

Mid-Western Regional Council boasted the largest backlog, with more than $31 million on its books, followed by Cobar with a backlog of $17.5 million.

It’s a trend that is repeated across the state’s west, with the NRMA reporting 63 councils in western NSW have a combined backlog of almost $300 million in funding in order to get local roads up to standard.

The analysis of data reported by 63 Western NSW councils found that the great majority carried a seven figure road repair backlog.

Several were well into eight figures: Mid-West ($31.4m); Wentworth ($29.6m) and Wagga Wagga ($28.7m). These councils formed part of the 2014/15 state-wide backlog of $1.7 billion.

While the backlog of funding for western NSW councils has reportedly fallen $262 million since the analysis was last conducted in 2013-14 ($560m), it remained high.

The economic cost of not maintaining the roads is much higher, with the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) estimating the average annual cost of road crashes in regional NSW at more than $1.94 billion between 2008 and 2014.

NRMA deputy president Fiona Simson said the burden on regional councils – many of them with small populations – was unsustainable.

“Most of the 146,000km of council-controlled roads in NSW run through the west of the state, so an enormous proportion of the backlog falls on those of us who live west of the Great Dividing Range,” Ms Simson said.

“In the west, there are seldom transport alternatives to roads. Regional councils have done all they can to reduce this backlog, but without recourse to increased funding from the federal and state governments the road toll will continue to be felt painfully in local communities.”

Central west councils are also in strife, with the region’s councils facing a $56.5 million backlog in 2014-15, including a $15,218,000 backlog on the books of Bathurst Regional Council.

Orange City Council had more than $2.6 million in road infrastructure backlog, while Blayney Shire and Cabonne councils, the two councils being considered for amalgamation with Orange, have $6.7 million and $5.6 million backlogs.

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Junior soccer reports from May 14

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George Johnston pictured in possession during junior soccer at the weekend.Junior soccer reports

Under 7s


FC: Congratulations to the whole team for playing with such a good sporting spirit.

Everyone contributed with connecting passes to team mates and some near misses in goal.

Each defender had to play their best with Michael Hayes being player of the week.

ROAR: Great game played by Roar; terrific defence by Samuel and Macy in goals.

Xavier scored a brilliant goal. Samuel Dawson Was player of the week and Macy got the encouragement award.


VICTORY: Great team work this week, and great kicks from Brianna.

MARINERS: Congratulations on the first win of the season with Jake scoring twice and Hugh once.

Under 8s


VICTORY: Lucy Tydd was player of the week.

WANDERERS: Good game by all.

Jay Simpson scored twice and was player of the week; Toby Croker got the pizza award.


FC: Great game! Charlotte was the player of the week.

ROAR: Connor, Darius and Imogen all scored goals.

Under 10s


Results not known at the time of printing


Lucas M, Jacob and Tom S scored for FC.

Peter and Jonty responded for Wanderers.


RAY WHITE: Player of the Week was Brody;

ROAR: Another great effort by Roar, unlucky not to score but they did well keeping Ray White to two goals.

Starting to play more as a team with more passing by everyone.

Jacob had a strong first half in goals with Isabell following in the second half showing no fear.

Player of the week was Nellie Grant for a consistent defensive effort. Scout Stacy also put in a great individual effort, well done Roar.


MR EMBROIDERY: A tough game against the Mariners with goals scored by Jacob and Montana.

The Mariners were too good this week but Mr Embroidery are getting better every week, so it will be a good season ahead.

Abbey was player of the week due to her good sportsmanship.

MARINERS: A fiercely contested game today; both sides worked hard for the goals earned.

Congratulations to A-Jai who scored three goals and Braydon and Amy got one each.

Under 12s


Goals to Connor and Jordan for Roar, and Mitchell for Jamiesons.


FC: Goals scored by Clayton and Mary.

VICTORY: FC’s best game so far with plenty of well directed passing, sterling work from the back three and some magnificent goals from Hollie, Raygen, Amber and Mac.

Ethan and Damon were rock solid in defence as was Harman in goal.

Ryan and Jack were busy whilst Harry and Bailey threatened all day.

Holly was player of the week.


Gary scored for Mariners whilst Service Club kicked on with Natalie, Sammy and William.

Under 14s

FC vs ROAR 10-2

FC: An encouraging team effort with improved passing right across the field.

Thanks to Clayton and Bailey for filling in. Player of the week was Sarah Wood.

TOYOTA: Good effort by all players who should be proud of their effort and improvement.

Player of the week was Maisie.


FS PHYSIO: Great game by the whole team.

Every player contributed in attack and defence; ball control was our biggest asset.

Tyler was player of the week.



TYRES: Goals scored by Matt and Will.

WANDERERS: Good teamwork all round.

Tim was great in the first half again; thanks to Claire and Elih for helping us out – awesome.

FC vs ROAR 0-4

ROAR: Well player Roar; defended well, mids kept it alive and some great goals from the forwards.

Thanks FC for a good game.

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Cahill bolsters season’s wins at Parkes

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Mathew Cahill registered two wins at Parkes on Sunday.Mathew Cahill added two wins to his season’s tally of 64 at Parkes on Sunday, lifting him to 13th on the New South Wales jockey’s premiership ladder.

The Cowra hoop rode Campfire ($3.50) to his fourth career win before combining with Canberra-based horse Layo Layo ($3.80) for victory in the Class 2 Plate.

The former, trained by Cahill’s sister Kathryn, outclassed his field in the Benchmark 60 handicap ousting race favourite Hair Of The Dog ($3.20) during the final 400m to win by half a length.

It was the four-year-old’s fourth start this campaign following a previous first and seventh in Orange and a second in Mudgee.

The son of Zizou has four wins from 16 races.

Layo Layo managed to hold off fast-finishing outsider Moon Phase ($71) for Cahill’s second win.

Moon Phase took huge strides through the field during the final stages of the 1200m journey but was beat at the line by Layo Layo who is trained in the nation’s capital by Darryl Rolfe.

It was the five-year-old mare’s third career win and her first of a three start preparation.

Cowra trainer Ken Parsons also scored a win with Heza Thief ($3.80) saluting in the Parkes Services Club Satellite Handicap.

Heza Thief, under Wagga jockey Brad Clark, stormed home to edge out Infinite Bliss ($11) with a desperate lunge at the line.

It was the four-year-old gelding’s fifth career win and his first appearance after being freshened for four weeks.

The day’s feature race, the Parkes Services Club Parkes Cup, was won by Itchyzariz for trainer Matthew Dale and jockey Kayla Nisbet.

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