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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: You said earlier, Ms Paul, I think it was on 25 November, that it was determined that the planned advertising campaign complied with guidelines. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising state that they should be 'instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need…' Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for the advertising campaign?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency)

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you, Professor Saunders. I noted you said that the staff numbers are currently 56, down 10. What were the staff numbers when TEQSA started?

Prof. Saunders : We had a staff level of about 100—not when we started, but we built up to staff level of about 100.

Senator RHIANNON: In what year, please?

Prof. Saunders : We started in 2012, so it would have been sometime during 2012 that those numbers built up.

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: This morning when we were trying to explore some of the advertising issues, I asked some questions that I would like to return to. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising states, 'Any campaign must be instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need.' It is a quote you would obviously know well. Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for this advertising campaign?

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Greens will block any moves on minimum wage, penalty rates

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt says the business and government push on minimum wages and penalty rates is likely to fail in the Senate after the next election.

Responding to reports of a renewed IR push by business leader, Mr Bandt, the Greens spokesperson on industrial relations, said the Greens would block any moves to cut minimum wages or penalty rates before or after the next election.

"The minimum wage should be increased not cut," Mr Bandt said.

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Minimum wage and penalty rates under threat– Greens

Greens Leader Christine Milne says the minimum wage and penalty rates are under threat in Australia.

"It is absolutely clear that regardless of the findings of the Productivity Commission, the Coalition is intent on making life harder for Australian workers," Senator Milne said.

"This is a recipe for growing inequality and is deliberate. It is in the DNA of the Coalition and their backers like Gina Rinehart to reduce the minimum wage and increase the gap between rich and poor.

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Qantas and Liberals Dud Tasmanian Jobseekers

Greens Deputy Leader and Workplace Relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, and Transport spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, have condemned Qantas and the Liberals for betraying Tasmanian jobseekers.

"Qantas and the Liberals have betrayed jobseekers in Tasmania," said Mr Bandt. "When it was closing its Brisbane and Melbourne call centres, Qantas sought to reassure the public that it would not send its mainland jobs offshore.

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China’s move away from dirty coal: pressure on for Hunter transition plan

Unless Labor and the Coalition stop canoodling up to coal barons and start pulling together a transition plan, the Hunter Valley community will be facing further job losses, said Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon.

“China’s announcement that it will move away from dirty coal is excellent for the environment and people’s health; however, the impact on the Hunter must be taken very seriously,”  said Senator Rhiannon.

“Australia must plan and participate in China’s move away from dirty coal and towards renewables.

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Motion: Creation of a national portable workplace entitlement scheme

Lee moves that the Education and Employment References Committee investigate the creation of a nationwide portable workplace entitlement scheme for long service leave and any other workplace entitlements. 

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:38): I, and also on behalf of Senator Madigan, move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 24 November 2014:

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Tony Abbott Undercutting Local Workers Across Country: Bandt

Responding to reports that the Government intends to allow employers to pay skilled migrants less than local workers, Deputy Greens Leader and Workplace Relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, said that Tony Abbott is undercutting local workers.

“That stench coming from Canberra is Work Choices rising from the dead,” said Mr Bandt.

“First the Government cuts part of Australia out of the mainland migration zone and now they’re excising parts of the country from our labour laws.

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