Worker exploitation: Victorian body to crack down on abuse of employees

Rogue operators to be liable for civil and criminal penalties under licensing scheme to protect labour hire workers

An independent licensing authority will be established in Victoria to crack down on widespread abuse and exploitation of workers across the state.

Laws introduced to the state’s parliament on Wednesday will introduce a universal licensing scheme to protect labour hire workers. To obtain a licence, providers will be required to pass “a fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards. A list of licensed providers will be published on a publicly accessible register.

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Barnaby Joyce says New Zealand should ‘back off’ on offer to resettle refugees

Deputy PM says Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to resettle up to 150 refugees from Manus Island could jeopardise the countries’ relationship

Recently renounced New Zealand citizen Barnaby Joyce has said his former homeland should back off on its offer to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime.

In an interview with Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, the recently-reinstalled deputy prime minister of Australia issued a veiled threat to the NZ prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that her commitment to the offer could jeopardise the two countries’ relationship.

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Northern Territory to decide about fracking ban only after inquiry’s final report

Draft report from hydraulic fracking inquiry has found the practice can be safe if risks are better mitigated

The Northern Territory government will wait until next year to make a decision on lifting its moratorium on fracking, despite federal calls for it to “get on with the job” after a long-running inquiry found it could be safe if risks were better mitigated.

The inquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the NT released its draft final report on Tuesday with 120 recommendations, which it said must be implemented in full to “reduce the risk to an acceptable level”.

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Jennifer Lawrence to star in film adaptation of Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites

Film will be directed by Luca Guadagnino, whose latest, Call Me By Your Name, has been nominated for three Golden Globes

The Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence will reportedly star in and produce the upcoming film adaptation of the Australian author Hannah Kent’s award-winning 2013 novel, Burial Rites.

Kent’s novel is based on the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1830. A farm worker, Magnúsdóttir was sentenced to death for her part in the murder of two men and, due to the structure of the Icelandic legal system, spent her last days at an isolated farmhouse with a family of upstanding citizens watching over her. Kent’s novel reimagines the story of these final months before Magnúsdóttir’s execution.

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Shark nets create false sense of safety and should be phased out, inquiry finds

Upper house committee says nets damage other marine wildlife and recommends replacement of lethal drum lines

Shark nets in place across Australia to protect beachgoers should be phased out as they cause more harm than good, a Senate inquiry has found.

An upper house committee examined shark mitigation and deterrent measures in Australia, and specifically the use of mesh nets in New South Wales and Queensland.

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After Dastyari’s downfall we must question the hold of big money on any political party | Jeff Sparrow

Irrespective of a donor’s nationality, what are the effects of politicians hobnobbing with billionaires on the democratic process?

We need to be very careful about the political narrative emerging to explain Sam Dastyari’s downfall.

In Fairfax, Mark Kenny argues that, by resigning over his connections with billionaire Huang Xiangmo, Dastyari “reinforced to Beijing, and to its wealthy business and political surrogates here, that Australia will safeguard its sovereignty as jealously as does China”.

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