Following a policy backflip by the new Liberal Minister responsible for Coastal Shipping Darren Chester - Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has called on the Liberal member for Braddon Brett Whitely - to apologise to the 400 maritime workers who would have lost their jobs if the old, unfair plan for Coastal Shipping was put in place.
“It’s clear that the Liberal party has left Mr. Whiteley red-faced - after media reports indicate that the government has abandoned their efforts to impose unfair coastal shipping laws on the Parliament, which would have caused the loss of at least 400 local maritime jobs in Tasmania,” said Senator Lambie.
“ Mr. Whiteley and his Liberal colleagues have caused unnecessary worry and harm to those 400 maritime workers and their families – while the government pushed for unfair changes to coastal shipping - that the Liberals have now walked away from. The least Mr. Whiteley can do is to say sorry,” said Senator Lambie.
“If I had bowed to political pressure and the misinformation from Mr. Whitley - and failed to block the Liberals’ changes to our shipping laws in the Senate - a fatal blow would have been dealt to Australia’s Shipping industry while the security risk to our nation would have been significantly increased.
I’m encouraged that the regional media has reported that:
As part of the government's consultation efforts, Minister Chester's office has met with three maritime unions, plus Shipping Australia Limited, MIAL, and representatives from the manufacturing, petroleum, cruise and yacht charter industries….
… because this is exactly what I’ve done for the last 8 months – while encouraging the Liberals to do the same. Finally, the new minister has listened to my call and ignored the ignorant and dangerous advice from the likes of Mr. Whiteley.” said Senator Lambie.
The only way we can create an efficient, competitive and secure Australian Shipping Industry where Australian jobs are protected is by creating an entirely new bill built on a political and shipping industry - consensus agreement.” said Senator Lambie.
Maritime workers describe the increased security risk from Overseas Maritime workers to Senator Lambie.
New hope for Australian shipping as minister flags review
Owen Jacques | 14th May 2016 6:00 AM
THE Federal Government is signalling it may abandon reforms to Australian shipping trumpeted by former deputy prime minister Warren Truss.
His successor as infrastructure minister, Darren Chester, is reconsidering the legislation, having begun a "comprehensive review" into the current and proposed laws after taking on Mr Truss's portfolio in mid-February.
Mr Truss's reforms were rejected when they went before the Senate last year.
The changes are expected to deliver a fatal blow to Australia's shipping industry by allowing international ships crewed by foreign workers to compete against local firms.
Maritime Industry Australia Ltd chief Teresa Lloyd - whose group represents Australian ship owners - said if the reforms had passed, "I very much doubt there would have been any Australian shipping left".
Opposition infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese said any reforms involving foreign ships and crews needed to consider threats to national security.
In February, Australian Regional Media discovered that a Filipino captain wanted for questioning over two fatalities on his former vessel had been working for eight months aboard a ship operating between Gladstone and Weipa.
He was subsequently subpoenaed by Border Force officers.
A Senate inquiry into international shipping has called on the government to review "potential security risks" posed by foreign-flagged ships.
"It's one of the reasons why you would insist on it being in the national interest to have an Australian shipping industry," Mr Albanese said.
"At a time when the government seeks to prioritise national security issues, it has been oblivious to issues relating to the maritime sector."
A spokeswoman for Mr Chester said the government's approach to national transport security was "robust".
Since the bills' failure to pass, MIAL has begun working with sections of the maritime industry to carve out "middle ground" reforms.
As part of the government's consultation efforts, Minister Chester's office has met with three maritime unions, plus Shipping Australia Limited, MIAL and representatives from the manufacturing, petroleum, cruise and yacht charter industries.
It is unclear whether Minister Chester will attempt to amend the 2015 reforms or draft an entirely new bill.
Ms Lloyd said a set of changes that were "completely new and re-cast" would have the best chance of success.
"I would be very keen to hear the government has moved away from that legislation and is looking for something fresh," she said.
A spokeswoman for Minister Chester said while the government was in caretaker mode, he would consider the findings of MIAL and others.
She said the government was committed to reforming coastal shipping laws.
Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has called on the Prime Minister and Attorney General to forget political correctness - and authorise the arrest and charging of all 190 Islamic State terrorist supporters - who are being officially watched by ASIO and other government agencies.“The latest terror-linked incident in Cairns, where 5 radicalised men were finally arrested and interviewed by police - shows how weak and reckless the Liberal’s policy on terrorism really is – despite all their big talk in Canberra,” said Senator Lambie
“If the authorities have enough evidence to take away passports and / or officially watch Australians who support the Islamic State enemy, then they should not be released back into society and freely travel anywhere. Those radicalised people pose too great a threat to innocent Australians. It only takes a knife, iPhone and flag to carry out a terrorist act and broadcast it worldwide and that sort of attack requires minimal planning and can be carried out in minutes.
Therefore Prime Minister Turnbull’s catch and release policy for known Australian terrorist supporters - must stop before we have another attack and the loss of innocent lives,”said Senator Lambie.
“When I tell Tasmanians that there are at least 190 radicalised Australian citizens who are actively supporting Islamic State and still living in our communities - while being officially watched by ASIO – the average person is stunned and everyone asks the same question my Victorian senate candidate and security expert Hugh Dolan asks in his 30 sec YouTube video:
Why aren’t they arrested …. charged with serious crimes?” said Senator Lambie.
Hugh Dolan* – JLN Vic Senate Candidate and Security Expert.
“The Head of ASIO - Duncan Lewis, recently revealed during Estimates Committee, that there were 190 Australians who had provided support to Islamic State and were being officially watched and monitored.
Mr Lewis told me that - the characterisation of these people is through their activity of raising funds, recruiting, exhorting young people to join the cause and espousing the virtues of the ISIL message.
Click below to view ASIO answers to Senator Lambie’s questions
Clearly the Government has plenty of recorded hard evidence to charge these 190 people with at least Sedition or Treason - where all a Government has to prove is that a citizen has provided help in any way whatsoever to our enemy.
So why has the Turnbull Liberal government gone soft on these radicalised, Islamic terrorist supporters - and prefer to catch and release them back into our communities?” said Senator Lambie.
Liberals cover up cost of terrorist supporter surveillance
“Disappointingly the head of ASIO Mr Lewis and Attorney General Brandis refused my request in February to provide a total cost for the surveillance of 190 Australian Islamic State supporters. I’m very concerned by their attempt at cover up.
4 Important questions to answer about Terrorist supporters
Following the arrest of the Islamic Terrorist supporters in Cairns - and continuing high likelihood of a terrorist attack on Australian soil - there are a number of important questions the government must answer before the election:
- Are any of the 5 radicalized Australians recently arrested in Cairns receiving welfare payments?
- Are they part of ASIO's official watch list that were described to me during the February senate committee questioning... (see attached Hansard) or are these new terrorist supporters?
- Given that ASIO has admitted they have strong evidence of these 190 people financing, recruiting or facilitating for an enemy we are officially at war with - why haven't these traitors been arrested and charged with serious crimes like Treason and Sedition - just to name a few?
- ASIO and the Government refused to tell me how much it costs to monitor these threats to innocent Australians - when will they come clean with the Australian public?” said Senator
Hugh Dolan is the JLN senate candidate in Victoria. He served in intelligence during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was the J2 - head of intelligence within headquarters - in the ADF support to APEC in 2007 and the Papal Visit for World Youth Day in 2008.Hugh has written two books on military intelligence and presented a documentary for the ABC. He retired from the RAAF as a Squadron Leader. He is living in St Kilda, Melbourne.
Tasmanian JLN Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has vowed to use any future balance of power in the Senate to fight to keep the Aged Pension qualifying age at 65.
“Most Australians have forgotten that both the Liberal and Labor parties have agreed to increase the qualifying age for the Australian aged pension from 65 to 67 - because it’s unsustainable.
What’s unsustainable is Australia borrowing $50B over the next ten years to give away in poorly targeted foreign aid - when international reports show that more than a third of all our pensioners are living below the poverty line. A decent Aged Pension at 65 is not a privilege - it is a right,” said Senator Lambie.
"Independent Parliamentary Library research I commissioned says: currently a person must be 65 years of age or older to qualify for Age Pension. However, the qualifying age will increase to 65 years and 6 months from 1 July 2017. From 1 July 2017 to 1 July 2023, the qualifying age will increase by 6 months every 2 years until it reaches 67 on 1 July 2023," said Senator Lambie.
"My Senate teams in QLD, NSW, VIC and TAS will fight hard to keep the official Australian retirement age at 65 years. It's our official policy. If the JLN holds the balance of power in the Senate after the election, the Aged Pension payment and qualification age will be some of the most important policy issues that will be negotiated with the new Prime Minister.
The JLN will use our resources and influence to encourage Bill Shorten and Labor to change their mind on the Aged Pension. With better spending priorities - we can afford to increase the Australian Aged Pension by up to 6% and we can keep the qualification age at 65." said Senator Lambie.
Tasmanian JLN Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued a YouTube statement recorded yesterday at Tasmania’s Agfest - regarding the timing of the double dissolution election call - by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“I’ve just heard that Mr Turnbull will call an election tomorrow on Mother’s Day and if that’s the case, then I’m really disappointed.
Mother’s Day is a very special day for most Australians and doesn’t need to be spoilt. I’m going to spend Mother’s day with my family and what I want to know is why didn’t the PM call the election today – being Saturday – or on Monday?
Mother’s Day doesn’t need to be turned into Turnbull’s day. While I’m here I’d like to wish all Mums a happy Mother’s Day and I hope you get lots of pressies and heaps of hugs,” said Senator Lambie.
Tasmanian JLN independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on both political parties to commit to halve Australia’s $50B foreign aid budget over the next 10 years - and increase Australian Aged pension payments by an extra $25B.
"Did you realise that both the Liberal and Labor parties plan to borrow approximately $50B over the next decade and then give it away as foreign aid? For example Indonesia - who has a military thats about 10 times the number of serving members in Australia's Defence Forces - over the next decade, will receive between $3B and $4B in Australian foreign aid.
Now that it's time to become extra careful on how we spend our public funds - it's time we had much better spending priorities. As one Burnie pensioner said to me, "Charity begins at home. Therefore our government should halve our estimated foreign aid budget over the next 10 years and redirect that extra $25B to Australian Aged Pensioners.
This will amount to a modest increase of approx. 5.8%, but it's a start and $25B more than any other political party is advocating for the people who made our nation great. It will mean the average single Tasmanian aged pensioner who receives $873.90 per fortnight is increased by $50.69 to $924.59.
And an aged pensioner couple who receive $1317.40 per fortnight should receive an increase of 76.41 which takes their fortnightly total to $1393.81. At the beginning of this year an international OECD report (Pensions at a Glance 2015) found that more than one-third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line.
During an ANZAC visit, Tasmanian JLN independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has met sacked QNI workers in Townsville, at their food bank and donated a $500 IGA food voucher.
Click below to view 30sec YouTube - Donation to sacked QNI worker's food bank:
"Like most Australian's - I didn't properly understand the level of financial, social and metal hardship that the sacked QNI workers were forced to endure. It shocked me to find out that while waiting for their entitlements many sacked workers found it difficult to put food on the table for their families," said Senator Lambie.
"I've donated a $500 IGA gift voucher to the former QNI workers' food bank which was set up by sacked worker Jo Collocott and his friends - and I call on every federal and state politician in QLD to match my donation. The former workers still face hardship for the next month or so - until their lawful entitlements are paid," said Senator Lambie.
"The workers have told me how Pastor and Community Support Worker, Michael Stainbrook helped them from the very beginning of the crisis - and deserves to be publically recognised and congratulated for the great work he and his team carried out. If there is any food left over after the worker's entitlements are eventually paid - then it will be distributed by Pastor Michael to the needy," said Senator Lambie.
Tasmanian JLN independent Senator Jacqui Lambie will support Australian Veterans who are urging the public to wear a Gold Ribbon for a Gold Card campaign.
Senator Lambie's call comes after she attended a public rally in Victoria recently where Peace Making and Peace Keeping Veteran, Michael Quinn told the crowd that the suicide rate of Veterans would lessen if those who had served in war or war-like conditions - were automatically awarded a Gold Health Card allowing them to quickly access the best health care Australia could offer.
"Mick was right when he told me that - an automatic Gold Card would mean early intervention for Veterans who came back injured - and it would save them having to go through an adversarial system in order to access timely and proper Health Care," said Senator Lambie.
"Mick said that - we want it so they are working in the community - they don't have to separate from their work, they can get their treatment - get it early - stay working - stay putting into the system - and a Gold Card will do that," said Senator Lambie.
Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie after meeting with owner-driver truck drivers in Canberra along with other crossbench senators has helped vote to abolish the RSRT at least 6 months before PM Turnbull's promise.
"My meeting with owner-driver truck drivers out the front of Parliament house confirmed what I'd heard from Tasmanian Owner Drivers.
The Government Tribunal had failed to listen to reason and had made a decision, which unfairly targeted owner - driver truck drivers with regulations that would have dramatically increased their costs - when compared with fleet drivers.
Just like Tasmanian owner-drivers - I met people who lost 90% of their business, days after the RSRT's unfair decisions. I will not stand by and watch as a government body makes decisions - which would have destroyed the lively hoods of 35,000 Australian workers - whose jobs could have been taken by overseas workers.
Prime Minister Turnbull was caught on playing out politics with this issue when he proposed to abolish the RSRT after the election. I wasn't going to put up with that - and I'm glad that public opinion and the Truckies' own straight talk - made the government put legislation - which abolished the RSRT before the Senate late last night.
The independent cross bench Senators did the rest," said Senator Lambie.
JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie after meeting with Tasmanian owner / drivers regarding the government made Trucking Crisis has renewed her call for PM Malcolm Turnbull to immediately abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal once Parliament sits next week.
Senator Lambie made 3 - 30sec YouTube Video’s which contain messages from Tassie owner / operators, whose incomes have been reduced in a matter of days by up to 90% - following a flawed pay ruling by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).
Click Below to view Video 1- 30sec
Click Below to view Video 2-30sec
Click Below to view Video 3 –30sec
“The RSRT minimum pay ruling did not apply to the big fleet owners. So it’s clear that Tasmanian trucking owner / operators have been unfairly targeted and hit hard by the RSRT pay decision.
It gave the big boys an immediate and a huge commercial advantage over the mum and dad small trucking businesses. With the stroke of a pen - some highly paid, out of touch bureaucrats in Canberra – agreed to a plan which effectively stole the life savings and livelihoods of more than 30,000 Australians and gave it to the big fleet owners.
Under the pretext of increasing road safety – every Tasmanian owner / operator has become the victim of theft by the RSRT – who have shown callous disregard for the 99% of owner/operators who follow the road rules and run professional, safe trucking businesses.
And perversely, the RSRT ruling would have led to even more unsafe roads. The threat of dangerous and unqualified overseas truck drivers on 457 visa’s - being used to replace many of the Australian owner operators forced out of the trucking industry – is all too real.
Labor Senator Glen Sterle delivered a magnificent speech in the Senate on the 2nd March this year where he made comment on a truck accident on Sydney’s M5 involving overseas semi drivers. (see Below)
(… Scott's Transport from Mt Gambier had employed these two drivers, who were Indian. Before you all start jumping up and down, foreign workers are always welcome in this country, but they are not welcome, in my view, when they are doing Australians out of jobs by working for lower wages and lesser conditions. I have not proved that yet.
But what I have proved is that these two Indian drivers, who denied any responsibility, were not able to back up a semitrailer. On the news, they were asked by the reporter: 'Not only should you be able to back this semitrailer—I am worried about a 421⁄2-tonner on our highways mixing with school buses and other road users—do you think you should know how to uncouple the semi trailer?' The clown sits there and says, 'No, why would I have to know how to uncouple the semi trailer?'… said, Senator Sterle)
“Once again I repeat my call to all the major parties. Stop the political games. Abolish the RSRT and their silly low pay orders now – and pass legislation which guarantees that small trucking businesses are paid on time i.e. within 30 days not 120. That’s the simplest and easiest action the parliament can take to increase Australian road safety.
Message to Labor Leader Bill Shorten
While I agree with Labor leader Bill Shorten regarding his call for a Royal Commission into banks – on the trucking crisis he’s got it terribly wrong,” said Senator Lambie
“Put aside the fact that the RSRT ruling has resulted in a grand theft of life savings and livelihoods of 35,000 hardworking Australians …
… If the RSRT and its pay ruling, are not wiped out, then in the near future - we will have more Australians losing their jobs to unskilled and dangerous overseas workers who are (right now according to Bill’s own Labor Senator) - making our roads less safe,” said Senator Lambie.
Independent JLN Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie has called for a Royal Commission to closely examine the performance and practices of all the major players of Australia’s Financial and Banking sectors, including the government corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC).
“The opponents of a Royal Commission like to use the excuse that ASIC is the tough cop on the beat – and a competent enough corporate watchdog to deal with systemic corruption in the banking, insurance and finance industries.
However, after questioning ASIC officers during Senate Committee hearings - my view is that, instead of behaving like tough cops, ASIC has acted like the Keystone Cops. ASIC’s Senate Committee answers show that the government’s corporate watchdog is either dysfunctional - or covers up for the big end of town,” said Senator Lambie.
Click below to view Senator Lambie’s questioning of ASIC
“A strong worldwide case has been made that high frequency share traders (HFST) - using super computers, have an unfair technical advantage over ordinary mum and dad investors. Independent Australian studies show HFST annually skim between $3B to $4B - from mum and dad share market investors.” said Senator Lambie.
“ASIC is well briefed about the international and national financial rorting allegations made against HFST. During my Senate questioning – ASIC conceded that there are only 6 High Frequency Share Traders who account for almost 30% of Australia’s share market.
However, when I asked for ASIC to provide the names of Australia’s versions of America’s HFST or Flash Boy Traders (who account for 70% of the US Share Market) – ASIC pretended that they didn’t know those Australian companies names.
How could Australia’s so-called tough cop on the corporate beat - not know the names of the 6 Australian companies which account for almost 30% of our share trades? Is that incompetence, or a cover-up? Only a Royal Commission investigation will find out,” said Senator Lambie.
Senate Standing Committee on Economics adverse findings on ASIC
“My personal observations only reflect the damming findings of the Senate Standing Committee on Economics which noted in 2014 that case studies found in relation to ASIC:
- Has limited powers and resources but even so appears to miss or ignore clear and persistent early warning signs of corporate wrongdoing or troubling trends that pose a risk to consumers;
- Consumers have unrealistic expectations of what ASIC can do and the extent to which the regulator is able to protect their interests or investigate their complaints;
- ASIC's communication with retail investors and consumers needs to improve significantly;
- As a timid, hesitant regulator, too ready and willing to accept uncritically the assurances of a large institution that there were no grounds for ASIC's concerns or intervention. ASIC concedes that its trust in this institution was misplaced.
- As the committee gathered more and more evidence, however, lingering doubts began to grow about the robustness and fairness of the ASIC-sanctioned compensation process for CFPL clients who had suffered losses because of adviser misconduct.
- ASIC was too slow in realising the seriousness of the problems in CFPL, instead allowing itself to be lulled into complacency and placing too much trust in an institution that sought to gloss over its problems;
- ASIC did not pay sufficient attention to the whistleblowers who raised serious concerns about the conduct of Mr Nguyen and the actions of CFPL.
- Recent developments, whereby both ASIC and the CBA have corrected their testimony about the compensation process, have only deepened the committee's misgivings about the integrity and fairness of the process.
- At this stage, the committee's confidence in ASIC's ability to monitor the CBA's implementation of its new undertaking regarding the compensation process is severely undermined.
- The committee identified the need for ASIC to become a far more proactive regulator ready to act promptly but fairly. ASIC also needs to be a harsh critic of its own performance with the drive to identify and implement improvements.
- ASIC's communication with members of the community needs to improve. In particular, ASIC must be more responsive and sensitive to the concerns of retail investors and consumers.