The Aussie politics thread -

 
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

The Labor Party is advocating spending even more money on things that aren't necessary in order to stimulate the economy - Albo has been tweeting today about multi-billions for social housing repairs, stimulus packages, more money for unreliable green energy etc etc. There's already a budgetary deficit of $200 billion - where does the money come from? And a budgetary deficit is spending money when you don't even know where it's going to come from - they seriously want to double or triple that number?
But, but, we’ve brought the budget back into surplus next year.

Another gem from an LNP poly. Re fruit pickers.
Love the part, we probably can’t go down the conscription path.
https://indaily.com.au/news/2020/09/29/force-unemployed-to-pick-crops-to-get-centrelink-jobseeker-liberal-mp/

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  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Yeah he's not the sharpest tool in the shed John Alexander - what makes him think that farmers would even want people who are 'conscripted' to do that work anyway? The simplest solution is to raise the cost of those things to compensate for the fact that they have to actually pay a living wage to the people that they expect to do the fruit-picking; but they'd rather get tourists on working visas because importing people to work for less than half of minimum wage is the preferred LNP option.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Yeah he's not the sharpest tool in the shed John Alexander - what makes him think that farmers would even want people who are 'conscripted' to do that work anyway? The simplest solution is to raise the cost of those things to compensate for the fact that they have to actually pay a living wage to the people that they expect to do the fruit-picking; but they'd rather get tourists on working visas because importing people to work for less than half of minimum wage is the preferred LNP option.
don_dunstan
What’s happening Don? We’ve agreed a few times of late.
Brilliant synopsis.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Yeah he's not the sharpest tool in the shed John Alexander - what makes him think that farmers would even want people who are 'conscripted' to do that work anyway? The simplest solution is to raise the cost of those things to compensate for the fact that they have to actually pay a living wage to the people that they expect to do the fruit-picking; but they'd rather get tourists on working visas because importing people to work for less than half of minimum wage is the preferred LNP option.
don_dunstan
They had a number of fruit growers on the ABC the other day moaning they couldn't source enough slave labour to pick their fruit. My exact thought was tough, why don't you pay decent wages and attract locals. I would really like to see how much decent wages would affect the price of fruit. So an apple goes from 50 cents 65 cents. The growers, the supermarkets and the public would just have to wear it.

Trouble is the greedy supermarkets would probably start importing fruit from the USA, which is subsidised, by the low wages paid to the Mexican serfs they use to pick their fruit. Fruit is really cheap in the USA.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Interesting letter in today's Age; reads, in part:

"  . . . a young friend of mine, who was on a temporary visa, went fruit picking. He was paid the correct wage but his boss took out $327 a week for accommodation (a shared, three bedroom house with eight other people), and transport and food. At the end of the week my friend cleared $28 for his labours.
Is it any wonder that young people do not want to do the job, especially as they are often paid by the amount they pick?"
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Well I don't understand why the LNP believes in 'market solutions for everything' until you get to some of their sacred cows which just happens to include labour for fruit-picking which for some reason must always be paid well below minimum wage while the government turns a blind eye. It wasn't always that way.

I've never been fruit-picking but I know some people that did it recently and they said the conditions and wages were appalling just as you'd expect. Big companies like Costa are actually the worst offenders when you'd think it would be the opposite.

And I totally understand why lots of city people wouldn't consider it - living and working in the bush isn't everyone's cup of tea. I grew up in country VIC and I wouldn't go back to living rural under any circumstances - I love my big city conveniences and services.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Interesting letter in today's Age; reads, in part:

"  . . . a young friend of mine, who was on a temporary visa, went fruit picking. He was paid the correct wage but his boss took out $327 a week for accommodation (a shared, three bedroom house with eight other people), and transport and food. At the end of the week my friend cleared $28 for his labours.
Is it any wonder that young people do not want to do the job, especially as they are often paid by the amount they pick?"
Valvegear
Somebody is making a financial killing.
Three bedder in the sticks, $500pw? and shared with 8 others, bet they weren’t fed fillet steak and smoked salmon either.
Never has take this job and shove it, been more appropriate.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Yeah he's not the sharpest tool in the shed John Alexander - what makes him think that farmers would even want people who are 'conscripted' to do that work anyway? The simplest solution is to raise the cost of those things to compensate for the fact that they have to actually pay a living wage to the people that they expect to do the fruit-picking; but they'd rather get tourists on working visas because importing people to work for less than half of minimum wage is the preferred LNP option.
What’s happening Don? We’ve agreed a few times of late.
Brilliant synopsis.
michaelgm
I'm starting to worry as well.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Interesting letter in today's Age; reads, in part:

"  . . . a young friend of mine, who was on a temporary visa, went fruit picking. He was paid the correct wage but his boss took out $327 a week for accommodation (a shared, three bedroom house with eight other people), and transport and food. At the end of the week my friend cleared $28 for his labours.
Is it any wonder that young people do not want to do the job, especially as they are often paid by the amount they pick?"
Valvegear
I've heard similar to this, and Labor Hire companies that basically stink. Local  kids have gone north, come home and say never again.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
There's a number of serious problems about to emerge as all the generous welfare that was thrown at the public in March begins to wind down: Treasury forecasts show that they expect about 600,000 to be added to the total number of unemployed people as Jobkeeper is progressively wound up between today and the end of March. With 2.2 million people presently receiving some form of Jobkeeper subsidy, Treasury expects that about a third of these people will find out that they don't have a real job to go back to as the money runs out (News.com.au)

In relation to small business, ABS has said that its also expecting about one in ten will fold between now and the end of the Jobkeeper scheme; however a survey conducted by Digital Finance Analytics has painted a much worse picture with claims that their surveys show about a quarter of all Australian small businesses expected to be insolvent or closed by the end of March.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Here's an interesting story from a cherry producer in NSW about how he can't attract workers to his farm to pick cherries: SBS -

With the cherry season due to begin soon in New South Wales, growers are desperate for workers. The short and intense season aligns with the end of school for many, prompting recruiters to launch a campaign to attract Year 12s to take up the work.

The cold, wet weather is a sign of a promising harvest, and after years of drought, Mr Eastlake tells SBS News his thousands of blossoming cherry trees are looking the best they have in a long time.

"We've got lovely green hills and the cherry trees are in full bloom. It really is a winter, and now coming into a spring, that we just haven't seen in a very long time."

Mr Eastlake, a first-generation cherry grower who is also the president of Cherry Growers Australia, says producers across the region are expecting an excellent season...

...With schoolies cancelled this year and gap year travel looking unlikely, the industry is now calling on school leavers to sign up for fruit picking.

Commonwealth recruiting agency CozWine's national manager Ed Milne says it's a fun alternative in a year that's otherwise been pretty tough.

"This is an opportunity for people to still celebrate what is a milestone event, which is the completion of Year 12, it's just a different method of celebration," he says. A lack of COVID-safe accommodation has been one of the biggest barriers to enticing new workers, but CozWine is offering an all-inclusive experience - including accommodation and food - to entice young people out to the country.


They're offering COVID-safe campsites equipped with amenities and Wi-Fi for anyone wanting to sign up to the harvest, along with meals, a mess hall, and a stage for musicians to perform.

Workers will be charged for the accommodation at a rate of $75 per day, but CozWine says it hopes to get the NSW Government on board to subsidise the cost.

$75 a day for a camp-site? That's $525 a week in accommodation expenses before you've paid for petrol and food and before you've even picked a cherry. You could easily end up in debt because of this experience if you're not fast enough on the trees - and this is a Commonwealth-government funded agency telling people how great that deal is when clearly it's not. No wonder they can't get workers, I could stay in a decent hotel in a metro CBD for less money than that.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Here's an interesting story from a cherry producer in NSW about how he can't attract workers to his farm to pick cherries: SBS -

With the cherry season due to begin soon in New South Wales, growers are desperate for workers. The short and intense season aligns with the end of school for many, prompting recruiters to launch a campaign to attract Year 12s to take up the work.

The cold, wet weather is a sign of a promising harvest, and after years of drought, Mr Eastlake tells SBS News his thousands of blossoming cherry trees are looking the best they have in a long time.

"We've got lovely green hills and the cherry trees are in full bloom. It really is a winter, and now coming into a spring, that we just haven't seen in a very long time."

Mr Eastlake, a first-generation cherry grower who is also the president of Cherry Growers Australia, says producers across the region are expecting an excellent season...

...With schoolies cancelled this year and gap year travel looking unlikely, the industry is now calling on school leavers to sign up for fruit picking.

Commonwealth recruiting agency CozWine's national manager Ed Milne says it's a fun alternative in a year that's otherwise been pretty tough.

"This is an opportunity for people to still celebrate what is a milestone event, which is the completion of Year 12, it's just a different method of celebration," he says. A lack of COVID-safe accommodation has been one of the biggest barriers to enticing new workers, but CozWine is offering an all-inclusive experience - including accommodation and food - to entice young people out to the country.


They're offering COVID-safe campsites equipped with amenities and Wi-Fi for anyone wanting to sign up to the harvest, along with meals, a mess hall, and a stage for musicians to perform.

Workers will be charged for the accommodation at a rate of $75 per day, but CozWine says it hopes to get the NSW Government on board to subsidise the cost.

$75 a day for a camp-site? That's $525 a week in accommodation expenses before you've paid for petrol and food and before you've even picked a cherry. You could easily end up in debt because of this experience if you're not fast enough on the trees - and this is a Commonwealth-government funded agency telling people how great that deal is when clearly it's not. No wonder they can't get workers, I could stay in a decent hotel in a metro CBD for less money than that.
don_dunstan
Careful, Don.
You’re exposing their business model.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
For $525 a week you could rent a pretty decent flat in Melbourne and feed yourself.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Majority ceiling height at my place is 2700, two rooms are 3500. Had a tradie here a while back, upon seeing the roof height and I quote, do you know how many bunks you could put here?
And this is Sydney metro.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
wobert
It must be a really nice unit for that price, those regional towns are usually a lot cheaper than that - especially for units.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
For $525 a week you could rent a pretty decent flat in Melbourne and feed yourself.
Valvegear
You could certainly rent a pretty good apartment for that kind of money - also CoreLogic says rents have fallen by 5% for apartments in Melbourne in the last six months so it's a renters market at the moment.

The prices that were quoted in that story were just for camp-site too remember so I'm guessing you'd have to supply your own tent.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Majority ceiling height at my place is 2700, two rooms are 3500. Had a tradie here a while back, upon seeing the roof height and I quote, do you know how many bunks you could put here?
And this is Sydney metro.
michaelgm
He's probably seen heaps of apartments and houses set up in that fashion and reaping $1,500 - $2,000 a week for their owners. That business model doesn't work quite so well here in Adelaide but we did once have someone comment that our (rather huge) shed would make a great 'apartment' even though it would be pretty drafty and cold in the winter and stonking hot in the summer...
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
It must be a really nice unit for that price, those regional towns are usually a lot cheaper than that - especially for units.
She'd been in a house in Melbourne  with 3 others, $150 each. 3 or 4 bedroom not sure. So she thought the Swan Hill job was pretty good.Not that old and getting a makeover.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
It must be a really nice unit for that price, those regional towns are usually a lot cheaper than that - especially for units.
She'd been in a house in Melbourne  with 3 others, $150 each. 3 or 4 bedroom not sure. So she thought the Swan Hill job was pretty good.Not that old and getting a makeover.
wobert
That was at Greensborough/Bundoora, so a long way out.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
It must be a really nice unit for that price, those regional towns are usually a lot cheaper than that - especially for units.
She'd been in a house in Melbourne  with 3 others, $150 each. 3 or 4 bedroom not sure. So she thought the Swan Hill job was pretty good.Not that old and getting a makeover.
wobert
Friend of mine's son rents a flat in Horsham for $150 p/w. Admittedly not a very flash one but rents in those towns are very affordable - a reflection of the fact that not many people want to live there and/or the availability of jobs.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Daughter just rented a two bedroom unit in Swanhill for $280
It must be a really nice unit for that price, those regional towns are usually a lot cheaper than that - especially for units.
She'd been in a house in Melbourne  with 3 others, $150 each. 3 or 4 bedroom not sure. So she thought the Swan Hill job was pretty good.Not that old and getting a makeover.
Friend of mine's son rents a flat in Horsham for $150 p/w. Admittedly not a very flash one but rents in those towns are very affordable - a reflection of the fact that not many people want to live there and/or the availability of jobs.
don_dunstan
Friend of mine lives in my area, ((Greater Parramatta?)
Renting for for 6-7 years. Pre COVID was given notice to vacate, as owner was intending to demolish existing house and erect duplex.
Post COVID, was requested to stay on and was given $100pw rent reduction without even asking. Rent was IIRC $650. And she’s still there.
Can only suggest the owner contracted financial cold feet, funding or ability to service loan.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Interesting commentary around the budget and financial position. Some being prior to the budget.
Morrison has been keen to refer to the COVID recession and others have described the Morrison recession.
Clearly scumo does not like this.
News flash sport, you’re in the corner office with the big chair.
Certainly the pandemic has had an effect, but only on the depth, recession was happening anyway.
Not the recession we had to have, but the recession sponsored and bought to you by the LNP.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Labor Party is advocating spending even more money on things that aren't necessary in order to stimulate the economy - Albo has been tweeting today about multi-billions for social housing repairs, stimulus packages, more money for unreliable green energy etc etc. There's already a budgetary deficit of $200 billion - where does the money come from? And a budgetary deficit is spending money when you don't even know where it's going to come from - they seriously want to double or triple that number?
don_dunstan
Stimulus packages used to fund social welfare schemes, best way possible to pi$$ many billions up against the wall and have nothing to show for it a few years later.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yeah he's not the sharpest tool in the shed John Alexander - what makes him think that farmers would even want people who are 'conscripted' to do that work anyway? The simplest solution is to raise the cost of those things to compensate for the fact that they have to actually pay a living wage to the people that they expect to do the fruit-picking; but they'd rather get tourists on working visas because importing people to work for less than half of minimum wage is the preferred LNP option.
They had a number of fruit growers on the ABC the other day moaning they couldn't source enough slave labour to pick their fruit. My exact thought was tough, why don't you pay decent wages and attract locals. I would really like to see how much decent wages would affect the price of fruit. So an apple goes from 50 cents 65 cents. The growers, the supermarkets and the public would just have to wear it.

Trouble is the greedy supermarkets would probably start importing fruit from the USA, which is subsidised, by the low wages paid to the Mexican serfs they use to pick their fruit. Fruit is really cheap in the USA.
nswtrains

There are a few issues here

Higher wages = higher fruit costs = another reason to import and Australian's have by and large proven over and over again we have very little loyalty to Australian made when price is a factor. Don't be too disheartened, at least Australian and NZ made logo's are proudly displayed in Dubai Supermarkets and usually sell well as considered clean and safe.

Australia's Mexicans are backpackers.

Next issue, having just read a story about the BS some farmers inflict on their fruit picking staff including
- Sexual harassment including openly touching female pickers
- Physical assault including light whipping and smacking to give people to work faster and in one case a female farmer had to be physically separated from a picker to prevent him hitting her back.
- excessive living costs
- poor sleeping/living conditions
- fines for so called damage
- Even if fired or you resign, you still pay for accomdatation as most don't have own transport and cannot simply leave until the rest do.
- unrealistic rules of conduct and control of pickers in their own time
- despite being paid by the fruit picked which is a realistic expectation for the task, (hourly rates simply do not work for this type of work and industry), issues with farms having low yeilds which means more walking to gather less fruit and still being harassed by famers to work faster

However I did read of some pickers saying some farms and farmers who do look after their pickers and treat them with respect, pay award rates and provide reasonable and affordable accomdatation.


I'm thinking the solution here is obvious, an app for pickers to rate their employers, if it doesn't already exist. So those going into the industry for work can check on a farm (most farms have a name) for employment conditions. This would force some farmers to change through lack of workers or good workers.

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