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Statement by Senator: BlueScope Steelworks

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:04): The call 'Save our steelworks' is resonating around the Illawarra and today 'Save our steelworks' resonates in this parliament. Members of the South Coast Labour Council, the Illawarra branch of the Australian Workers Union and other unionists have travelled to Canberra to speak to MPs about the future of the Illawarra and the future of the steel industry. Action is needed by the New South Wales and federal governments. Steelmaking is vital for the Illawarra and critical to the economy of the whole country.

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Motion: Hutchison Employees Terminated via Text

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (15:56): I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes the termination by Hutchison Ports Australia of 97 of its employees by notice given in text messages and emails sent late at night on Thursday, 6 August 2015;

(b) affirms that the method of giving notice of termination of its employees by Hutchison Ports Australia was callous and disrespectful to its employees, and has no place in any workplace; and

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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?

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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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Our Plan for Jobs

The Greens have launched our jobs plans for Western Sydney and the Hunter.

Our plans would create tens of thousands of jobs, encourage sustainable growth and maintain the diversity of the economy.

The Abbott government is cutting vital public services and putting road blocks in the way of a new era of local manufacturing.

In contrast, the Greens would deliver revenue and jobs for communities in transport, construction, manufacturing, health, and education.

Click the link below to download our plan for Western Sydney.

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