SUPERANNUATION fund HESTA has called for mandatory employer Super Guarantee (SG) contributions to be included in minimum standards for gig workers to prevent future poverty. HESTA has called for legislative changes to secure super rights for gig workers and strengthen oversight by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure proper super payments by employers. The focus is on gig work in the care economy, particularly in health and community services, where online platform employment is becoming more prevalent.
Concern over IR changes
THE proposed industrial relations (IR) changes by the Australian Federal Government could have various consequences, says Business NSW. These include a surge in grocery prices, an increase in cash-in-hand work, and higher costs for major events. Business NSW expressed concern about the reforms, stating that they will permanently alter the operations of over 840,000 businesses in the state. Key concerns for businesses are the Same Job Same Pay provisions and changes to entitlements for casual employee.
Easier management of land tax
THE NSW Government has expanded its MyServiceNSW Account platform to include the management of land tax obligations. People can now seamlessly access and manage land tax alongside other services such as driver license renewal or applying for cost-of-living support. Through the MyServiceNSW Account, users can view or manage land tax, lodge returns, request exemptions, access assessment notices, and set up payment plans. They can also opt-in for digital notifications, reducing delivery time to just 48 hours.
Sydney Water safe from sale
THE NSW Minns Government has passed the Constitutional Amendment (Sydney Water and Hunter Water) Bill 2023, protecting Sydney Water and Hunter Water from privatization. The amendment to the Constitution Act ensures that these state-owned corporations and their main undertakings remain in public ownership and cannot be sold or disposed of.
Deceased estate concerns
AN inquiry into the handling of deceased estates by six banks in Australia has uncovered poor practices and non-compliance with the Banking Code of Practice. The inquiry found instances of banks continuing to charge fees on accounts of deceased customers, failing to act within required timeframes, and lacking respect and compassion towards representatives and families of deceased customers. The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has notified three banks of investigations into their compliance with deceased estates obligations.
Inefficient health care system
THE Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has highlighted inefficiencies in the healthcare system, including non-standardized templates, unnecessary naming of specialists in referrals, and outdated data-sharing practices. The RACGP has called for improved collaboration and integration between general practices, specialists, and hospitals. They recommend ending the requirement for named referrals, implementing standardized digital systems for data sharing, and piloting data-sharing between hospitals and primary care. The RACGP emphasizes the need for streamlining processes to save time for GPs, improve patient outcomes, and reduce hospital readmissions. Standardized digital systems can enhance communication, facilitate virtual healthcare, and make the system more efficient.
Knee jerk reaction to ban
ROAD Freight NSW (RFNSW) has criticized the call to ban ‘large’ trucks from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, warning that it would have negative consequences for road safety, local supply chains, and the economy. RFNSW CEO Simon O’Hara labeled the proposal a knee-jerk reaction and emphasized the need for collaborative solutions. He expressed concerns about the impact on small trucking businesses, safety risks on suburban roads, and the potential loss of revenue for operators of major roads.