Monday, September 24, 2018

Labor targets gender pay gap

Companies with more than 1000 employees would be required to report the size of the pay gap between their male and female employees under a Labor government. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which estimates the gender pay gap at between 17.3 per cent and 22.4 per cent, would publish data on companies that fail to close the gap. The legislation proposed by Labor would also ban so-called “secrecy clauses” in employee contracts that prevent workers from comparing salaries with that of their colleagues. The policy follows a Labor pledge to boost women’s superannuation.

Federal education minister Dan Tehan has conceded state governments could torpedo the federal government’s $4.6 billion schools funding model. Tehan and New South Wales education minister Rob Stokes will meet this week after Stokes expressed reservations that the proposed funding could unfairly advantage private schools. Speaking on the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday, Stokes said Tehan “can’t just strike a special deal with certain schools and not the others”. Several state governments have strongly criticised the revamped model, which would earmark billions for Catholic and independent schools.

Lawyers representing an Aboriginal man facing deportation to Papua New Guinea have called on home affairs minister Peter Dutton to personally intervene in his case. Kamilaroi man Daniel Love, who was born in PNG and moved to Australia when he was five, has been held in a Brisbane immigration detention centre since Dutton cancelled his permanent residency visa due to his criminal record. Lawyer Rod Hodgson told NITV Love was Australian “by any commonsense measure”, and that “the standards that have been applied in terms of interventions around au pairs and so on” should prompt Dutton to reconsider his decision.

And opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has claimed victory in the Maldives presidential election, unseating autocratic president Abdulla Yameen. The election was regarded as a referendum on democracy, with human rights activists, opposition figures and journalists regularly targeted by Yameen’s government. Solih was elected leader of a coalition of opposition parties last year and represented several parties whose leaders were barred from running by the Maldives Election Commission. Speaking in Male, Solih urged Yameen “to respect the will of the people and to immediately begin the smooth transition of power”.


“Evenki reindeer herders have dwelled in China’s frigid far north for nearly two centuries. The Evenki are one of the country’s 55 officially recognised ethnic minorities and have a population of a little over 30,000, but only around 160 still tend reindeer in the quiet, beautiful forests of larch, pine, and birch in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.”


“The Philippines has continuously been among the six countries that account for 80 per cent of the deaths of human rights defenders worldwide – along with Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. In 2017, the country recorded the most number of deaths outside of the Americas. In Asia, the only ‘remotely comparable level of killings’ is in India.”


“His eyes were glazed in guilt and fearful as he shrank in his seat. He stuttered sorries as I pushed past him toward the aisle and headed to a seat near the rear. The driver’s voice crackled over the intercom asking if everything was all right. I said nothing, and for the rest of the ride watched Charles’ outline shift and turn in his seat, as I formulated violent fantasies of all the ways I could humiliate and violate him.”


“Former prime minister John Howard has called for more women to join the Liberal Party’s parliamentary ranks, while speaking at an exclusive club that doesn’t allow female members ... Launching his new book at Brisbane’s men-only Tattersall’s Club on Friday, the respected Liberal Party elder said he did not believe in quotas for female representation in parliament.”


“The permanent secretaries are discussing the possibilities of ‘positive’ discrimination of women in the workplace.”


“David Brill, an Arizona Democrat going after Republican Representative Paul Gosar’s seat, released a series of campaign ads attacking Gosar’s character, morals and politics while urging Arizona residents to vote him out. The videos star none other than six of Gosar’s siblings – David, Gaston, Grace, Jennifer, Joan and Tim – who are all endorsing their brother’s opponent.”


Win a double pass to Queensland Ballets A Midsummer Nights Dream.

The Saturday Paper invites Victorian readers to enter the draw to win one of 20 double passes to Queensland Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, on either October 4, 5 or 7.

Led by artistic director Li Cunxin, Queensland Ballet has transformed Shakespeare’s masterpiece into glorious dance. Mendelssohn’s wonderful incidental music and Liam Scarlett’s witty choreography bring this magical story of love, jealousy and mistaken identities to life.

Entries close on Friday, September 28 at 11.59pm AEST and winners will be notified by Monday, October 1.

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.