The veteran Liberal senator has been accused of subjecting three Senate inquiry witnesses to ‘race-baiting McCarthyism’Eric Abetz refuses to apologise for demanding Chinese-Australians denounce Communist party | Australia news | The Guardian
Tasmanian antiques dealer John Hawkins, said the election of Senator Abetz in 1994, 1998 and 2004 could only have been challenged in a 40-day window after each election. His election in the 2010 election could not be challenged because by the time Senator Abetz nominated for the 21 August 2010 election he was not a dual citizen.
Nothing annoys me more than people who have enjoyed the benefits of this great country seeking to deny them to others. Take Eric Abetz – please. Eric migrated from Germany with his parents and five siblings in the early 1960s. Despite his great uncle Otto having been a Nazi who was sentenced to 20 years…
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has given heterosexual Australians all over the country the courage to tell their friends and family that they are straight.
In an emotional speech yesterday, Mr Abetz said coming out as straight was not celebrated or respected enough in this country. His words gave courage to those who for years have lived in fear and secrecy.
Tom Graham from Sydney’s North Ryde said it was a life-changing moment. “I went round to Mum’s and Dad’s last night and I just sat them down and said there was something I needed to discuss with them. And then I just said it – ‘I’m straight’. To their credit they were just so supportive. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders”.
Kelly McMahon said she too had been living a double life. “The social expectation to be homosexual in this country can be tough for someone who’s attracted to the opposite sex. But when a social leader in a powerful role like Eric Abetz says it’s ok to come out as straight, it’s really empowering”. She said she would no longer hide her heterosexuality from her workmates.
Saturday 20 August 2016 There are no two better politicians at feigning indignation than Peter Dutton and “the mouth that roared” Christopher Pyne. Though it has to be conceded with Christopher that he rather enjoys his notoriety. Even being called the most hated politician in Australia seems to give him some sordid sense of self-satisfaction. Unfortunately…
For a great many Australians, Tony Abbott didn’t have to go halfway around the world to persuade them his party got it right dumping him. But he did. In a fulsome and spectacular fashion.
A key plank of the Abbott government’s employment strategy is on the cusp of failure, with just over 500 job seekers so far joining a scheme meant to benefit 32,000.
The $10,000 Restart incentive was unveiled in Treasurer Joe Hockey’s May 2014 budget, the latest bid to tackle a policy area that has long vexed both sides of politics: how to encourage employers to hire mature-age Australians.
Moments after the budget was handed down, Employment Minister Eric Abetz said Restart “more than delivers on the government’s 2013 election policy commitment to lift workforce participation and improve quality of lifeE
It was projected to help up to 32,000 people annually.
However, Senate documents show employers have hired only 510 job seekers through the scheme in the five months since its July introduction.
There are nearly 175,000 Australians over 50 looking for work through Job Services Australia.
The documents warn it is difficult to predict the take-up rate for the $10,000 incentive but it was “likely” demand would grow. If it does not, it’s possible the program could fall 95 per cent short of the government’s target.
Job seekers aged 50 or over who have been receiving income support for at least six months are eligible. Employers who hire them receive up to $10,000 depending on whether milestones are met.
The government has budgeted $524.8 million to fund the project over four years.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Senator Abetz point to the scheme as an important component of the government’s so-called Economic Action Strategy.
“As our population ages it’s more important than ever that we try to ensure older people are contributors economically as well as simply culturally and that’s what will happen under an incoming Coalition government,” Mr Abbott said during the 2013 election campaign.
Senator Abetz on Thursday said the government “expects that take-up will increase as employers become aware of the programme”.
“As it stands, there are more than 600 mature-aged workers in jobs today that weren’t as a result of this programme,” he said, suggesting the total number has grown slightly since the 510 figure was reported in the Senate documents.
“The government is focused on building a stronger and more prosperous economy which will see more employment opportunities as employers gain confidence.”
Luring more mature-age Australians into the workforce is a potential boon for the economy but finding the right policy settings to make it happen has vexed both sides of politics for many years.
Under questioning at Parliament House earlier this year, Department of Employment deputy secretary Martin Hehir said programs targeting mature-age workers had proven to be “quite intractable”.
Just 230 employers took advantage of a $1000 annual subsidy under the two-year life of the Gillard/Rudd government’s Jobs Bonus scheme. That program was also meant to benefit up to 10,000 employers.
“So in one sense we know what has not worked in the past, and it has been quite an intractable area,” Mr Hehir said.
“So while the days are very early and the numbers are probably still low to begin with, you would probably have to say that it [Restart] is making faster progress than the previous work in this area.”
The Abbott government’s Commission of Audit noted that the effectiveness of wage subsidies “is open to question” because they may displace other job seekers and jobs may be lost once incentives expire.
Meanwhile, another job-creation scheme has also struggled to gain traction. The Tasmanian Jobs Programme, which offers $3250 to employers in an effort to revive the state’s sluggish labour market, has created 114 jobs in its first year. The government said it would employ 2000 Tasmanians over two years.
Opposition employment services spokeswoman Julie Collins said wage subsidies were “not enough” to support older Australians.
“We have Tony Abbott telling Australians they need to work longer – but in what jobs? People aren’t taking up wage subsidies because the jobs aren’t there,” she said.
The government has pledged to re-evaluate Restart in mid-2016.