Update 27 May
New JobMaker Package – Doing What Makes Businesses Go Faster
As we unfurl from pandemic hibernation, the gritty truth is hitting us. It’s harder starting up than closing down.
ScoMo told his story yesterday of huddling with a sports strategy team years ago, in a dingy old building. The guiding principle for strategy was clear: ‘do what makes the boat go faster’. And their team won. Today, to restore 850,000 lost jobs in Australia, we need to ‘do what makes businesses go faster’, to win the battle for jobs.
Money boosts from the government are helping businesses right now, but ScoMo reminded us that stimulus packages are an emergency response – we are dealing with an economic crisis. Many businesses are in ICU, so to speak. But at some point businesses need to be able to earn enough again to get back on their feet, and ‘get off the medication’. After all, they drive the economy, which provides the revenue to fund essential government services like hospitals, fire services, security, and social welfare.
So What Makes Businesses Go Faster?
Here’s the list, and the corresponding challenges that JobMaker needs to address:
- Skilled labour: needs healthy industrial relations
- Affordable and reliable energy: requires resources
- Research and technology: draws on higher education
- Accessible investment capital and finance: needs open banking
- Markets to connect to: needs digital economy and trade
- Economic infrastructure: supports manufacturing and regional development
- Simplifying government regulations businesses must comply with: deregulation and federal reform
- Efficiency of taxes to encourage businesses to invest in and employ more workers: needs the tax system to support jobs investment.
This is JobMaker – the change agenda for next 3-5 years.
Its goal is simple: make more jobs.
Yesterday, ScoMo started on Point 1. The other points will be addressed in the coming weeks and months.
Matchmaking Skills and Industry Needs.
Basically, this is all a bit of a mess. Federal Government hands over $1.6 billion to states and territories every year, and never hears about it again. As a result, there is no consistency in skills training across the country. A nurse training in Queensland may be subsidised less than half that of a nurse training in New South Wales. For that reason, potential future nurses in Queensland may choose another profession instead.
To help shape things up, a National Skills Commission has been set up to do an overhaul. Already, Skills Organisation Pilots have started where workers are needed – human services, digital technology and mining. The projects will work out what qualifications these industries need.
Therapy for Industrial Relations
A finger on the pulse of relationships between Australian employers and employees reveals many are not healthy. Employers often feel their sacrifices for the business are overlooked, and employees feel they do not get their fair share of benefits. Workers’ unions and employer groups have lost sight of their purpose: getting workplace settings right for the business to succeed.
The result of the tension: workers unnecessarily lose their jobs, or employers keep people out of jobs. Working relationships need to be restored to get the opposite result: more employers on track to pay their workers, and more workers being employed. Now, ScoMo urges, is the time to lay down our weapons, and find cooperative solutions.
Task #1 of JobMaker: Bring People Together
Between now and September the minister for industrial relations, Christian Porter, will chair five working groups to nut out a JobMaker package. It’s going to be a challenge, and ScoMo acknowledges it may not work, but it’s worth a try. People who have been at odds with one another are going to be put in a room together to find one mutual solution – a pathway to sensible, longlasting reform that will make jobs.
They will discuss and negotiate things like awards, enterprise agreements, casual and fixed term employees, compliance and enforcement. The government will take the lead after this consultation.
The Stats for Australia
There have been 7,133 cases of COVID-19 in Australia, with 478 active cases remaining.
- Sadly, there have been 102 deaths
- 5 people are in ICU
- 6,553 people have recovered
Progress on Making Australia COVID Safe:
Testing is still on the increase as a defence to COVID-19 as we gradually return to normal activities:
- Australia now has 485 testing clinics, with one of the most accurate testing regimes in the world.
- 177,000 people were tested in the last week (about 25,000 per day)
- 6% of tests returned positive for COVID-19
Tracing via the COVIDSafe app:
- We’ve just topped 6 million downloads of the app
The app has already proven its worth. In Victoria, a man who had been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 was not identified by that person, but was identified through the app.
Isolating the bug when it appears:
- Most new cases are still imported, so hotel quarantine at Australia’s borders for international travellers is effectively isolating these cases, and has saved many lives by stopping the spread.
- The North West Tasmania outbreak demonstrated that if there is an outbreak in a suburb, a facility or a region, a Stage 4 lockdown forms a ‘ring of containment’ that has been effective in stopping the spread.
Hope Over Fear
Speaking of MAKING things…
Time at home has fuelled creativity for many, and the results are now emerging.
Giant Kookaburra for Laughs
In Bellbowrie, Queensland, Dr Farvadin Daliri has sculpted a giant kookaburra. The big bird’s 8.5m height, along with its recorded laugh and moving beak is entertaining local people as well as local kookaburras, who come for a ‘sticky beak’.
Dr Daliri is originally from Iran, where he studied fine art and sculpture. He came to Australia as a refugee in the mid-80s. In Townsville he founded the Townsville Cultural Festival. This is not his first sculpture. A giant koala, the Jolly Swagman and Slim Dusty also feature in his portfolio.
“We want to have the last laugh over COVID-19 with the kookaburra, we’ll also have laughing workshops along the road so we can get everyone laughing around it and make them feel better,” he said.
Creative Ventures Around the Globe:
- In Spain, artist Okuda San Miguel, has partnered with an organisation supporting work for people with learning disabilities and special needs. Together they’ve brightened up 10 silos across the region with beautiful, artistic paintwork. It’s formed an inspiring open-air gallery.
- In Somerset, UK, a family decided to pass the time by colouring every brick of their home with a different chalk colour. The dad decided to help by climbing a ladder to complete the work all the way to the top. The cheerful sight has stopped traffic at times, and received lots of attention on Facebook.
Your Tip for Today
Still on the topic of CREATION…
Many creative ways of combatting COVID-19 have emerged over time. Unfortunately, most are not founded on evidence, and some are good for a laugh.
DO NOT put your faith in any of the following statements:
- Hot temperatures kill the virus. Nope
- 5G networks are spreading the virus. Nope. NO NEED to burn down 5G towers, people.
- Vitamin C is an effective treatment for COVID-19. Nope.
- Ibuprofen exacerbates coronavirus. Nope – fake WHO report. Keep taking your meds.
- Hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19. Not yet proven.
- UV rays kill the virus. Nope. The UV rays will probably do your skin damage, just like the sun does.
- Garlic prevents infection. Nope. But garlic is still good for you.
- Breathing techniques can cure the virus. Thanks J.K.Rowling – some more good fiction work there.
- Microwaves sanitise masks. Nope. Bad idea. It can damage the mask and set your microwave alight.
News Alert: There is no cure for COVID-19 yet.
Find more COVID-19 mythbusters here.
What SHOULD you believe?
Do these three and stay COVID free:
- Wash your hands.
- Physical distancing
- Use the COVIDSafe app.
What About You?
- Have you had any creative work emerge over the past weeks?
- Have you had a double-take at any COVID-19 myths?
I’d love to hear your stories.
Prime Minister Press Release – 26 May 2020
Department of Health stats
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt: COVIDSafe app update – 24 May
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt on progress in health measures – 25 May
ABC News – Giant Kookaburra – 26 May
Good News Network – Painting by People with Disabilities – 22 May
Australian Gov: COVID-19 Mythbusting – 25 May