March, 2019

Are you clued up about your super?

Do you know if you’re being paid the right amount of superannuation?

Well, the Australian Tax Office says many people are being caught out, with 11 to 20 per cent of employers non-compliant with their Superannuation Guarantee obligation.


That’s the nine-point-five per cent of your earnings that is put towards your nest egg your employer.

That means many workers are being robbed of their retirement savings.

Ricardo Goncalves has the details.

Sydney resident, Serkan Ozturk wasn’t paid superannuation by a previous employer for as long as 15 months.

“At the time it was seven-thousand dollars, I was only paid about three months of all the super I was owed and that was at the first 3 months of working at the organisation at the time.”

He says other colleague alerted him to the shortfall.

“I had a look at my own super fund and the level it was at – and noticed it hadn’t moved for quite a while and I raised those concerns with my direct managers and editors at the time.”

He eventually got what he was owed after he put up a fight.

Last year, about 846,000 employers were required to make superannuation guarantee payments on behalf of nearly 12 million employees – to more than half a million super funds.

Total employer contributions totalled $77-billion.

AustralianSuper Membership Group Executive, Paul Schroder says it should have been a lot more.

“We’ve done our investigations with TRIA investments and found that its probably about 2.5 billion dollars a year lost and affecting 650,000 workers across Australia.”

The Australian Tax Office says non-complicance is ‘endemic’, especially in small businesses and industries where a large number of cash transactions and contracting arrangements occur.

The national secretary of the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia, Michelle O’Neil, says she receives complaints all the time.

“We recently had a company that was a textile company, we had three workers join the union, the company had been in operation for 20 years, these workers had been working there for about three, and had not received a cent in superannuation. They hadn’t been joined into a fund, and in fact the company hadn’t paid at all in over 20 years”

For every year someone is affected by superannuation guarantee non-compliance – their retirement income is reduced by two per cent on average.

But it’s low income and young members most at risk, an average 25 year old for example impacted by superannuation guarantee non-complicance for five years loses 14 per cent of their retirement income, or 8,000 dollars a year.

Michelle O’Neil says many of them also don’t have English as a first language.

“So they’re not necessarily confident or comfortable with the information they might get from their super fund or be able to access it easily online. so when they’re told their super is being paid, they believe it.”

The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia wants more action.

“We need tougher regulations and law, we need tough corporations law which holds directors of companies liable and responsible for the underpayment or non-payment of super.”

In the meantime, workers need to be more vigilant and check their payslip and super fund balances.

If there’s a problem, raise it with your employeer, or lodge an enquiry with the ATO.

Quit campaign targets newly arrived communities

Anti-smoking campaigners hope those who cease smoking cigarettes, shisha and other tobacco products during Ramadan may be encouraged to kick the habit for good.



Quit Victoria has teamed up with leaders within Australia’s African communities to launch a campaign about the dangers of smoking.


Quit Victoria Director, Doctor Sarah White says it seems the message that ‘smoking kills’ hasn’t quite gotten through to some new and emerging communities.


“A lot of low and middle income countries simply can’t afford to run the public health education campaigns that we do in Australia. But worryingly I think what we’re finding is when people arrive, they are taking up smoking, so particularly the younger Australians, if you smoke you really risk your health and that’s the message we have to get through to communities that haven’t heard that message before.”


QUIT educator Augustino Daw migrated from Sudan when he was 11.


He took up smoking when he turned 15, and continued the habit for 10 years.


“I think it was social experiment. I was a teenager, and teenage life and everything. I never actually, I never knew that cigarette can actually cause you cancer or so forth. All of a sudden I started running, I started feeling deep chest pains. So I stopped for a moment and I coughed, and I’d coughed out blood. I looked at myself and I mean I used to be a fitness freak, I looked at myself and I was like, ‘wait, that’s unlike me, that’s unusual’. So I started retracing what I’ve done throughout the whole day and I went, ‘ok I think it’s from the waterpipes, I think it’s from the smoking and so forth’.”


He says many from his community are unaware of the risks associated with cigarettes and shishas.


Kenyan migrant Samuel Malual believes existing advertising campaigns don’t work for new communities because they don’t actively engage them.


“They’ve got nobody telling them, sending the message across to the community for them. They might see it on TV every now and then. Most of the older generation that came, they wouldn’t speak English.”


The campaign coincides with Ramadan – a time when some Muslim smokers put away their cigarettes for most of the day.


Eritrean community leader Yasseem Musa says family and friends who usually smoke tend to feel better during Ramadan.


“This campaign is very essential for my community and the African community as I see, because, now it’s coming in Ramadan time, when everyone is quitting from 5 o’clock in the morning until about 5 o’clock afternoon. So it is good time, starting, so people, why they not continuing quitting.”


He believes some African governments don’t prioritise anti-smoking campaigns, to the detriment of their citizens’ health.


“The awareness is very low, in there. So the government, they don’t have enough resources like what we have here, so people, to let them quitting smoke or to reduce number of smokers.”


The QUIT campaign will air in English and Arabic on radio stations around the country, including SBS Radio, until August 1st.


AFL guarantees footy at new Perth stadium

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has guaranteed football in Perth in 2018 will be played at the new Burswood stadium.


As negotiations continue with the state government, West Coast and Fremantle want a better deal than what has transpired at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

While Adelaide and Port Adelaide have attracted 40,000-plus spectators in the past 18 months, they haven’t received the financial compensation they hoped, thanks to a poorly-constructed arrangement.

The new Perth stadium is expected to be ready for the 2018 AFL season and both the Eagles and Dockers are keen to ensure a deal is in place with the West Australian government that sees them adequately compensated.

There remains sticking points over what will open the 60,000-seat stadium, how much the clubs will receive for their home fixtures and who will run the venue.

But McLachlan is confident the final deal is close and says the AFL will be contributing to the building costs.

Despite fears the AFL and clubs would play hard ball and threaten to remain at Subiaco Oval, McLachlan guaranteed football will be played at the new Burswood stadium in 2018.

“I have not contemplated not playing at this fabulous new stadium in 2018. It’s an incredible asset for Perth and Western Australians, and I’m looking forward to playing football there,” McLachlan said while in Perth for discussions with the state government.

“It is obvious we are making a significant commitment to this venue and we’d like to make sure that the sharp end of the season, in September, that we have priority but absolutely this deal will be resolved hopefully a long way before 2018.”

McLachlan also confirmed that Fremantle and West Coast, who are currently first and second, will host preliminary finals in Perth if they earn the right to do so this season.

“Yes, particularly if they play each other. If separate, they will be playing prelim finals in Perth and to be honest the way they are playing it is a possibility,” McLachlan said.

Shoulder keeps Ablett out again for Suns

Gary Ablett’s much-anticipated return from a shoulder injury has been put off for at least another week, with the Gold Coast superstar not named for Sunday’s clash with Carlton.


Ablett has been sorely missed by the Suns since he succumbed to a nagging shoulder complaint after round two this season, but as recently as Wednesday coach Rodney Eade had expressed confidence the 31-year-old would return against the Blues.

However, the dual Brownlow medallist didn’t appear in an extended squad on Thursday night.

“We were hopeful that Gary would be available for selection, however it was determined that Gary wasn’t ready to return this weekend,” Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft told the club’s website.

David Swallow (knee) and Rory Thompson (hip) had also been in the mix to return from injury, but won’t make the trip south for Sunday’s clash at Etihad Stadium.

The news wasn’t all bad for the Suns, who regained important defender Steven May (groin) and talented midfielder Harley Bennell (calf) from injury, with Sam Day, Alex Sexton and Matt Shaw also named in the 25-man squad.

Carlton were bolstered by the return of full-back Michael Jamison from a calf injury, but lost Bryce Gibbs to a two-match suspension and Andrew Walker to a knee injury.

David Ellard, Jason Tutt, Blaine Boekhorst and Nick Holman were also included in the squad that will be trimmed by three players on Friday.

Elsewhere, Sydney lost ruckman Mike Pyke to a knee injury as they prepare to host Richmond at the SCG on Friday night.

Former Tiger big man Tom Derickx gets a crack at his old side, who regained former skipper Chris Newman from a groin injury that has kept him out since round six.

Damien Hardwick dropped Steve Morris and Connor Menadue and lost Corey Ellis to a hip injury, with Nathan Gordon and Kane Lambert brought in to replace them.

Premiership defender Grant Birchall is back for Hawthorn after overcoming an ankle injury that has sidelined him since round eight, with Ryan Schoenmakers omitted from the side to take on Essendon at the MCG on Saturday.

Jason Winderlich will play his first game of the season after overcoming a back injury, with the Bombers elevating former Adelaide ruckman Shaun McKernan off the rookie list as one of five changes.

Travis Colyer is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, while Paul Chapman has succumbed to a groin injury.

Brisbane have recalled Ryan Harwood, James Aish and Harris Andrews for their home encounter with Adelaide and the Crows have stuck with the same 22 that went down to the Hawks last week.

Veteran St Kilda defender Sam Fisher has recovered from a hamstring injury and returns to face the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Elevated rookie Adam Schneider and Dylan Roberton are also back in the team, while the Bulldogs regain Dale Morris from the arm injury he suffered in round three.

AAP jp/wf

Soward happy for Jackson to play Origin

Jamie Soward is pleased that Josh Jackson has been cleared to play State of Origin III, after the Canterbury forward’s tackle on the Penrith five-eighth was downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.


Soward revealed on Thursday that Jackson apologised to him after the game for the dangerous throw and the former NSW pivot said he has moved on from the controversial incident despite being “dumped on his head”.

“It wasn’t Josh’s fault, it was just a technique,” Soward said.

“He’s got good technique and just got put in the wrong position. I’m sure he didn’t mean to do that. That’s probably what the judiciary felt as well. They looked at it like that. He said sorry after the game and as far as I’m concerned, it was one of those tackles that went wrong and thankfully for both of us – for him for Origin, for me, I didn’t get hurt.”

“As a New South Welshmen I didn’t want to see him miss an Origin but it was a dangerous tackle at the end of the day. The consistency of what is a dangerous tackle, it was probably deserved, there’s no 10 in the bin any more.”

However Soward was equivocal as to whether the NRL’s supposed crackdown on lifting tackles was working, and whether enough was being done for player safety.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do when I get picked up and put on my head, but that’s just the way it happened,” Soward said.

“You don’t like to see that. Most of the players have been really controlled. It was just one of those tackles that got out of hand. We’ve moved on from that.”

Sydney Roosters prop Sam Moa said there was widespread confusion amongst players about the judiciary process.

Moa was suspended last week for one match for making contact with a referee in the Roosters’ win over the Warriors two weeks ago, the same punishment meted out to Jackson, who originally faced a three-game ban.

“That’s where the confusion comes in. I get a game for making a friendly contact with the referee and something like the Josh Jackson tackle gets a week also,” Moa said.

Committee releases key report on Indigenous constitutional recognition

Both houses of federal parliament have been urged to spend at least a full day debating the constitutional recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


A long awaited report from the Joint Select Committee on the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, also asks for the House of Representatives to discuss and attempt to reach consensus on the wording of a referendum question.

The committee was chaired by Western Australian Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, with Northern Territory Labor Senator Nova Peris as its deputy chair – both Indigenous Australians.

MPs and senators from the Liberal and National parties, Labor and the Australian Greens were also on the committe, whichunanimously agreed on the urgency of recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution, but failed to set a timeframe on a potential referendum.

Mr Wyatt has told parliament constitutional recognition is about correcting a long-standing omission that dates back nearly 150 years.

“This is not about singling out Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or affording them extra rights above all other Australians”, Mr Wyatt said.

“This is about correcting the contextual silence that is so currently deafening in the constitution.”

The committee agreed Section 25 should be removed from the constitution. It currently allows people from a particular race to be prevented from voting and was used to exclude Indigenous Australians from voting until the 1960s.

“Constitutional change must be real and it must be substantive. It must recognise, it must acknowledge and it must respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their prior occupation, their continuing relationship with land and waters, their culture, their language and their heritage.”

The committee also agreed that constitutional recognition would offer protection from racial discrimination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Labor’s Indigenous Affairs spokesman Shayne Neumann was on the committee and told parliament constitutional recognition would be a major legal and symbolic step forward for Australia’s first peoples.

“Constitutional change must be real and it must be substantive,” Mr Neumann said. “It must recognise, it must acknowledge and it must respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their prior occupation, their continuing relationship with land and waters, their culture, their language and their heritage.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated he would like to see a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition held on the 27th of May, 2017.

This would mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum which removed references in the constitution specifically discriminating against Indigenous Australians.

While Labor has not committed itself to a timetable for the referendum, Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has previously backed the committee’s idea to hold a series of constitutional conventions to discuss the issue.

The co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Lez Malezer has welcomed the committee’s recommendation for separate conventions only involving Indigenous Australians.

He said the committee has put forward a strong set of recommendations which will encourage more discussion ahead of an upcoming constitutional summit in federal parliament on the 6th of July.

“The summit is important because it’s the opportunity for a strong Indigenous delegation to meet with the leaders of the major political parties,” Mr Malezer said.

“So it’s important in that sense. But now having this report out with the recommendations, it will give us a lot more focus and an ability to be able to sit down and exchange views on the merits of what’s being proposed.”

Mr Malezer said it was critical not to rush into setting a date for the referendum until there had been a lot more community consultation with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

He agreed with committee chair Ken Wyatt that critics of the referendum proposal should not be labelled racists and the debate should be conducted in a respectful way.

“There’s a distance between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Australia and the mainstream governance of Australia and that needs to be bridged”, Mr Malezer said.

“Reform of the constitution is a big part of that. But it has to be a process where decision-making in our communities is respected”, he added.

‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’: Boston bomber apologises to victims

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday apologized for the deadly 2013 attack at a hearing, and a US judge formally sentenced him to death for killing four people and injuring 264 in the bombing and its aftermath.


“I am sorry for the lives I have taken, for the suffering that I have caused you, for the damage I have done, irreparable damage,” Tsarnaev, 21, told a courtroom packed with parents of some of the dead and some of those wounded on April 15, 2013.

It was the first time that Tsarnaev, who did not speak in his own defense during his trial, had addressed the court.

“In case there is any doubt, I am guilty of this attack, along with my brother,” Tsarnaev said, standing at the defense table.

Tsarnaev had been found guilty killing three people and injuring 264 in the bombing near the finish line of the world-renowned race, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later. The same federal jury that convicted him in April voted for the death penalty in May.

The bombing was one of the highest-profile attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

“As long as your name is mentioned, what will be remembered is the evil you’ve done,” US District Judge George O’Toole told Tsarnaev before sentencing him to death by lethal injection. “What will be remembered is that you murdered and maimed innocent people and that you did it willfully and intentionally. You did it on purpose.”

Tsarnaev spoke after two dozen people, including those who lost limbs and loved ones in the bombing, spoke of the attack’s heavy toll on their lives.

Rebekah Gregory, who lost her left leg on that blood-soaked April day, addressed Tsarnaev directly.

“Terrorists like you do two things in this world. One, they create mass destruction, but the second is quite interesting,” Gregory said. “Because do you know what mass destruction really does? It brings people together. We are Boston strong and we are America strong, and choosing to mess with us was a terrible idea.

“How’s that for your victim impact statement?”

Dark memories

Tsarnaev’s trial brought back some of Boston’s darkest living memories. Jurors saw videos of the bombs’ blinding flashes and the chaotic aftermath as emergency workers and spectators rushed to aid the wounded, many of whom lost legs.

Killed in the bombing were Martin Richard, 8, Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu, 26, and restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29. Three days later, Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, shot dead Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a gunfight with police that ended when Dzhokhar ran him over with a car.

During the trial, federal prosecutors described the ethnic Chechen brothers as adherents of al Qaeda’s militant Islamist ideology who wanted to “punish America” with the attack on the world-renowned race.

Tsarnaev’s attorneys admitted their client had played a role in the attack but tried to portray him as the junior partner in a scheme hatched and driven by his older brother. The Tsarnaev family came to the United States from Russia a decade before the attack.

Even after the sentencing, the legal wrangling over Tsarnaev’s fate could play out for years, if not decades. Just three of the 74 people sentenced to death in the United States for federal crimes since 1998 have been executed.

Krystle Campbell’s mother, Patricia, called Tsarnaev’s actions “despicable.”

“You went down the wrong road,” Campbell said. “I know life is hard, but the choices you made were despicable and what you did to my daughter was disgusting.”

Tsarnaev asked forgiveness for himself and his dead brother.

“I ask Allah to have mercy upon me, my brother and my family,” Tsarnaev said. “I ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon those who are here today.”

Tsarnaev, who had been criticized by victims and Boston news media for his diffident, passive posture during his trial, said he had been moved by the months of testimony about the bombing’s toll.

“You told me how horrendous this was, this burden that I put you through,” Tsarnaev said. Referring to the two dozen people who spoke on Wednesday, he said, “I wish that four more people had a chance to get up there, but I took them from you.”

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jonathan Oatis)

Mother and Indigenous daughter breaking bones on the rugby field

It’s thought to be the highest example of such an occurrence at the elite level anywhere in the world.


Candice Clay’s mother and father both played Rugby and that example inspired her to play.   

Now the Indigenous youngster is putting herself on the line for NSW Country.

Tammy Clay put a consoling arm around her daughter’s shoulders during the match against a Combined Armed Services team in the National Championship match in Sydney after she broke her nose. 

“I’m feeling alright,  it’s just the first time I’ve ever got hit in the face.” Candice told SBS Online afterwards.

Tammy says they always chat after their matches.   

“We have a little debrief after every game and tell each other the things we’ve done well”

There’s no known precedent for a mother/daughter combination in Rugby Union and its always met with surprise.

“It’s been a first for a lot of people, they’re like really, what are you doing ?” Tammy explained.

The Australian Sevens teams,  especially the Rio Olympics bound women, have been getting much of the media focus recently. 

And the Australian Rugby Union wants to leverage that potential:

“Our Sevens staff are out here watching this tournament…and we’re really keen to use that format to help grow the 15 aside game as well.”  The ARU Pathways and Development General Manager Ben Whitaker told SBS Online.

Candice Clay is yet to represent her country but should that call be made her mother would be beside herself.

“Exceptionally proud.  She’s just got to take that one step further now,” she said.

The Women’s National Championship will be decided tomorrow at Sydney’s St. Ignatius College.

Labor, coalition close offshore detention loophole

The Australian Greens and human rights lawyers claim the government rushed the bill to try to circumvent a future decision of the High Court regarding a challenge over the spending of taxpayers’ money on the Nauru detention centre.


The bill, which took just over an hour to be introduced and pass the lower house, authorises Commonwealth actions and spending on regional processing dating back to August 18, 2012.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told parliament the bill doesn’t change or expand regional processing, but merely gives “clear express statutory authority” for the government to provide assistance to other countries.

“Regional processing helps combat people smuggling,” Mr Dutton said.

“It is an important solution for maintaining Australia’s strong border protection policies.”

Shameful move by Abbott & Labor to smash through new Bill today to circumvent high court over illegal funding for the Nauru detention centre

— Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) June 24, 2015

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told parliament Labor objected to having so little time for caucus to consider the bill.

But it supported the laws because regional processing was Labor policy.

“We come to this decision … guided by our compassion,” Mr Shorten said.

“Our compassion demands we prevent drowning at sea, just as our compassion demands the humane treatment of all those in our care.”

Mr Shorten said Labor did not believe the government was running offshore detention in a way the Australian public wanted it to.

“They (detainees) are not illegals and fleeing persecution is never a crime,” Mr Shorten said.

“There is no place for violent, inhumane or degrading treatment.” 

The Human Rights Law Centre, which is bringing the High Court action, said the laws contradicted the government’s claim that its actions running and funding offshore detention centres are legal.

“A government confident its actions are lawful doesn’t suddenly change the law when its actions are challenged in court,” said HRLC director of legal advocacy, Daniel Webb.

The case began on May 14 on behalf of a group of asylum seekers and their families, but a hearing date has not been set.

Mr Webb said newborn babies, people with serious medical issues and women who have reported being sexually assaulted on Nauru deserved to have the lawfulness of their treatment considered by the courts.

While Mr Dutton did not mention the High Court case in his speech, Liberal backbencher Andrew Laming told parliament the bill would “close a loophole opened up by the High Court”.

Outspoken Labor MP Melissa Parke, while acknowledging her party’s role in re-establishing offshore processing, said she was uncomfortable with the bill.

She criticised the “awful, ugly, illegal” treatment of asylum seekers under the Abbott government.

“This is a matter of national shame for which one day there will be a reckoning.”