Employers could face jail time

Sham contracting, unpaid super, underpayment of wages and misuse of ABNs

Employers found to be deliberately or recklessly engaging in wage theft could find themselves in jail, after the Palaszczuk Government accepted in principle making wage theft a criminal offence following a Parliamentary Inquiry earlier in the year. The inquiry found that wage theft is affecting an incredible one-in-five, Queensland workers.
Wage theft comes in a variety of forms and can include:
•paying the incorrect hourly rate
•'sham' contracting – making employees work as contractors on ABNs
•not paying penalty rates for overtime hours and weekend or public holiday work
•paying cash in hand
•payment 'in kind' (e.g. meals, retail discounts)
•requiring prospective employees to work unpaid trial or 'test' shifts
•requiring employees to work through their breaks or to turn up to work early or stay after closing time to close up
•requiring employees to spend their own money on costs that are the cost of running a business (equipment, training, insurance excesses etc)
•not paying employees for attending training or even doing online training, or for attending staff meetings.
The Palaszczuk Government tabled its response to the parliament’s Education, Employment and Small Business committee inquiry into wage theft in Queensland and urged Scott Morrison and the Federal Government to take action to address wage theft on a national level.
In its report, the committee made 17 recommendations aimed at eliminating wage theft and ensuring workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and the government has accepted, or accepted in principle, all of the recommendations.
“Six of the recommendations are within the Queensland Government’s jurisdiction and deal with providing better public information and education, ensuring our procurement policies allow for action to the taken against employers that have underpaid workers and taking action to ensure that wage recovery processes for Queensland workers are simple, quick and low-cost," Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said at the time.
“Eleven of the 17 recommendations made in the report are matters for the Federal Government to consider. It’s time for Scott Morrison to show some leadership and take action.”
The federal government said it is committed to introducing strong and effective criminal sanctions to help stamp out deliberate and systematic wage theft by Australian employers, stating work on legislation is already underway but before a draft Bill is finalised, community feedback is being sought to help inform the development of a new offence and penalty regime, which will include significant jail terms and heavy fines for serious offences...

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Be prepared for wild weather

Get Ready Week 2019

Flash flooding, bushfires and drought have almost staples in our waether this time of year but if a flood or fire swept through the Moreton Bay Region tomorrow, would you be prepared?
October 13-19 is the official Queensland Government Get Ready Week — an annual reminder for residents and business owners to prepare for the state’s infamously wild spring and summer weather.
Local Disaster Management Group Chair and Moreton Bay Regional Councillor for Division 2, Peter Flannery, said the best place to start was to understand your risk.
“Think about the places where you spend the most amount of time; it’s probably your workplace, the family home and maybe your kids’ school or sporting club,” Councillor Flannery said.
“Are these places at risk of flooding or bushfires, is there only one way in and one way out?
“Jump onto council’s website to look up the flood and bushfire risk of any address in the region. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start preparing for it.”
Councillor Flannery said the next step was knowing where to get information and warnings from in the lead up to and during a disaster.
“Register for MoretonAlert, a free severe weather warning service operated by council. MoretonAlerts are sent via text to mobiles, emails and recorded messages to landlines,” Councillor Flannery said.
“And follow the Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Police Service and council on social media.”
Once you know your risk and where to get information and warnings from, Councillor Flannery said it was time to put together an evacuation plan for your family.
“If you need to evacuate your home or if you can't get home during a disaster, where will you go?” Councillor Flannery said.
“Organise ahead of time to stay with a family member or a friend as evacuation centres provide basic needs with none of the comforts of home and should be considered a last-resort.”
And if you’ve been putting off cleaning the gutters of your family home, or storing that important paperwork for your business, there’s no time like the present.
“I know it can be difficult to set aside time to prepare for a nightmare situation, but a little preparation now can save a lot of panic and heartache later,” Councillor Flannery said.
“Queensland is a beautiful place to live but the weather isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
“Floods, fires and cyclones are part of life in Queensland and while we can’t prevent them, we can prepare for them.”


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Council targeting mozzies

Today and Tomorrow

Moreton Bay Regional Council will continue its mosquito aerial treatment program on Thursday 3 Octoberfrom 7.30am for all southern blocks in Rothwell, Clontarf, Kippa-Ring, Griffin, Mango Hill, Lawnton and Deception Bay.

The treatment will continue on Friday 4 October from 7:30am for all northern blocks including Burpengary East, Uhlmann Road, Beachmere, Ningi, Donnybrook, Toorbul, Elimbah and Bribie Island. 

Treatment targets mosquito larvae before they have the chance to emerge into adults.By targeting the mosquito larvae where they breed, these treatments reduce the number of mosquitoes that become adults.

Although it’s not possible to eradicate mosquitoes entirely from our communities, council and residents can work together on keeping their numbers down.

Residents are encouraged to take precautions as well to protect themselves and their properties.

Empty any containers around your property which might be holding water - as little as 100ml of water is enough for more than 400 adult mosquitoes to develop in just one week.

Spray screens and outdoor surfaces with barrier treatments which contain the active ingredient bifenthrin.

This active ingredient lasts for six to eight weeks and will kill mosquitoes which land where it has been sprayed. It’s readily available from hardware shops.

Wear insect repellent if you’re heading outside at dawn and dusk as these are times when mosquitoes are most active.

For more information about mosquito management visit: www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/health-safety/mosquitos

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FLASHDANCE comes to the local stage

QUEENSLAND PREMIERE at Redcliffe Entertainment Centre this week

Back in the Eighties, Flashdance was a phenomenon. The global breakout 1983 film has now been brought to the stage as Flashdance the Musical and the Pine Rivers Musical Association (PRIMA) will be presenting the Queensland Premiere this week at the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre.
Flashdance The Musical tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18 year old Alex, a steel worker by day and 'flashdancer' by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream.
Featuring a cast of nearly 40 performers, supported by a live band and under the creative guidance of seasoned professionals David Harrison (Director), Shelley Marshall (Choreographer) and Wendy Bird (Musical Director), Flashdance the Musical is a spectacle of dance, iconic music and special effects – including the iconic water drop.
Leading the cast is local talent Aleisha Rose, who joined the cast with an impressive film and television resume including working opposite Hugh Jackman in ‘The Wolverine’ and featuring as the lead role in feature film ‘Arrowhead’. Closer to home, Aleisha was the host of Channel 7’s ‘Lab Rat’s Challenge’ as well as the lead character in ‘Toybox’ on Network Seven.
“The show is an inspirational celebration of dance and art, featuring some of the best performers in South East Queensland. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have created together and can’t wait for audience to see this spectacular show,” said Director David Harrison.
Flashdance the Musical will run for two weeks, with a total of eight shows running from 27 September to 6 October.
For more information and ticket sales, visit www.flashdancethemusical.com.au

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Oh Hello Bride Grand Opening

Wedding super-service opens at North Lakes

Last Thursday night, highly anticipated new bridal boutique Oh Hello Bride held the grandest of grand openings with many brides-to-be keen to have a glimpse inside.
Oh Hello Bride is the only bridal boutique in North Lakes and owner Jodie says all brides will be treated to a 5 star experience. The skilled staff believe in true customer service and providing the utmost attention to even the smallest details. They include decor experts, a fine tailor, graphic designer and photographer.
With the launch range Oh Hello Bride can fit and supply the latest and greatest European gowns, English gowns, American gowns, and can even supply or rework classic vintage gowns.
As well as wedding dresses the team supply headpieces and veils, capes, muffs and gloves, bouquets, jewelry and gifts.
Of much interest at the launch was the Barbie to Be service. Each bride who purchases a dress from Oh Hello Bride, will receive a unique Barbie in the exact same wedding dress.
Oh Hello Bride can be found at Suite 5C Lakes Vista, 2 Flinders Parade North Lakes. For more information visit www.ohhellobride.com.au

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Nationwide garage sale

Moreton Bay Region will take part in Australia's biggest ever Garage sale

Holding a garage sale is a great way to get rid of items that don't spark joy, but it's also pretty great for the environment. When you buy a pre-loved item we all save energy from production, reduced emissions from manufacture and transport and we preserve resources and less plastic packaging goes into our bins. Its a multi-win situation.
Next weekend, local households, schools and community groups will join over 400,000 people across the country for the ninth annual Garage Sale Trail.
Council spokesperson for Asset Construction and Maintenance, Cr Adam Hain, said it was multi award-winning community and sustainability event.
“Garage Sale Trail is supported by over 140 local councils nation-wide,” he said.
“It’s expected that this year’s weekend-long event will be the best attended yet, and it’s definitely a fun way to stop waste going to landfill.
“Afterall, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and by getting involved you’ll be helping to educate kids and our community about the impact we can all make when we buy secondhand.
“At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility as a society to take responsibility for the waste we create.”
The Garage Sale Trail weekend also provides a way to meet your neighbours, connect with your community and declutter the house - while raising money for charity or yourself.
Last year, the average participating household not only made $309 from the event, but each rescued more than 500kgs of items from the tip and connected with 46 of their neighbours.
Event organisers project that more than 2 million items will be listed for sale and reuse this year, making it Australia’s biggest community and sustainability event, a gigantic weekend of waste-reducing, planet saving, treasure hunting fun.
Garage Sale Trail Co-Founder Andrew Valder said the sellers who have a bit of fun with their garage sale name and go to town on marketing are the ones who sell the most.
“Garage sale names like Sale Of The Century, The Almost-Deceased Estate Sale, It’s a Divorce, and the Crap & Crepes Sale stick in our minds,” he said.
“At The Crap & Crepes Sale four students from France gave away a crepe with every purchase. You can see how businesses start in garages!”
Garage Sale Trail 2019 is set to take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. To register a sale or shop the Garage Trail head to www.garagesaletrail.com.au

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Toxic Smells and Air Quality

What to do

Local residents have been intermittently complaining about toxic smells in the area for many years. The Messenger has received letters from readers about concerning odours as far back as 2012.

Last week concerns and smells resurfaced, via a story TV's 7 National News Brisbane.
The story, via a quote from Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting MP cited Narangba industrial estate as the source of the odour.
While there are currently no local issues reported on the state government's Live air data reporting website, complaints of this nature are taken seriously by both local council and the state government, here's how to report pollution, including air quality, incidents to:
• Contact Moreton Bay Regional Council directly via (07) 3205 0555 if the matter is urgent, or see this page for more information: www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Services/Licences-Regulations/Air-Pollution
• To make an odour nuisance report, visit www.ourreporting.des.qld.gov.au/ or for a more severe pollution incident, call the Queensland Government, 24/7 Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372.

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New operator for Redcliffe Jetty Markets

but current vendors shouldn't worry

Goodwill Projects has been announced as the successful tenderer to operate the Redcliffe Jetty Markets - the operator behind the successful Brisbane City Markets, Milton Markets, Kuraby, Carseldine and Nundah.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said the company’s impressive bid and proven track record delivering successful markets around southeast Queensland gave it the winning edge.
“Tourism is booming in the Moreton Bay Region and we want to know that these markets will grow into the future to become a destination attraction that people around southeast Queensland will travel to enjoy,” he said.
“We received a number of quality responses to the market tender and council officers assessed these against the criteria for evaluation as advertised. Officers made a recommendation to council which was accepted and supported unanimously.
“Goodwill Projects has over 13 years’ experience operating markets in southeast Queensland and submitted a professional, thorough, well-evidenced and creative response.
“Council looks forward to the continuing success of the weekly markets under the management of Goodwill Projects, attracting locals and visitors alike to the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula.
“The social and economic benefits of facilitating events like the Redcliffe Jetty Markets cannot be understated, especially to businesses doing weekend trade along the Peninsula.
“This is a commercial decision about the future of the markets, which will attract even more visitors and continue to bring locals together on weekends.”
GoodWill Projects assured current vendors of their position at the markets in a staement on their website.
"We would like to assure all vendors currently trading at the Redcliffe Jetty Markets, your stall, business and attendance is the fabric of the market, one in which we are honoured to foster and grow into one of Australia's 'must-experience' market destinations," The statement reads.
"Our commitment to stallholders and traders is matched by our focus on local businesses, schools, sporting clubs, charitable organisations, not-for-profit groups, and above all, supporting the amazing local initiatives which Redcliffe and the Moreton Bay region can hold in high regard now, and well into the future."
Goodwill Projects is incorporating a program to foster local and emerging vendors to the market, as well as attracting well known and established traders from around southeast Queensland.
The Management Agreement with the current operator is due to expire at the end of September 2019.

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Are we overthinking childhood anxiety?

Don't mistake everyday stress for anxiety

Everyone feels anxious or worried from time to time. It's natural and young children can worry about things like starting school meeting new people while teenagers may experience anxiety before exams or in social situation. Treating these moments as anxiety could be compounding the problem.
These feelings are natural responses to common situations that are usually short-lived. For some young people however, anxiety can be severe and persistent, to the extent that it interferes with the activities of day-to-day life and causes problems at school and at home.
Childhood resilience expert Dr Mandie Shean suggests that our kids may be misreading this everyday stress as anxiety...

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Hefty fines for fish offenders

8.5k foir crab pots, 15k for marine park fishing

A recreational fisher has been fined $8,500 and ordered to pay costs in the Caboolture Magistrates Court for a range of repeated offences involving undersized and female mud crabs and not properly marking crab pots.
He was found at Cabbage Tree Point in possession of five female mud crabs and an undersized male crab despite prior warnings from Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers. He was then found a month later at the Burpengary Creek boat ramp with eight female mud crabs, five undersized mud crab and one female blue swimmer crab. He was also charged with failing to mark six crab pots and found to have two excess pots.
Meanwhile, a commercial fisher has been fined $15,000 for trawling in a marine park and not having his vessel tracking unit turned on.
The fisher was found guilty in the Sandgate Magistrates Court of fishing without operating a vessel tracking unit on three occasions, and also for commercial fishing in the Middle Moreton Bay Marine Park Zone which is prohibited.
The operator’s commercial fishing boat licence has since been cancelled for non-payment of fees.
QBFP uses a range of techniques and technology to uncover illegal activities, including surveillance cameras and drones to catch illegal activities.
For more information on Queensland’s fishing regulations, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.

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Sun sets on NL Golf

North Lakes golf course sale finalised ahead of schedule

Despite the efforts of Save North Lakes Golf Course action group, the sale of North Lakes golf course, operating since 2002, was finalised on August 1.
Two days after the Messenger went to press with last week's cover story on Federal MP for Petrie Luke Howarth's House of Reps call on Council to halt the redevelopment of the site, the sale went through.
The Village Retirement Group (TVRG) announced on the day it had purchased the 68 hectare site and will shutter the course at the end of trade this weekend (Sunday August 11) stating the core business of the resort, golf, has been operating at a loss and is no longer viable.
The sale was expected to happen later this year but TVRG announced it had finalised its contract ahead of schedule and will proceed with plans to repurpose the land for a retirement village and aged care facilities, promising the majority (84%)of the remaining land available for use as a public green space.
TVRG is proposing to develop between 200-240 one-storey independent living units and a three-storey 100-bed aged-care facility on 11 hectares of the site, while exploring partnerships for the remaining 57 hectares.
TVRG Managing Director Justin Harrison said he would be seeking discussions with Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Queensland Government about making a substantial part of the land for use as a public asset.
“This community needs public open space and it also needs more retirement and aged care accommodation. Mr Harrison said.
“Our retirement and aged care proposal can fund a gift to the North Lakes Community, with more than 50 hectares of private land being made available to the public,” he said.
The bombshell sale has attracted lively debate on social media with SNLGC thanking locals for the uptick in recent support and pledging to continue opposing the redevelopment.
"There is (sic) still a number of pathways to victory for SNLGC to win. VRG have made a move. We are playing Chess not checkers. So why would we give up now," a statement on the group's Facebook page reads.
"Remember VRG have no approvals to build anything and we are in a strong position to keep it that way. The current owner may be ending their business of running the golf course, but the golf course itself remains. Closed for now, but still there."
SNLGC notified members that a number of avenues remained to those who oppose the redevelopment, posting a registry of interest for those planning to dispute TVRG's Development Application once it's lodged with council.
However, Mr Harrison said he did not expect to lodge a development application for the retirement and aged care proposals before resolving outcomes for the North Lakes Common site.
North Lakes Common is an idea at this stage, seeking comment from community and other stakeholders on the remaining 57 hectares of open space, post-redevelopment.
The North Lakes Common website states the open space represents opportunities for a range of outdoor pursuits via the creation of parklands, community gardens, various sports and educational facilities.
With the sale now finalised North Lakes Common encourages local residents to have thier say in shaping the space in a way that will benefit North Lakes at large. Suggestions can be submitted via the links below.
More to come...
North Lakes Common:
MBRC's Development Application tracking:

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The Dirty tricks of NBN scammers

National Broadband Network scams almost triple so far this year

Australians, including locals, are losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.
Consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month between January and May this year, compared with around $38,500 in monthly average losses throughout 2018 – an increase of nearly 300 per cent.
“People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60 per cent of the current losses,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.
“Scammers are increasingly using trusted brands like ‘NBN’ to trick unsuspecting consumers into parting with their money or personal information.”
Common types of NBN scams include:
Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.
Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to you over the phone.

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The Mess We Make

A visit to the Burpengary and District Men's Shed turns up some intriguing projects

The Burpengary Men's Shed hasn't been around all that long, just four years, but they've been busy. Headed by founding member and President Rodney Hanson, on Tuesdays and Thursdays the blokes get together to work on community projects like building possum boxes for a local wild life group, making stainless steel mud kitchens for local pre-schools and much, much more.
When the Messenger visited recently we found two intriguing current projects, planned inter-club Lawn Mover Racing and a "Light Hat" built to hopefully alleviate symptoms of a local woman suffering dementia.
The Light Hat is an unusual project with some bold claims. To be clear, these claims aren't made by the local Men's Shed, they were approached to build it, and build it they did.
There are claims online that the light hat can treat both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases by using near-infrared LEDs arranged around, in this case, a bucket shape, to penetrate the skull and massage the grey area. The local lady who approached Burpengary Men's Shed did so as a last resort after reading that some users noted improvement after using one. At the time the Messenger visited, the hat had just been completed but not tested. We'll stay in touch and let readers know if the local lady reports improvement.
This other big project at the shed is the lawn mower racing, the brain-child of the local outfit. The men are used to repairing these machines and end up with lots of spare parts and picked over mower carcases. Why not put them to use? They plan to build a bunch of them and race. Nothing crazy though, Rodney estimates they'll have a top speed of about 20kph when race-ready.

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Scrapping Naplan

Negative impact on schools, students and teachers

Gonski, an institution for education which aims to address growing inequality in Australian education and improve education for all Australian students, said there is little evidence the now ten-year-old NAPLAN has improved education outcomes for students.
Director of the Gonski Institute for Education, Professor Adrian Piccoli said there is little evidence the now ten-year-old NAPLAN has improved education outcomes for students.
“There is growing evidence NAPLAN is having a negative impact on schools, students and teachers,” said Professor Piccoli.
“NAPLAN and the publishing of results on the My School website has imposed a high stakes dimension to student testing and this has led to increased student anxiety, teaching to the test and a narrowing of the curriculum."

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women's sport? It's just sport

It’s time to rewrite the language of Australian sport. We need to drop the unnecessary, divisive labels, and erase the gender bias that has become accepted and ingrained, writes Kate Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Sport Australia Australia

There is no longer a place for the sub-category known as “women’s sport”. There is just sport. It belongs to all. It’s what everyone plays.
What has traditionally been divided into buckets should become mainstream. Everyone should feel welcome, worthy and equal.
Given that no sport is gender-exclusive, why do we continue to call it “women’s sport”? We should not settle for the default position that football, for example, is what's played by men and there is something else called “women’s football” that needs to be differentiated. The connotation, almost inevitably, is that the “women’s” version is the inferior brand....

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