Labor pay plan’s two-tier approach
Hundreds of thousands of lowpaid workers on the national minimum wage could get significant pay rises under a proposal being examined by federal Labor.
The Weekend Australian can reveal the Labor opposition is considering a policy to lift all fulltime workers out of poverty while mitigating the impact of minimum wage increases on business and the economy.
A Shorten government would urge the Fair Work Commission to essentially take a two-tiered approach: award higher pay rises to workers on the lowest rate and smaller, above-inflation increases to those on higher award rates.
Student leaders of a school strike by tens of thousands of children who skipped classes to attend climate change rallies around the nation yesterday have rebuked Scott Morrison for “doing nothing” to protect future generations by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and switching to clean energy.
Leaders of the mass student walkout, part of a global day of similar demonstrations, also ridiculed the Prime Minister’s call for “more schooling, less activism” that they claimed ignored the gravity of a coming humanitarian disaster caused by the ill-effects of climate change.
Addressing a packed rally outside Sydney Town Hall, high school student Danielle from the city’s west hit out at Mr Morrison: “You could remove basic science from the syllabus or start doing your job.”
Another student leader at the Sydney protest, Crystal Russell, said the world would not end because students missed school to attend rallies, but time was running out as politicians failed to address a climate crisis.
“They are not listening to the symptoms — the droughts, the bushfires, the storms, the rising oceans,” she said.
The Sydney crowd was also given Bill Shorten’s office number in Melbourne and urged to “flood” him with calls. Student leader Daisy said: “We need action on climate change that we deserve.”
While promoted across the country as student-led rallies with speakers aged under 18, an adultrun activist group called the Australian Youth Climate Coalition was deeply involved in organising and co-ordinating the day’s strike.
With rallies in 55 cities and regional centres, leaders of the “School Strike 4 Climate Action” issued three demands for the nation’s politicians: stop the proposed Adani coalmine, no new coal or gas projects, and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
At Melbourne’s rally, which attracted 20,000 protesters, stu- dent organiser Harriet O’Shea Carre held a placard saying “We Deserve a Future”. The crowd included adult volunteers from the AYCC, Australian Conservation Foundation and unions.
Also attending were Greens leader Richard Di Natale and the Greens candidate for Higgins, Jason Ball. Independent candidate for Kooyong Oliver Yates was with supporters holding signs saying, “Real Climate Action: Vote Yates”.
Among the crowd in Adelaide were senators Sarah HansonYoung and Tim Storer, state Greens MP Mark Parnell and state Labor education spokeswoman Susan Close.
The estimated 4000 attend- ees, including many adults, were told the rally was “just as much about social justice as it is the environment”.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore spoke briefly to the estimated 25,000 crowd that was a mix of school students, teachers, parents, university students, union officials and climate activists. “I support your strike,” Ms Moore said, echoing NSW Labor Opposition Leader Michael Daley and his contrary stand after Mr Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had urged students to stay at school.
Wentworth independent federal MP Kerryn Phelps, who won Malcolm Turnbull’s seat at a byelection in October, joined stu- dent leaders on the Sydney podium but did not speak. GetUp national director Paul Oosting watched proceedings but did not address protesters.
Kevin Laso, a concreter and musician from Camden South, said he and his partner, Carmen Guerrero, had joined their 10year-old daughter, Lara, at the rally because all were passionate about climate change. “If anyone should be protesting, it should be the kids who will get the bad end of the stick,” Mr Laso said.
He said Mr Morrison’s call for children to stay at school instead of protesting was laughable.
Carmen Guerrero and Kevin Laso with daughter Lara outside Sydney Town Hall. Mr Laso believes the kids will get the bad end of the climate stick
School students protest on the streets of Melbourne
Perth students ‘voice’ their anger through placards