By Lolita Farmer OAM
With the purpose of giving value to opinions and views of those in Western Sydney on how to strengthen and address some of the challenges in the local area, the newly installed NSW Premier Mike Baird took his entire cabinet to visit Parramatta, the bustling and vibrant city of Western Sydney. The venue was the Parramatta RSL. Invitations were sent to key community organisations.
The message was:
“In the three years the NSW Government has been rebuilding our State- and we are getting on with the job to transform NSW. NSW economy has turned around with the second lowest unemployment rate among the states, created 135,000 new jobs, highest growth in economy and the strongest retail growth in Australia; protected the AAA credit rating while “investing in services, delivering infrastructure and protecting the vulnerable.”
* Investing in services by employing 5,000 additional nurses, doctors, teachers and police officers.
* Delivering infrastructure by funding an extra $2.2 billion a year (or almost 40% more) compared to 2007-2011.
* Innovative ways to utilize our existing assets and partner with the private sector to deliver essential infrastructure upgrades such as the North West Rail Link, West Connex, NorthConnex, light rail in Sydney and Newcastle, the Pacific Highway duplication and Bridges for the Bush.
* Protecting the vulnerable for being the first state to sign up to two national agreements- National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the “Gonski” national educational agreement.
* The new state of business in NSW now and the achievements Western Sydney are four R and an S:
– Rebuilding the economy,
– Returning quality services,
– Renovating infrastructure,
– Strengthening our local environment and communities,
– Restoring accountability.
More to be done at a new pace to transform NSW the Premier Mike Baird promises.
From 1 July 2014, a price relief for the cost of living will come including electricity for there will be a removal of retail price regulation which means more competition, more choice as competitive markets would bring prices down.
A public forum was organized after the pre-arranged meetings with community groups. Concerns raised were mostly on education, health, cost of living and transport.
For us our submission was more diverse for aside from education, health, cost of living, transport we included Amendments to Race Discrimination Act, Federal Budget, Badgerys Creek , Women for violence is on the rise and changes to the Electoral Act in view of recent events at the ICAC on donations and slush funds.
More to watch and see on NSW rebuild plan.
Tackling forced labor ILO adopts a new protocol – a win for human rights
The International Labor Organisation (ILO) has passed a legally binding Protocol to address the problem of forced labor. There are 21 million people who according to estimates are victims of forced labor.
“Forced labor violates the human rights and dignity of millions of women and men, girls and boys. It continues to the perpetuation of poverty and stands in the way of the achievement of decent work for all”, said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General.
The Protocol which is supported by a Recommendation brings the ILO Convention 29 on Forced Labor is a big step to eliminate human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery. It has been adopted by 437 votes at the ILO Conference with 27 abstentions and 8 against.
“The new instruments will complement and strengthen existing international law, in particular the UN Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons , especially women and children “, said David Garner, President of the ILC Committee on Forced Labor and Australian Government representatives.
As of June 2013, 177 out of 185 ILO members have ratified Convention 29, and eight have not. The eight countries are Afghanistan, Brunei, China, Korea, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and United States.
A recent ILO report estimates that the “US 150 billion in illegal profits are made in the private economy each year through modern forms of slavery.
“This is a humanitarian moment, a human rights moment, and represents what the international business community stands for – respect for human rights,” according to Ed Potter, Committee employer Vice Chair.
Yves Veyrier, Committee Worker Vice Chair has this to say, “By adopting this Protocol, we have sent a clear signal of our commitment to the 21 million victims of forced labor around the world. We have also shown the capacity of the ILO to modernize and adapt one of its most symbolic conventions to the realities of the world.”
The new obligations and the legally binding instrument is a major step in eliminating forced labor needed to address the realities of today.
Other post/s by Lolita Farmer OAM
- India, China top migrant sources; new minister lists illegal bikies for deportation - December 29th, 2014
- Thumbs down for electronic voting in Australia - December 4th, 2014
- Australian landmark court rulings Fil-Aussies should know - September 15th, 2014
- Engage, Enable, Enrich: That's Harmony In Action - September 3rd, 2014
- Federal gov't outlines plans to make Australia safe - August 25th, 2014