Second shipment of Monkeypox vaccines arrive in Australia
The second shipment of the Monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos has made it to Australia and will be distributed to the states and territories. There are about 40,000 vials of that shipment and it coincides with a new awareness campaign which is about to be launched.
Mark Butler says it’s important people continue to get vaccinated:
Through peak organisations Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), state-based LGBTQ+ health organisation ACON in NSW and Thorne Harbour Health in Victoria, new case numbers have been suppressed in Australia, with only one case diagnosed during October. However, vaccination remains important, particularly as we head into summer and WorldPride events, which will see many international visitors to Australia.
That review also means the skills list is under the spotlight.
Australia’s migration system needs an overhaul, home affairs minister says
Over on ABC radio RN Breakfast, home affairs minister Clare O’Neil is talking about the migration reform review the government has just announced.
The review will look at the visa system, how people interact with it, as well as the potential for criminals to take advantage of loopholes to traffic people.
The review is also designed to try and make the migration system also address Australia’s labour shortages.
O’Neil said the visa system needs an overhaul:
At the moment, there just isn’t sufficient strategy going into how we design that system and think about this critical task. So we need to sort that out. But there is an issue here around the visa processing system and that might sound I’m sure bureaucratic and boring to people out there, but … when we arrived in government, there were a million problems.
Concerns raised over flaw in Labor’s [email protected] bill
Lawyers, academics and advocates have raised concerns that the Albanese government’s [email protected] legislation contains a flaw that could “undermine access to justice”.
The bill, which is expected to pass the House of Representatives this week, “will go a significant way to strengthening legal protections against workplace sexual harassment”, according to a joint letter to the attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, and the minister for women, Katy Gallagher.
But the signatories – including the 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, and Prof Michelle Ryan, director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at the ANU – have raised “deep concern at the proposed amendments to the costs provisions in the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986”.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and other signatories say the bill proposes a costs neutrality model, whereby litigants bear their own costs unless the court orders otherwise. (The court may make orders as to costs as they consider “just” where “there are circumstances that justify it in doing so”.)
The letter explains:
While superficially the arrangement represents an improvement on the status quo, its design and uncertainty around its operation will in fact serve to undermine access to justice. The proposed model will ultimately make it harder for targets of sexual harassment to vindicate their legal rights; it will deter women from pursuing cases and reduce the compensation that they will achieve if they do proceed.
Taking a costs neutrality approach to a relationship that is characterised by endemic inequality only serves to entrench that inequality. The proposed approach will also make it uneconomical for law firms to offer no-win, no-fee arrangements in discrimination matters and make it unviable to bring class actions against employers.
We urge you to amend the Bill to include an “equal access” asymmetrical costs model. Such an approach would protect a complainant from an adverse costs order, unless they have acted vexatiously or unreasonably, but enable them to recover costs should they succeed. This model would recognise the significant inequality in resources between complainants in sexual harassment matters and their employers. It would also underscore the wider public interest in those who have been sexually harassed vindicating their legal rights.
Other signatories to the letter include Shine Lawyers, Grata Fund, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Australian Council of Trade Unions, and Australian Women Lawyers Ltd.
Welcome back to parliament.
There are only three scheduled house sitting weeks left – and just eight days for the Senate, which will spend this week in budget estimates.
So no legislation is getting passed this week. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see some legislative fights.
Tony Burke and the government really want to see the IR bill get through the parliament and have set a very tight timeline to make it happen. So far Burke has compromised on a couple of sticking points – including changing multi-employer bargaining from a majority across the sector to a majority in each business. There is also potential for the government to move on the introduction of the changes, with talk of a six-month grace period in the works.
But the government will have to spend this week trying to win over a Senate crossbencher or two. Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock are the two most likely and so far neither are budging.
Meanwhile, Labor senators will find themselves on the other side of the table this week as Senate estimates gets under way in earnest. The Coalition are intent in poking holes in the budget and in particular anything to do with the cost of living, so that’s going to be a long week for some of the Labor ministers.
And it’s all playing out in the shadow of the 27th Cop, being held in Egypt. Anthony Albanese isn’t there – Chris Bowen is.
Australia doesn’t have much new to say, but Adam Morton will be covering what the meeting decides – as well as poking into some of the schemes meant to improve Australia’s position.
You have Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp, Josh Butler and Daniel Hurst watching all the happenings in Parliament House for you and the entire Guardian brains trust watching what’s happening outside of Canberra.
Amy Remeikis is with you on the blog for most of the day.
Ready? It’s a three coffee day minimum. Hope you have yours.
Let’s get into it.