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Your views: on wage theft, Festival Centre, nuclear waste, pensions and JobSeeker

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on underpayment, Festival Plaza redevelopment, a nuclear waste storage site and increasing Centrelink payments.

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Commenting on the story: ‘Modern slavery’ claim over bubble tea shop underpayment

This incident in Gouger St is just the tip of the iceberg of vulnerable people, not just international students, being taken advantage of re their work rights.

Governments need to put clear structures and independent, publicly-funded monitoring in place to educate business owners and mete out consequences in the form of hefty fines. – Jane Osborne

The young women who stood up to the alleged wage theft at the Fun Tea shop should be commended for their principles, strength of character and courage of action in the face of violence. They are inspiring candidates for young South Australians of the year 2022, I reckon.  

The wage theft ‘incident’ at the (No) Fun Tea shop is just the tip of the wage theft iceberg that is haunting the working life of too many workers in Australia.

Both state and federal legislation need to be fast-tracked to criminalise this illegal and immoral behaviour by too many employers. In the immediate, the state government should condemn such employer behaviour and increase regulatory capacity and resources to stamp it out. 

The peak employer and business organisations should also condemn and remove from their membership any businesses found to be engaging in this behaviour. 

This is an injustice that impacts first on the workers concerned then on the reputation of business and all of South Australia. – Stewart Sweeney

Commenting on the story: Festival Theatre forced to close for plaza works

Clearly this has to happen. Let’s hope that in the process they cover the walkways on the north side of the complex. It’s ridiculous at present that in inclement weather there is no shelter as you approach the venue. – Robert Fletcher

Commenting on the opinion piece: Clock ticking on nuclear waste site debate

Jodie van Deventer’s recent comment clearly identifies “our obligation as a society to dispose of our waste responsibly”.

Sadly this much needed responsibility is missing from the federal governments stalled push to advance a national radioactive waste site near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.

 Right now, the federal government is seeking to change the rules and remove fundamental democratic rights and protections by denying concerned and affected citizens a day in court.

The right to independent legal recourse is a fundamental principle of our democracy. It should not be lightly jettisoned, especially on an issue with such significant implications and impacts as radioactive waste.

Despite multiple requests, Barngarla Native Title holders were explicitly excluded from the consultations and remain actively opposed to the planned waste facility. To further remove their rights – and the rights of others – is unfair, unnecessary and unjustified.

This is not simply a low-level waste facility. Many state and national civil society groups, Aboriginal and professional groups, the SA Upper House, state Labor and unions share concerns and oppose the government’s approach. A key concern is that it will not result in credible long term management, especially of intermediate level waste.

It makes no sense to double-handle Australia’s worst radioactive waste by moving it from ANSTO’s secure Lucas Heights facility in southern Sydney to a far less resourced site near Kimba, with no plan for what happens next.

The federal nuclear regulator has confirmed that ANSTO can continue to manage this waste ‘for decades to come’. The absence of the Kimba facility does not threaten continued access to nuclear medicine and the federal plan is not consistent with industry best practise or community expectation.

This waste lasts a lot longer than any politician’s promise. In the interests of all Australians we urgently a new, credible approach that puts evidence ahead of expedience.

Only time can make the waste less toxic, but transparency can reduce the toxicity of the discussion around its management. – Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation

Commenting on the story: Call to link pension rises to JobSeeker

A pay rise for JobSeeker is well overdue. I’d love to know how many times the politicians have voted themselves a pay rise in the many years since the last time the Newstart/JobSeeker rate was increased. It should be tied to the CPI. – Jim Mills

As an aged pensioner, I feel it unfair that job seekers were given up to $550 a fortnight extra, while aged pensioners were not even given a rise last year and probably not this year either.

Our rents are rising, cost of petrol etc. Its difficult to live safely, not being able to afford heating, cooling or insurances. – Fran Mimulus

Pensions and JobSeeker have to increase to maintain our standard of living. The ridiculous amount of money the Government throws at one person throughout the year via the NDIS (not to say they don’t need help; it’s a great system but without balance), and keep pensions poverty-based.

They need to be able work out a rate of tax relief to encourage people to work and continue to improve a standard of living, rather than diminish it. It seems  a failure to acknowledge these are the people who have made this country what it is today. In short, an overhaul is necessary – but good luck with that. – Les Winckle

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