28.1 C
Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Penalty-rate cut would slash $25m from Page economy

Latest News

Byron Shire Council elections still being counted

There are 25,414 registered voters in the Byron Shire local government area (LGA) who are responsible for electing a...

Other News

Power goes out on the Far North Coast

Essential Energy says that just over 21,000 homes and businesses on the Far North Coast were affected by unplanned outages on Saturday night, following the severe storms that swept through the region.

COVID case sends Mullum High teachers and students into isolation

Mullumbimby High School has had a case of COVID-19 confirmed with all staff and students requested to self isolate.

More COVID cases Byron and Tweed Shires

ight new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern NSW Health District (NNSWHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 7 December with Woody’s Surf Shack Night Club and Mullumbimby High School both known recent COVID venues.

The current canine explosion

Alison Drover is concerned about what she calls ‘the current canine explosion’ and its effect on the natural environment. Of...

Election week sees Vanessa Ekins doing her blocky

Enjoying a few precious minutes break in an election week is a real luxury and Lismore mayoral candidate and current Mayor Vanessa Ekins managed to fit an Echo interview in between her TAFE Auslan course and the pre-poll station on Woodlark Street.

Vote counting still underway for Tweed Shire Council elections

Around half of the potential votes have been counted in the Tweed Shire Council which have seen a surge in support for Liberal councillor James Owen.

The abolition of penalty rates for retail workers could see $25 million ripped out of the Page economy, a survey has found. Photo contributed
The abolition of penalty rates for retail workers could see $25 million ripped out of the Page economy, a survey has found. Photo contributed

Retail workers in the Page electorate would be left out of pocket to the tune of up to almost $24.9 million a year if penalty rates were cut, research released today has found.

The research, conducted by the McKell Institute, comes as workers prepare to meet today (October 9) at the Comfort In All Seasons in Ballina to discuss the issue.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recently said that cuts to penalty rates were ‘inevitable’.

A cut to the penalty rates of retail workers alone, who make up 14 per cent of the total local workforce, would see a potential $11.8 million per annum loss of disposable income, according to the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association.

‘When you add in hospitality, that figure jumps to up to $35 million of lost wages and up to $14.7 million in lost disposable income,’ said the Association’s NSW assistant secretary Rob Tonkli.

He added that with a cut to weekend penalty rates currently firmly on the federal government’s agenda, the possibility of the economic hit is very real.

‘This would have a devastating impact on the Ballina economy and on local workers, particularly those in the retail industry,’ Mr Tonkli said.

He added that the flow-on effect to local businesses would be considerable as retail workers were forced to cut their spending.

‘The federal government’s recent Productivity Commission report recommended a cut to weekend penalty rates for workers in the retail and hospitality industries. If that recommendation is adopted, the Ballina community will suffer.

‘This isn’t pie in the sky stuff. The threat of the workers of Page losing their penalty rates is now very real.

‘Local workers are facing a multi-pronged attack on their penalty rates, including from employers, the federal government, the recent Productivity Commission report, and the local business lobby groups.

‘People rely on weekend penalty rates to compensate them for missing time with family and friends and to ensure they can pay their bills. A cut to penalty rates without compensation is a cut to take-home pay workers can’t afford and don’t deserve.

‘Cutting penalty rates will also have a negative impact on the local economy. Slashing the take home pay of workers would mean thousands of Page residents will have less money to spend in local shops and businesses,’Mr Tonkli said.

Hogan concerned

But Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals) has backed away from supporting his leader’s call for penalty rate cuts.

‘Some people work… on a Saturday or a Sunday and they wouldn’t do that unless they got a penalty rate,’ he told ABC radio this morning, ‘and that is factored into their budget’.

‘I’m also cognizant that we would never do this in certain sectors. We would never have a nurse or a police officer work on a Sunday unless there was a penalty rate applied to that – and so it should be,’ Mr Hogan said.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. My TEAM OF INDEPENDENTS has consistently the ability and held the IR & Tax Reform advocacy of keeping minimum wages and their increases and penalty rates and their increases at no cost to employers. It is for Australia and other similarly minded economies as Germany to lift the conditions of international workers not to descend to the lowest level to be “competitive!”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Alcohol-free zones to continue in Ballina Shire

Four areas of public land in the Ballina Shire are to stay alcohol-free zones for at least another three years.

Work is starting on Tweed Rail Trail

The Tweed Council section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is a 24km section that stretches from the Murwillumbah Railway Station to Crabbes Creek and work is starting on the construction.

Jo Jo Smith back in town for one show only

It will be a night to remember with Jo Jo Smith back in town for a performance at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club this Saturday, 11 December.

NORPA announces stellar 2022 season

This morning in a special online event, NORPA revealed some of the adventurous, world-class shows that will transport audiences to different worlds in 2022.