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South Australian Government unveils $650 million jobs stimulus package

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March 26, 2020 08:32:51

The South Australian Government has unveiled a $650 million jobs rescue package in response to what it describes as the “unprecedented economic emergency” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points:

  • Premier Steven Marshall said SA’s economic response was “the highest per capita” in the country
  • A 14-member Industry Response and Recovery Council will meet to discuss how the money will be spent
  • The new package is likely to focus on supporting small businesses

Details of how the money will be spent will be discussed with a 14-member council of business leaders from industries including property, retail, construction, hospitality, wine and tourism.

Premier Steven Marshall said the rescue package was aimed at saving South Australian jobs and supporting key industries.

He described the challenges created by the pandemic as “the greatest economic emergency of our generation”.

Together with a $350 million infrastructure stimulus package announced a fortnight ago, the South Australian Government’s economic response totals $1 billion.

Mr Marshall described South Australia’s total stimulus contribution as “the highest per capita in the entire nation”.

“Today, we announced $650 million worth of further stimulus to really support South Australians through this tough time, but also to aid our recovery out the other side,” he said.

“The crucial thing about this package is to provide some structural support so that we can get this state moving.

“When we come out the other side, we know that we’re going to get through this disaster.”

Mr Marshall indicated the money was likely to be directed towards supporting local businesses.

“They’ve been doing it extraordinarily tough at the moment, but so are a lot of households and individuals, so it will be a package of support,” he said.

“We’ve seen tens of thousands of people laid off — there are devastating scenes in South Australia and that’s why we need to be doing literally everything we can at this time.

“There’s no point in waiting for six or 12 months. People are hurting now, they need their government support.”

The state’s first stimulus package, announced on March 11, included current infrastructure projects being brought forward, as well as new projects around road maintenance, housing, tourism and health.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

But at the time SA Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas took aim at the lack of detail in the commitment and said it would leave businesses and households without confidence.

“I think South Australians were looking to Steven Marshall for a bit of detail about his plan to stimulate the South Australian economy to prevent any potential recession,” he said.

“That lack of detail means there is very real concern out there around what the Government is actually doing to drive economic activity in our state.”

Topics:

covid-19,

diseases-and-disorders,

health,

politics-and-government,

business-economics-and-finance,

economic-and-social-development,

community-and-society,

adelaide-5000,

sa,

australia

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Victorino upbeat about Lanai’s COVID-19 status | News, Sports, Jobs

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Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is confident that the COVID-19 outbreak on Lanai is under control after the issuing of a stay-at-home order Tuesday and encouraging results from recent surge testing.

After the virus outbreak last week, medical providers conducted nearly 1,000 tests Saturday, where six new coronavirus cases were discovered. Another three positive cases were added to the state Department of Health count for a total of nine Tuesday, but Victorino said that those three individuals were tested before the surge testing program.

All nine cases were included in Lanai’s total count, which was 87 as of Tuesday — the fourth highest island by cases in the state behind Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui.

“We’re in fairly good shape overall. However, I want the Lanaians to know that this lockdown is so important,” Victorino said Tuesday night during a news conference. “I’m very confident with keeping it under control. I think the community realizes the importance of working together and having respect for each other.”

The stay-at-home order will remain in place until Nov. 11. It requires people to only leave their home or place of lodging for essential activities, services or business. All travel to and from Lanai is restricted to essential work or medical purposes. All other travelers must quarantine for 14 days.

Essential workers to Lanai may request limited quarantine through the county.

Managing Director Sandy Baz said that these protocols will be evaluated on a daily basis.

So far, a total of 2,747 COVID-19 tests have been administered on Lanai — 87 percent of the resident population. The rate of positive cases was 3.13 percent. The seven-day average rolling rate was 4.66 percent.

“We want to give a big mahalo to all our health care workers, first responders and many others, who helped to provide this large scale testing event for our Lanai community,” Baz said.

Large social gatherings likely contributed to the outbreak, which shows “just how quickly” the virus can spread if mask wearing and social distancing protocols are not met, he added.

The Hawaii National Guard and the state Department of Health officials have been going “house to house” to ensure that families are taken care of by educating various groups and offering a native language translator.

“We are working very closely with the Lanai health providers as well as others to make sure that this cluster of our Polynesian community is managed and helped in every way possible,” Victorino said.

There will be testing available from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Lana’i Community Hospital.

Mass testing is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday behind the Pulama Lana’i administrative building. Appointments are encouraged by calling Lanai’s Straub Medical Center at (808) 565-6423 or the Lanai Community Health Center at (808) 565-6919.

In other developments:

• Young Brothers said its barge service to Lanai will continue on schedule. The barge arrives Wednesdays at Kaumalapau Harbor from Honolulu and departs the same day back to Honolulu.

• Roselani Place, an assisted living facility on Maui, reported two possible cases from its recent round of testing Monday. The cases are pending further investigation by the Maui District Health Office, a news release said. Not counting the two cases, there have been 71 cases at the Kahului facility — 32 staff and 39 residents.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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Indonesia’s Pandemic Response: A Law to Create Millions of Jobs | Voice of America

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN – A landmark law passed this month in Indonesia will open the populous, impoverished country to labor-intensive industry like many of its Southeast Asian neighbors despite a hit to worker rights, people on the ground say. 

The 905-page Omnibus Bill on Job Creation bill will give millions of young people chances to work, including in formal jobs that can be hard to find because older Indonesian laws discouraged foreign investors from setting up factories, analysts believe. 

Indonesians are struggling to earn income during an unrelenting COVID-19 outbreak that prompted shutdowns from April. The nation with nearly 400,000 infections reported a sharp drop in retail sales from April through August and a fall in exports over the three months ending in September.   

“With this new law, it is expected that the investment would come not only to the Indonesian economy, but also come to the labor-intensive part, and by getting more investment in that area it is expected that more jobs will be created, and those jobs are more of the quality jobs, not only informal jobs,” said Yose Rizal Damuri, economics department head with the Center for Strategic and International Studies research organization in Jakarta.   

Indonesia’s government and House of Representatives passed the bill ahead of schedule on October 5, the Jakarta Post reported. The bill aims to cut bureaucracy and make it easier for investors to create jobs, said Richard Borsuk, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies adjunct senior fellow in Singapore.

Protest against the government’s proposed labor reforms in Sukabumi, West Java, Oct. 7, 2020.

President Joko Widodo’s government sees this bill as part of his “legacy” to stimulate the 270 million-person country’s economy, Rizal said. Minerals, oil and farming make up much of Indonesia’s $1 trillion-plus GDP today. “Labor-intensive” industry players find Indonesia too expensive now, Rizal said, explaining why that sub-sector makes up just 2% of the country’s total investment. 

Foreign manufacturers of garments, shoes and textiles normally pick other low-cost Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, over the past decade because of stiff pro-labor laws, economists say. Foreign investment eventually raises the living standards, as witnessed in China and eventually Vietnam

“It’s probably something that will be a long-term benefit, if this does go through,” said Rajiv Biswas, senior regional economist with IHS Markit, a London-based analysis firm. 

“It creates a better environment for foreign multinationals to hire, because from the perspective of foreign multinationals, it’s very restrictive labor laws there,” Biswas said. “They’re worried about hiring because it’s very hard to reduce the workforce later on.”   

Foreign investors will consider the law a “step in the right” direction for making Indonesia friendlier, forecast Song Seng Wun, an economist in the private banking unit of Malaysian bank CIMB.

“This Omnibus Bill is part of something that Jokowi [was] looking to see how they can help sort of improve the investment landscape to make it a little bit more attractive in Indonesia, just to make sure Indonesia doesn’t get pushed down the investible list of countries,” Song said, using the Indonesian president’s nickname. 

But the law sparked staunch opposition. Some governors have asked Widodo to revoke the law and other people protested in the streets over three days, sometimes violently, Borsuk’s study says. 

The law effectively eliminates the power of labor unions, said Paramita Supamijoto, an international relations lecturer at Bina Nusantara University in greater Jakarta. 

The October bill would roll back legal support for fair wages, safe working conditions and excessive overtime, U.S.-headquartered human rights advocacy group Amnesty International said in a statement in August. It called the bill’s preparation process “opaque.”   

Severance pay for laid-off workers will also slip, Damuri said. 

For workers, the law means that “whatever you do, your life will be determined by your employers,” Supamijoto said.

But the law could stoke enough investment to stop people from migrating overseas in search of work, she said. “Under our current president’s administration, they prefer to invite the investors rather than sending workers abroad, so it’s better to invite you to come here to spend money, to invest your money, then to help us to build the infrastructure,” she said. 

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Cindy Knier | News, Sports, Jobs

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Cindy Knier (nee McCarty) slipped off to be with Jesus on Oct. 24, 2020, at 58 years of age. As much as she loved staying home with her family in Muncy, she was ready to be with the Lord and to rest in His everlasting peace after bravely battling that insidious beast, cancer.

She will be lovingly remembered and missed by her husband of 39 years, Rodney Knier; children: Michael (Jenny) and Katie Artley (Jade); grandson Samuel Artley; siblings Geri Schnure (Ed), Jeannie Bontomase (Dale), Melinda McCarty, Joyce McCarty, Lisa McCarty, John McCarty (Lourie), and last but not least, Jacque McCarty; and a vast number of cousins, nieces and nephews.

The favorite daughter of Lewis and Lola McCarty of Muncy, Cindy was a hometown girl who served as the editor of the local newspaper, The Luminary. Recent students of Muncy High School had the delight of knowing her as their school librarian. Cindy loved taking pictures (even when it got on her friends’ nerves), listening to and singing along with the oldies, sipping Lipton tea and spending time with family and friends. She was a fiercely devoted mother and a proud new grandmother. She hated the sound of chewing, so please chew quietly to honor her memory.

Cindy was famous for her beautiful laughter. Forevermore, heaven will ring with its glorious sound and earth will be the poorer.

A celebration of Cindy’s life is being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation to The Son Light House of Muncy or Camp Victory.

Rod Knier

ministrare quam ministrari

to serve rather than to be served




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