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  • 20-Jul-2022 14:16 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    When you look behind NEC, there's so much more.They are helping governments and enterprise tackle their biggest challenges. Making cities smarter, keeping communities healthier and our citizens safer. NEC is always right behind you. It is why Government, enterprise and developers across the Western Sydney are choosing NEC Australia as their technology partner of choice.

  • 20-Jul-2022 12:15 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    With the commencement of a new financial year, it brings with it important changes and new rates which will apply from 1 July 2022.

    NEW! National Minimum Wage (NMW)

    With the NMW:

    • this is applicable to employees to whom neither a Modern Award or enterprise agreement applies
    • the NMW increases by 5.2% to become $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour
    • the increase to the NMW will come into operation on 1 July 2022
    • in addition:

    a) special NMW rates apply to employees with disabilities, junior employees, apprentices, and those on training arrangements

    b) the minimum casual loading remains unchanged at 25%

    NEW! Modern Award Increases

    • minimum wages to most modern awards increase by the higher of $40 per week or 4.6% (starting on the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022)
    • delays apply to the minimum wage increases in certain aviation, hospitality and tourism-based modern awards, which will take effect on 1 October 2022
    • absorption of wage increases into over-award payments remains permissible (subject to the terms of the relevant employment agreement and what other amounts are being absorbed into any annualised wage arrangement)
    • increases to the minimum wages of junior workers, apprentices, trainees, piece workers and employees on the supported wage system will occur
    • expense-related allowances in Modern Awards will increase as set out in the Modern Award (eg, by the applicable CPI index figure)
    • annualised salaries will need to be reviewed to ensure they continue to properly absorb/include all relevant minimum Modern Award amounts and that they continue to meet any technical notification and reconciliation requirements applying to annualised wage arrangements in certain Modern Awards

    NEW! Impact on Enterprise Agreements

    With enterprise agreements:

    • they must always meet or exceed the minimum wage of:

    a) the relevant Modern Award (ie, the Modern Award that would have applied had the enterprise agreement not been in existence)

    b) the NMW (ie, where a Modern Award would not apply even if the enterprise agreement was not in existence)

    • thus, pay rates in enterprise agreements may need to be increased (even if the enterprise agreement has its own wage increase regime)

    NEW! The Sting

    Be mindful that wage increases may have flow-on effects such as increasing:

    • the value of leave loading, penalty rates, overtime and superannuation contributions
    • the value of accrued leave entitlements
    • the cost of wage related expenses such as payroll tax and workers compensation premiums

    NEW! High Income Threshold (HIT)

    With the HIT:

    • it increases to $162,000
    • it impacts:

    a) who can make a claim for unfair dismissal (for those not covered by a Modern Award or to whom an enterprise agreement does not apply)

    b) the maximum amount of compensation payable in an unfair dismissal claim (which increases to $81,000)

    c) those on a ‘guarantee of annual earnings’ (a Modern Award does not apply to an employee whenever this guarantee is in place provided it continues to meet the relevant legislative requirements)

    NEW! Redundancy

    The tax-free component of a genuine redundancy payment increases to be:

    • a base amount of $11,951
    • an additional amount of $5,797 for each completed year of service

    NEW! Superannuation Contributions Base

    With superannuation:

    • the maximum superannuation contribution base increases to $60,220 per quarter ($240,880 per annum)
    • an employer is not required to make superannuation contributions on behalf of employees on earnings in excess of that maximum contribution base

    Questions/Assistance

    If you have any questions in respect of the above or would like any employment related assistance, please contact a member of the Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions employment law team on (02) 9635 7966 or pdoughman@matthewsfolbigg.com.au

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.


  • 20-Jul-2022 11:55 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Since the beginning of the year, the greater Sydney area has experienced multiple severe flooding events, in one case receiving eight months of rain over four days. These events have caused devastation and distress throughout the region, with tens of thousands displaced.

    The Rotary Club of Blacktown City are raising funds for the victims of these floods, and need your help.

    Join them for a night of fundraising to the backdrop of comedy. Find an astounding piece at the silent auction or try your luck with the lucky door prize and raffles.

    The event details for Flood Relief for Greater Sydney with Comedy are as follows:

    Date: Friday 19th August 2022

    Time: 7.00pm

    Location: Diamond Showroom, Blacktown Workers

    Tickets: $60.00 - available soon via Comedy for a Cause

    If you would like to donate a Raffle, Silent Auction or Lucky Door prize please contact:

    Paula Jesse

    M: 0471 1234 64 

    E: pjesse@live.com.au


  • 20-Jul-2022 11:36 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    They may not wear capes, but the City of Parramatta’s new Tree Champions are fast becoming local heroes by making their neighbourhoods a better place, one tree at a time.

    As part of Council’s Greening Parramatta program, hundreds of local residents have signed up to monitor more than 2,600 freshly planted trees across the City. The new trees will help reduce urban heat, support natural habitat and make suburban streets more attractive for years to come.

    Northmead residents Jason and Dallas said they were keen to become Tree Champions because they wanted to make a difference in their neighbourhood. Their neighbours Steve, Marg and Doug have also signed up.

    “This is a wonderful opportunity for people to work together and help make sure these trees have the best chance possible, so they can improve the streetscape and also cool the street down in summer,” Jason said.

    Parramatta residents Laura and Tim said they wanted to be Tree Champions so they could teach their children they too can make a difference.

    “We wanted to show our kids how you can be involved in your local community to make things better and take small steps to help with climate change. We are excited to see lots more trees around Parramatta,” Laura said.

    The role of the Tree Champions is to monitor the newly planted trees in their street and neighbouring streets over a three-month period and let Council know if they need additional care. They are asked to do a check-in on their allocated trees, including sending a photo of each tree to Council.

    “Through the Greening Parramatta program, we are helping our City and suburbs to be cooler, greener, more liveable and attractive for our residents now and into the future,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.

    “The Tree Champions concept is a brilliant way of sharing the care for our newly planted trees.

    “Our Tree Champions play such a valuable role in ensuring these young trees will mature and reach their full potential. Once grown, these trees will keep our City cool in the summer, provide a home for local wildlife, and make our streets more beautiful.”

    Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said this successful program has been funded by the NSW Government in association with Local Government NSW.

    “The Greening Our City grant program aims to increase tree canopy and green cover across the Greater Sydney Region by planting one million trees by the end of 2022,” Mr Roberts said.

    “I am very proud of this program and what we have been able to achieve to date. I look forward to celebrating the one millionth tree very soon.”

    Trees have been planted in streets and parks across the City of Parramatta, including Constitution Hill, Epping, Ermington, Granville, North Rocks, Northmead, Parramatta, Silverwater, Toongabbie and Winston Hills. Council will be maintaining the new trees with regular care and formative pruning over the first 12 months.

    To view an interactive map of where the trees have been planted and information on each tree, please click here.


  • 20-Jul-2022 10:39 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    By Diana Tapp, CEO of World Class Teams

    Do you know someone who has left their job in the last six months? With employees quitting jobs at the highest rate in over 10 years, many companies are left wondering what they can do to decrease turnover and retain their employees.

    Between employee burnout, work-life balance struggles, and – let’s not forget – a global pandemic, it can be very challenging to keep your team energised and inspired.

    However, with 83% of Executives ranking having motivated employees as the top factor that significantly contributes to a company’s overall success, it’s a no-brainer that maintaining high levels of motivation should be a prime focus for today's leaders. The good news is that it is a learnable skill and one that is easier than we have traditionally believed.

    Don't fall into the trap of assuming money is the key to motivating people. Studies have determined that there are in fact 18 different motivational drivers - and only 3 of them are financial!

    As an employer or team leader, it’s your job to help employees successfully navigate their inertia and reach peak motivation levels in the workplace. That's why World Class Team's are offering their new micro-learning workshop – How to Motivate & Inspire Your Team to go the Extra Mile.

    In this live-streamed training, you will discover:

    • 4 steps to inspiring EVERY individual in your team to go the extra mile
    • How to keep yourself motivated, even when you ‘don’t feel like doing something’
    • The secret to bringing out the absolute best in each person
    • 8 demotivators in the workplace you need to AVOID
    • How to motivate people when you CAN'T offer them more money
    • How to create your own motivational blueprint from 18 possible drivers

    Who Is It For:

    Middle Managers, Team Leaders and Supervisors who want to motivate and inspire people so that they can:

    • Get work done quickly, without fuss and to the standards you expect
    • Make your job as a manager easier, more enjoyable and far less stressful
    • Create happy, motivated teams that experience greater job satisfaction and boosted morale
    • Reduce absenteeism and employee turnover
    • Become an in-demand leader that everyone wants to work for!

    What's Included:

    • 45-minute live-streamed workshop
    • 15-minute live Q&A
    • Printable Action Pack with tools, techniques and templates
    • 30-day access to a recording of the session

    Book Now:

    Tickets are $87 per person.

    https://go-the-extra-mile.eventbrite.com.au


  • 18-Jul-2022 14:09 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    By My Skills Australia

    It is essential to understand that at least 94% of people show loyalty to a brand that displays complete transparency. The best way to do that is to ensure your personal branding is strong. Your personal branding will help you elevate your business venture effectively.

    Top 7 Personal Branding Tips

    1. Create a Personal Brand Statement

    First and foremost, the first step is to create a personal brand statement. Here’s where you determine who you are, your key strengths and skills, and whom you want to reach. Moreover, you need to ensure you know where you want to stand.

    You will need to create a unique selling proposition for yourself that will make you stand out in the market.

    2. Define Your Target Audience

    While creating a personal brand, you need to define a target audience. For instance, if you are into the fashion business, you want to ensure you define your target audience to reach out to the fashionistas and people interested in clothing.

    Define your target in such a way that you can reach the target audience you want. That means you need to decide who you want to reach. So, determine your psychographic and demographic profile appropriately.

    3. Build an Effective Strategy

    You need to build an effective strategy to create a personal brand. It means you must have proper plans, goals, and targets. You should create a path to develop yourself and your brand.

    One of the best ways to build an effective strategy for a personal brand is to make contacts and decisions and plan your career moves.

    4. Weave a Story

    Your personal brand should be unique and engaging. That means you must create a compelling personal brand by crafting a story for yourself. A simple description is insufficient to cut through the noise and stand out in the market.

    Suppose you have a food business. You can build a personal brand by weaving a story around what inspired you to start a food business. What flavours interest you and what are your favourite cuisines are some questions you can answer to build your story.

    5. Engage Your Audience

    Other than creating stories and blog posts, you need to engage your audience. You need to create an atmosphere to engage in conversations. Once you decide on the channels, tactics, and types of content, you should start a conversation.

    For instance, if you are in the content writing business, you can ask your audience what kind of content they want and increase your audience engagement. You could also engage your audience by creating podcasts or coming live on your channel.

    6. Remain Consistent in Your Efforts

    A very important aspect of creating your personal brand is consistency in your efforts. If you have decided to engage with your audience once a week, ensure you do that consistently.

    Also, you should be active and post your story and content regularly to elevate your business.

    7. Ask for Feedback

    You must ask your audience for feedback. The personal brand building enables you to connect with your audience directly. That enables you to get feedback and improve your product and services. Moreover, it helps keep your audience hooked to your content as you can constantly evaluate the responses and act accordingly.

    My Skills Australia is a registered Training Organisation who is proudly disrupting the ways skill are taught to employers and their teams in the workplace. Find the perfect course for you or your staff here.


  • 18-Jul-2022 10:41 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The Queensland government has become the first state or territory to include interstate landholdings in the calculation of land tax. The change means that land tax in Queensland will be calculated on the total landholdings in Australia. The new land tax calculations will apply from 30 June 2023.

    Currently, each state and territory governs land tax independently from each other. Generally, if a taxpayer's landholdings in a certain jurisdiction is above the tax-free threshold, land tax will be applied at various rates.

    Therefore, an individual may be able to take advantage of this by purchasing taxable land in multiple jurisdictions and essentially claiming multiple tax-free thresholds.

    Additionally, Queensland levies land tax on a marginal tax rate, where taxpayers with higher landholdings pay a higher rate of tax per dollar of rateable land.

    After Queensland Revenue Office calculates the gross land tax on your Australian landholdings, that amount is reduced so that your land tax liability relates only to your Queensland landholdings.

    Example

    Jordi owns multiple properties across Australia, with the following land tax statuses and values:

    • main residence in Queensland - exempt
    • 2 investment properties in Queensland valued at $700,000
    • 2 investment properties in Tasmania valued at $500,000.

    Under the current rules, Jordi is liable in Queensland for the 2 investment properties as it is above the $600,000 tax-free threshold:

    ($700,000 - $600,000) × 1.0% + $500 = $1,500

    However, under the new land tax rules, Jordi's total Australian landholdings are taken into account, which pushes him into the new tax threshold:

    ($1,200,000 - $1,000,000) × 1.65% + $4,500 = $7,800

    The gross land tax on the entire Australian landholdings is pro-rated for Jordi's taxable properties in Queensland:

    Queensland land tax = Gross land tax × Queensland landholdings ÷ Australian landholdings

    $7,800 × $700,000 ÷ $1,200,000 = $4,550

    What if I only have land in Queensland?

    If you only have land in Queensland, there is no change at all.

    If you would like a complete a draft calculation so that you are aware of the new liability, please contact Signum Business Advisers.



  • 18-Jul-2022 10:24 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The family of a five-year-old boy, Grayson, who died of a rare genetic disease is grateful that a team of Westmead scientists has discovered the faulty gene that caused his rapid deterioration, a discovery that has already helped his baby brother and will significantly impact future generations.

    Grayson had a genetic disorder known as Dyskeratosis Congenita. This is a disorder of telomere biology, which often has severe consequences. DNA in human cells is bundled into 46 chromosomes, and the two ends of every chromosome are protected by structures called telomeres. In telomere biology disorders, telomeres fail to provide proper protection for the DNA at the ends of chromosomes which can lead to a spectrum of health problems including bone marrow failure leading to the inability to make new blood cells.

    Despite multiple bone marrow transplants during his short life, Grayson died in May.

    His parents Rachel and Leighton Little have been outstanding advocates for medical research and took part in a study conducted by a team of researchers at Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Sydney and Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne, which has been published in the scientific journal Blood Advances.

    “Research helped us to get a diagnosis and understand a condition that no one seemed to, and it allowed us to plan to extend our family, as well as to educate the rest of our family about the risks to them,’’ Rachel said. “It is important to us that we also help others. I don’t want anyone else to feel alone like we did.’’

    In the study, the team led by Professor Tracy Bryan, a leading international expert on telomeres and Head of CMRI’s Cell Biology Unit, discovered what caused Grayson’s very rare condition.

    “Each of us has two copies of the gene, and Grayson’s parents happen to carry a different mutation in one copy of the gene,’’ Professor Bryan said, “so they each have one normal copy and one copy with a mutation. Both of the copies inherited by Grayson had a mutation, which led to bone marrow failure, digestive tract problems, liver problems and developmental delay while his parents who each had only one faulty copy of the gene were unaffected.’’

    Telomere biology is complex, and what no one could tell Rachel and Leighton was why the combined effect of their genetic mutations had caused such a severe disease. The gene responsible encodes a component of an enzyme called telomerase, which is critically important for maintaining the protective role of telomeres.

    “Our colleagues at Peter Mac alerted us to the presence of the two mutations in Grayson’s DNA, but because these mutations had never been seen in patients before no-one knew what effects they were having,” Professor Bryan said. “Using the technology, we have developed for studying telomerase, built up over the last two decades, we demonstrated that each of these mutations affects a different property of telomerase, and when the two mutations are combined, there is an unexpected interaction between them, resulting in a defect more severe than simply the additive effect of the two mutations. The most striking outcome of the analyses was the interaction between the two variants.’’

    “Our findings have already had an impact on the family, allowing them to have a healthy baby brother to Grayson, and the results emphasise to researchers and clinicians in this field of medicine the importance of analysing combined mutations to reveal their full effect. Also, if other patients around the world are found to have the same mutations, they won’t have to wait for a molecular diagnosis; this publication will alert their clinical team that the mutations cause telomere shortening.’’

    “Of course, while this work has given the family an understanding of what caused Grayson’s illness, we are devastated that there was nothing more that could be done to save him. Our work is not over – the next step for us is to use current gene technology to develop much better treatments for patients with this disease”, Professor Bryan said.

    When Grayson was diagnosed his parents were told there was no cure. He received two bone marrow transplants before Rachel and Leighton got the news 15 months ago that there was nothing else that medical science could offer. Rachel said research gave them more time with Grayson, but she hopes things will improve for future generations.

    “We had to learn a lot and so did our doctors because it is so rare,’’ Rachel said. “I’m now advocating for others which is so important.’’

    The study was a collaboration between Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Sydney, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Melbourne), Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (Brisbane), and RMIT University in Melbourne. Work was also performed by Aram Niaz and Dr Lisa Riley from the Rare Disease Functional Genomics laboratory supported by Luminesce Alliance, a joint venture between CMRI, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, the Children’s Cancer Institute, the University of Sydney, and the University of New South Wales.

    Support Children's Medical Research Institute's work here.


  • 14-Jul-2022 11:33 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Parramatta’s new $88.6 million state-of the-art aquatic and leisure centre is fast approaching the finish line as construction races past the halfway mark.

    Named Parramatta Aquatic Centre at Monday night’s Council meeting, the centre is rapidly taking shape, with indoor and outdoor pool sites excavated and over 9000 cubic metres of concrete poured.

    “The countdown is on until we open the doors of our fantastic new centre to the community,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.

    “We know the people of Parramatta are eagerly-awaiting the opening, so we have around a hundred workers on site daily, working hard to deliver our new aquatic centre.

    “This multifunctional centre will be a place where our community can exercise, learn to swim or simply have fun with family and friends all year around. I look forward to seeing it be enjoyed by our community for many years to come.”

    Once complete, the centre will include a 10-lane, 50m outdoor pool; 25m indoor pool; indoor learn-to-swim pool; indoor water playground; spa, steam and sauna facilities; café; fitness centre; multipurpose community rooms; and parking spaces. Together the three pools will hold more than 2.5 million litres of water.

    Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said: “We’ve worked hard with Parramatta Council to help deliver what is a great win for the community, they deserve a world class pool in this world class park.”

    Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee said: “I’m excited that we are past the halfway mark in delivering a first-class facility, as we know the community can’t wait to get back into the water.”

    “This aquatic centre will be the envy of communities all over the State. It will be a complex with versatility designed to meet the needs of Parramatta now and in the future for decades to come,” Dr Lee said.

    Designed by Grimshaw Architects, Andrew Burges Architects and McGregor Coxall, and built by construction company Lipman, the new aquatic centre will sit seamlessly in Parramatta Park’s lush surrounds. The centre’s roof will feature solar panels, generating around 273 Megawatts per hour in energy savings annually.

    In a Council Meeting on Monday night, the facility’s name, Parramatta Aquatic Centre, was endorsed by Councillors. The Council also endorsed naming the 50m outdoor pool as the Memorial Pool in recognition of the former Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre.

    The community is now invited to vote for the names of the centre’s program rooms and outdoor areas. The suggested names feature Dharug language with many inspired by nature, such as Barra Ngurang (Eel Room). The next round of consultation runs from 13-27 July.

    Community members can provide feedback by visiting participate.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/parramattas-aquatic-leisure-centre

    The project is being co-funded by Council and the NSW Government, which is investing $38.5 million from the Restart NSW Fund. It is anticipated to open in 2023.

    For more information, please visit cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/poolupdate


  • 14-Jul-2022 11:02 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Looking to access the R&D tax incentive but not sure where to start?

    Australia’s R&D tax incentive scheme boosts innovation, research and development, and productivity in Australia by providing tax offsets to businesses that undertake R&D in Australia.

    William Buck’s experienced team of advisors can help you assess eligibility, maximise your claim and remain compliant.

    Book a free assessment from one of William Buck’s R&D consultants today.



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