Fair Work Australia has ruled that community sector workers in Australia should receive between 19 and 41 per cent pay increases in a landmark decision. Last year the workplace tribunal found that workers in the community and disability sectors were underpaid compared to public service workers doing similar jobs. The decision means the highest paid in the sector will receive an annual $23,000 pay rise, taking their income to $83,000. The lowest paid will receive $6000 pay rises. The move will affect some 150,000 workers across Australia and be funded in a shared arrangement by the states and Federal Government, which has pledged $2 billion to the arrangement. But the changes will brought in over eight years instead of the lobbied for six. The decision has been hailed as a significant equal pay win as most of the community sector workers are women.
Gina Rinehart, whose wealth almost doubled in one day to just shy of $20 billion earlier this month, has made a move to increase her stake in media company Fairfax to 14 per cent. Ms Rinehart is the daughter of late mining magnate Lang Hancock and has worked to further his grip on iron ore prospects. A stockbroker acting on her behalf made an attempt last night to secure the 10 per cent stake which would cost her $192 million. But for a woman who is worth about 10 times as much as Fairfax itself, that’s small change. Ms Rinehart already owns a 10 per cent stake in the Ten Network. She is known as notoriously private but became vocal during mining tax protests, claiming heavy taxes would ruin the industry. A recent profile on Ms Rinehart noted her conservative views were inherited from her father and she has spoken out in the past about Fairfax being a too left-wing and biased. It is said that Ms Rinehart could conceivably become the richest person in the world in the near future as the potential for her mining prospects grow.
Debbie and Lawrence Waller are suing an IVF specialist for ‘wrongful birth’ after their son Keeden was born with a hereditary condition called antithrombin deficiency which causes blood clotting. Shortly after his birth in 2000, he suffered a severe stroke that cause brain damage. He cannot walk, talk or go to the bathroom. His parents say they love him, but he should never have been born. They’re asking for $10 million from the specialist for not properly checking whether Larwence’s condition could be passed on. “We love Keeden now that he’s here, but if we had the right information and the right options we wouldn’t have gone ahead with the birth, not in the way we did,” Mrs Waller said. “Had things been done right, Keeden would never have been here. He would never have to go through the suffering he goes through – the seizures and all.”
The newly formed Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards went off with a bit of pop last night and celebrated a busy year in film and TV. Without further ado, here are the winners:
Samsung AACTA Award for Best Film – RED DOG
Best Direction – Snowtown
Best Original Screenplay – Griff The Invisible
Best Adapted Screenplay – Snowtown
Best Lead Actor – Daniel Henshall. Snowtown.
Best Lead Actress – Judy Davis. The Eye Of The Storm.
Best Supporting Actor – Hugo Weaving. Oranges And Sunshine.
Best Supporting Actress – Louise Harris. Snowtown.
Best Television Drama Series – East West 101
Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series – The Slap.
Best Light Entertainment Television Series – The Gruen Transfer.
Best Direction in Television – The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’.
Best Screenplay in Television – The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’.
Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama – Alex Dimitriades. The Slap.
Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama – Sarah Snook. Sisters Of War.
Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama – Richard Cawthorne. Killing Time.
Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama – Diana Glenn. The Slap.
Switched On Audience Choice Award for Best Television Program – Packed To The Rafters.
Switched On Audience Choice Award for Best Performance in a Television Drama – Asher Keddie. Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo.
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And that was just in December. Benchmark Nielsen ratings of Aussie net behaviour revealed we spent enough time online at the end of 2011 to take up 25.2 billion minutes visiting 42 billion web pages. Hurting your head yet? And, of course, Facebook impressed with the average Australian spending one in every four online minutes on the world’s largest social networking site, which has more than 800 million members. Google was even more popular in the number one spot. Mobile Internet traffic increased by 71 per cent across 2011 and there were 15.9 million Australians active online in December. What are your browsing habits like?
There’s no love lost between these two. After saying Madonna didn’t have a ‘f*cking chance’ of winning the best song award they were both nominated for at the Golden Globes (she did, it turns out, as she won it) Elton has now come out and rubbished her upcoming performance at America’s NFL Superbowl. When asked what advice he would give the pop superstar, Elton said: “Make sure you lip-synch good.”
It just might be a useful male contraceptive, if men are willing to let their nether-regions get zapped. Researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have released data (drawn from their studies of rats) that show an ultrasound treatment applied directly to the testes could reduce the sperm count to zero, making it a very effective contraceptive for men that happens to be completely reversible. But more work needs to be done, namely to figure out if the treatment is safe to use multiple times on the same subject. Hmmm.
If you missed it yesterday Mamamia has a brand new daily post! The Mamamia Wine Bar, a place for you to pull up a seat, grab a drink of your choice (tea is more than acceptable) and let the Mamamia Team fill you in on some of the things everyone’s talking about – check out yesterday’s inaugural post here
What else is in the news and on your mind?