The Changing Nature of Trust: Australian Jobs That Need Security Checks

In Australia, the government has now increased a number of safety measures towards jobs that are considered a ‘high security’ risk. Jobs such as aged care services and disability care services now require to obtain a mandatory certificate.

Staff working in aged care homes and disability care centres who have supervised or unsupervised access to care recipients must obtain a police check. All volunteers that are likely to have unsupervised access to care recipients must also obtain a police check.

National criminal history record checks (also known as police checks) provides evidence that the employee has not committed any crimes, in an attempts to lower the risks of any thefts or assaults that may occur in the workplace.

Criminal records may include arrest, conviction, and possibly criminal proceedings.

Technology: Construction Delays In Transformative Technologies

It has been reported from Sourceable, that there has been a powerful wave of new technologies said to be sweeping across the AEC sector. Along with the traditional industrial tools and machinery available, there are new devices which have impacted upon the way firms are involved in the development of built environments and do business.

According to Marc Howe, “These technologies cover a range of different areas and functions, including unmanned drones, building information modelling (BIM), reality capture, big data, as well as augmented and virtual reality platforms.

Mobile data in particular is having a highly “disruptive” impact on the AEC sector, with workers carrying levels of computing power on their person that were all but inconceivable for even the largest mainframe devices only one or two generations ago.

It’s this extraordinary level of mobile computing power in tandem with surging levels of connectivity that underlies the ability of other disruptive technologies to make critical contributions to the AEC sector.

Mobile technology means that drones, embedded sensors and portable smart devices can channel vast amounts of data from building sites or built assets to cloud computing hubs, supplying them with all the information they need to fuel or enhance other key technological processes such as BIM, augmented and virtual reality, or predictive analytics that rely upon the accumulation of big data lakes.

A recent white paper published by Viewpoint Construction Software on mobile technology and data notes that this ongoing trend is set to accumulate momentum, leading to further profound changes in the development and operation of built environments.

The white paper foresees the development of “better telecommunications, more connected mobile devices, increased integration of enterprise and project-based software, growing reliance on data-rich BIM(M) approaches and the explosion of data-emitting, interactive systems in and around our built assets.”

The authors of the paper further observe that “the successful construction business of the future will be one that can harness the power of this data, working with its supply chain partners and its customers to extract intelligence from its processes and from the assets it helps deliver so that it can add real value.”

If the effective adoption of new paradigm-changing technologies is essential to the success of construction companies in future, Australian firms will need to overcome prevailing levels of trepidation and conservatism about these shifts in order to flourish in years to come.

According to Lynne Edwards, ANZ marketing manager, Viewpoint Construction Software, many in the construction sector remain laggards when it comes to the adoption of new technologies.

“The construction sector isn’t making the most yet of the new technologies that are now on offer,” said Edwards. “There’s the technology out there, yet many people remain nervous about using it and making it work for them, because they either don’t like change, or they don’t want to disrupt the status quo.”

Firms at the mid-market level can often feel that they’re not large enough or sufficiently prepared to embrace new technologies.

Edwards notes, however, that it’s often the size of construction projects rather than the companies themselves that should determine the types of tools or technologies that are adopted.

“The products that can really help construction companies are designed to foster collaboration in larger and often complex projects ,” she said.

“While a company might feel a bit overwhelmed by having to deal with a huge project, the only way they’re going to grow is by enlisting the help of those technologically based resources.”

Another issue impeding the use of key emerging technologies by the construction sector is the Catch 22 dilemma of companies never having an appropriate time or situation to forge ahead with their adoption.

“Companies feel they’re either too busy at the moment to think about it, and so they say to themselves they’ll do this when we’re less busy,” said Edwards. “When they’re less busy however their conservatism creeps back in and they say they don’t want to make an investment now that they have the time because of the risks involved.”

Technology: Blackhole Discovered in Markarian 1018 Galaxy

An international team of astronomers has found a black hole in the Markarian 1018 galaxy, cracking the code behind the galaxy’s changing brightness throughout the decades.

Markarian 1018, located 555 million light-years away from Earth, was first discovered in the 1980s emitting little light. A few years after, it became categorized as a Seyfert type, a galaxy with very high brightness.

However, the astronomers found that the galaxy once again dimmed in 2015 using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope along with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

“When we re-observed [Markarian 1018] last year we found that it had returned to this dimmer state that it was in when it was first observed in the 1980s,” said study lead author Rebecca McElroy, a Ph.D. student at the University of Sydney and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics.

McElroy said this decline in brightness was because the black hole was starved of fuel or accretion material. “It’s possible that this starvation is because the inflow of fuel is being disrupted,” Ms. McElroy said. “This could be because of interactions with a second supermassive black hole.”

McElroy said the findings provide new knowledge on active galaxies. Previously, active galaxies have been categorized into two static types: obscured and unobscured. However, Markarian 1018 challenged this classification.

“Future research on the galaxy will allow us to explore the exciting world of starving black holes and changing active galaxies in more detail,” Fellow at the European Southern Observatory, Bernd Husemann said.

National: Pleas To Block Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite

The plebiscite on same-sex marriage in the parliament might be cancelled, as the Australian Labor party is expected to reject the enabling bill.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten is set to recommend rejecting the bill to Labor caucus and finalise the party’s position on October 10.

The Greens and Nick Xenophon team have promised to block the legislation. “We will be voting against the marriage equality plebiscite, no matter what form it takes, because of the harm that it can potentially do to same-sex attracted and gender diverse Australian,” Greens senator Janet Rice said in a Melbourne conference.

“The best way to achieve marriage equality, the quickest way, the way it should be done is to have a free vote in the parliament and we want to see that free vote to be brought upon as soon as possible.”

If the parliament passes the legislation, the plebiscite would take place on February 11, 2017, with a taxpayer funding of $15 million allocated to “yes” and “no” campaign committees.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that Labor’s rejection of the plebiscite could result in delays in same-sex marriage legalisation. “If the Labor Party wants to frustrate that, well, all that will mean is that the resolution of the same-sex marriage issue will be postponed potentially for a very long time,” Turnbull told the Financial Review.

Same-sex marriage advocates have said that the legislation is not the best way to legalise same-sex marriage. “This public funding provisions would allow taxpayers funds to be used to attack other Australians with fear campaigns, and is totally unnecessary for achieve a reform that the parliament could deliver now,” Australian Marriage Equality Chair, Alex Greenwich said.

“Earlier [in August] the largest LGBTI community survey of its kind ever conducted found the LGBTI community is united against a plebiscite with opposition running at 85 per cent,” just.equal spokesperson Ivan Hinton-Teoh told Star Observer.

“A key concern of LGBTI Australians is that a plebiscite will be a platform for hate and that it will not actually lead directly to marriage equality.

“I call on Labor and crossbench senators to follow the Greens’ lead so that a plebiscite is blocked and we can have a free vote in Parliament instead.”

National: Daily Telegraph Publishes Propaganda On Gen Y’s ‘Bludging’ Culture

“An army of young Australian bludgers” who would rather watch TV than find a job has emerged, according to the Daily Telegraph’s cover story on Wednesday, September 14.

The paper focuses on two young people “not in employment, education or training’’, or NEETs, whom the writers described as “young, selfish and happily jobless”.

The story was as follows:

Two young NEETs, Ashleigh, 21, and Amy, 17, from Mt Druitt, would rather spend their days “chilling at maccas” and taking their old Holden Barina on “off-road tracks” than look for a job. Ashleigh told The Daily Telegraph she would “never get a job”.

“I don’t want to work my whole life and just die … I want more than that,” she said from the car park of the Mt ­Druitt Centrelink office. “I would tell you it’s hard to get a job but to be honest I don’t even try. Centrelink pays my rent and that’s all I need.”

The following paragraphs of the story discuss about the reasons behind young people’s unwillingness to work, which are based more on structural issues than personal decisions according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.

The number of NEETs has soared by 100,000 since the ­global financial crisis eight years ago… The report also reveals that 41 per cent of NEETs want a job and are seeking work… Young women often drop out of work or study to have children, while young men drop out due to “low educational attainment, a lack of suitable employment options and ill health (or) disability’’.

Junkee’s Osman Faruqi criticises the article for its bias. “At no point did the OECD suggest that the rise in young people out of the workforce as their own fault or a deliberate decision to just bludge around,” writes Faruqi. “But I guess a story that says ‘Government should invest more in public services’ won’t sell as many papers as ‘New breed of bludger’.”

National: Pauline Hanson’s ‘Racist’ Maiden Speech Condemned

Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech has caused furore over its ‘racist’ message.

During her first speech in parliament on September 14, Hanson called for a ban on building mosques, wearing the burqa, and Muslim immigration.

Below are some of the speech’s excerpts:

Muslims want to see sharia law introduced in Australia. This law is a totalitarian civil code which prescribes harsh feudal rules imposed on everything, firstly for Muslims, later for everyone. As long as Islam is considered a religion, sharia conflicts with our secular state.

Islam cannot have a significant presence in Australia if we are to live in an open, secular and cohesive society. Never before in Australia’s history have we seen civil unrest and terror associated with a so-called religion, or from followers of that faith. We have seen the destruction that it is causing around the world.

If we do not make changes now, there will be no hope in the future. Have no doubt that we will be living under sharia law and treated as second-class citizens with second-class rights if we keep heading down the path with the attitude, ‘She’ll be right, mate.’

Therefore, I call for stopping further Muslim immigration and banning the burqa, as they have done in many countries around the world.

The Greens parliament members walked out on the speech. “We walked out of the chamber during Pauline Hanson’s first speech to this Parliament because we stand with the millions of Australians who choose to walk away from negativity and racism,” said Greens leader, Richard di Natale in a statement.

“We are sending a very strong message that we stand with the majority of Australians who value cultural diversity, respect, and tolerance.”

“I think it’s just ugly hate speech,” said musician Jimmy Barnes on ABC’s Q&A last night, describing Hanson’s maiden speech as “fanning the flames of extremism”.

A number of media outlets, such as ABC and SBS, have also pointed out the factual errors in Hanson’s speech, with the Courier-Mail saying the speech was “more fiction than fact”.

National: Labor Senator Stephen Conroy Retires

Labor’s Victoria senator Stephen Conroy has announced his resignation from politics, only months after being re-elected at the July 2 election.

“You should always go out on top…it must be time to say farewell,” Conroy states in his tabled speech. “It has been a great privilege to serve as a senator for Victoria, as leader and deputy leader of the Labor Party in the Senate and as a cabinet minister in two Labor governments.”

Conroy mentions his daughter, Isabella in the speech. “When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter’s soccer training it is time to retire from the Federal Parliament,” the statement reads. “It’s time for me to hang up my boots as Captain of the Parliamentary Soccer team and spend more time teaching Isabella soccer tricks.”

Conroy’s decision caught his party colleagues by surprise. “I’ve only just heard of these reports so I’ll be having more discussions during the day,” Labor’s federal deputy leader, Tanya Plibersek said on Friday. Labor MP for Corio, Richard Marles told ABC he was also surprised by the decision, but said, “Steve was always going to do this in his own way and on his own terms.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten thanked Conroy for his “tireless contribution” to the party and the country. “In his twenty years as a senator, Stephen has relished every challenge put to him…” states Shorten. “He goes with my goodwill, my best wishes and my thanks for his service.”

Conroy has previously served as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity.

 

International: Hillary Clinton Returns To White House Race

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has returned to campaigning after three-day rest at home from pneumonia.

“Sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be,” Clinton spoke to the crowd in North Carolina yesterday as a part of her campaign trail. Clinton’s speech focused mostly on her vision for American families and children rather than her rival, Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Concerns arose after Clinton was reportedly taken ill and stumbling to get into her vehicle at the 9/11 memorial event.

Three days after the event, Clinton’s personal physician Lisa Bardack, MD confirmed that Clinton’s condition has improved.

“She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest,” Bardack’s statement reads. “She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

In response to this incident, Trump has released his medical report on The Dr Oz Show following a recent examination by his personal doctor, Dr Harold Bornstein. The report states that Trump is in “excellent physical health”.

“When you’re running for president of the United States, or maybe any other country, I think you have an obligation to be healthy,” Trump told the show’s host, Mehmet Oz.

“I just don’t think you can do the work if you’re not healthy; I don’t think you can represent the country properly if you’re not a healthy person.”

Bornstein claimed in December that Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”.

Finance: Spring Auction Market Opens with Strong Sales in Australia’s Big Cities

Auction market opens the spring season with significant clearance rate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.

Sydney market remains strong with its fourth consecutive weekend of a clearance rate above 80 per cent, well above the rate recorded at the same weekend last year of 75.1 per cent.

Melbourne market is also at its strongest since last winter, achieving 77.5 per cent clearance rate on Saturday and making it the sixth consecutive weekends of clearance rates above 75 per cent.

Domain senior economist, Andrew Wilson told AFR Weekend that other cities are experiencing similar trend. “Brisbane saw a clearance rate of 54 per cent when it is usually travelling in the 40s, Canberra hit 82 per cent and Adelaide 74 per cent,” said Wilson.

Observers believe that this market boom is motivated by lower number of listings and cuts in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia last month. Wilson reports that this weekend, Sydney only saw 537 auctions compared to 815 auctions at the same weekend last year while Melbourne had 718 auctions compared to 880 last year.

Environmental: NASA Releases Global Climate Change Report

NASA has published data showing global temperature and rainfall patterns that may change through the year 2100 due to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions concentrating in the Earth’s atmosphere. The dataset shows projected changes worldwide responding to growing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.

Source: NASA
Source: NASA

According to NASA Chief Scientist, Ellen Stofan, “NASA is in the business of taking what we’ve learned about our planet from space and creating new products that help us all safeguard our future,”. She states that “with this new global dataset, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet.”

The NASA climate projections provide a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 25km resolution, covering the time period from 1950-2100.

Source: NASA
Source: NASA
Source: NASA
Source: NASA

Using these data sets, modelling algorithms, and workflows, NASA is using NEX – a collaboration and analytical platform that combines state of the art supercomputing to explore and analyse Earth’s change.