FairWork Ombudsman prosecutes case of underpayment under Horticultural Award +more Zedlines

The Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting a case under the Horticultural Award concerning the exploitation of mushroom workers. (Image credit: Niko's Gardening Blog)

The case alleges the underpayment of more than 400 workers at Marland Mushrooms’ farm in Brisbane’s south totalling 646,000 between January 1 and August 31, 2014.

The National Farmers’ Federation’s interpretation of the workplace laws could be what is exposing people to exploitation, said the Fair Work Ombudsman in Brisbane’s Federal Court.

The Ombudsman said the severity of the exploitation was hard to fathom.


Annual training exercise for Singapore military underway in Queensland

More than 4,000 Singapore troops have arrived in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland for their annual military training exercise.

Exercise Wallaby is Singapore’s largest training activity, with the training space being four times the size of Singapore, allowing for manoeuvres the military are unable to do at home, claims Forward Support Commander Luke Goh Zhenyu.

The focus on safety for the exercise has been increased for this exercise, following the death of a soldier last month in Shoalwater Bay.


Commonwealth Bank shareholders launch class action

A class action potentially worth over 100 million dollars has been launched by shareholders who bought Commonwealth bank shares between July 2015 and August 3 2017, due to a drop in share price after being accused of breaching anti-money laundering laws.

The Australian Transaction Reports Analysis Centre accused the CBA of failing to comply with laws on 54,000 occasions between 2012-2015.  

Law firm Maurice Blackburn and litigation funder IMF Bentham filed a statement of claim in the Melbourne federal court, the claim says the CBA board knew of potential breaches in the second half of 2015 and failed to inform shareholders for two years and shareholders deserve compensation for this drop in share price.


Pensioner card returned to former pensioners under budget decision

More than 90,000 former part-pensioners will see their pensioner card reinstated this week.

The development is the result of a promise under the 2017-18 budget, whereby the assets test was revised, resulting in the return of the pensioner card to those who were previously stripped of the benefits.

Pensioners in NSW and Victoria were the most affected by the previous assets test reform with more than 50,000 between the two states previously losing their pensioner card.


Health risk for Rohingya women

Nearly 441 pregnant Rohingya women have been suffering from health-related problems due to irregular movements over hilly areas, lack of nutrition, proper rest and a lack of sanitation.

Since the violence erupted in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, around 18,500 pregnant women have entered Bangladesh

But despite government initiatives and private organisations providing medical facilities, the camps in Cox’s Bazaar are at threat of a mass health disorder due to the insufficiency of child food.


Rebels believe Turkey’s de-escalation plans in Idlib, Syria will go “smoothly”

Syrian rebel commanders say they expect Turkey's operation to implement the so-called de-escalation zone in the north-western province of Idlib "to go smoothly" and without much resistance from Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham.

Rebel Commander Musa Khaled said this will cause the Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham alliance to submit to any deal that is enforced on them.

Idlib is largely controlled by the Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham alliance, or Tahrir al-Sham, a Salafist group dominated by a former al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front.

The establishment of the zones in areas including Idlib is aimed at halting fighting and offering safety to civilians.