Newsletter 143

First Aged Care Labour Agreement signed

Following the unveiling of the new tripartite strategy to increase elderly care workers, the Albanese Government has delivered the first signed elderly Care Labour Agreement.

Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United staff’ Union for up to 570 staff over a 5-year period, Curtin Heritage Living in Perth is now the first aged care provider in Australia to secure the new labour agreement.

Curtin Heritage Living will have access to priority visa processing and a two-year road to permanent residency as incentives for potential employees in order to solve key skills shortages within the industry.

By using this approach, aged care providers who sign an MOU with the pertinent union will experience an improvement in employee recruitment and retention.

The Albanese Government is providing a qualified, varied, and valued aged care workforce together with a $36 billion aged care budget, including $11.3 billion to fund a historic 15% rise to the award salary.

Increased mental health support for refugee survivors of torture and trauma

To treat refugees with their psychological concerns resulting from their frequently terrible experiences before arriving in Australia, the Albanese Labour Government is investing $136.0 million over four years and $36.0 million on an ongoing basis for torture and trauma programmes.

The widely acclaimed Programme of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT) offers specialised therapy, advocacy, and referrals to other health and service providers, as well as regional and rural outreach services. It also offers education and training for healthcare professionals.

This funding covers tools to support specialist services in providing culturally competent care, training for the trauma-informed workforce, and ongoing assistance for community involvement.

Eight rehabilitation organisations, one in each state and territory, are used to deliver the programme on behalf of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma.

Specialised PASTT providers offer more than 9,000 individual and family therapy sessions annually and have a track record of providing high-quality, efficient, and culturally relevant treatments.

$132.7m settlement reached in PFAS class action

An agreement has been signed to settle a multi-site class action for $132.7 million, after toxic PFAS chemicals negatively impacted around 30,000 residents spanning seven communities.

The class action group members, represented by national plaintiff firm Shine Lawyers, on (15 May) come to a settlement agreement with the Commonwealth in the multi-site PFAS contamination class action against the Department of Defence.

The action fought to compensate residents living near military bases in Bullsbrook (WA), Richmond (NSW), Wagga Wagga (NSW), Wodonga/Bandiana (VIC), Edinburgh (SA), Darwin (NT) and Townsville (QLD) after their properties lost value due to contamination caused by these toxic chemicals. Shine noted in would continue to pursue compensation in this matter.

Dentons’ combination with Link Legal in India commences

The combination between global law firm Dentons and Indian-based firm Link Legal, entered into in October of last year, is now underway.

In October 2022, Lawyers Weekly reported that the world’s biggest law firm, Dentons, was entering into an “historic combination” with Link Legal in India, offering an established, physical presence for Dentons in the world’s most populous nation.

Dentons Link Legal will be a leading full-service law firm, with more than 19 practice areas and 150 lawyers and professionals.

As reported last week by Lawyers Weekly, the opening up of India will also impact in-house lawyers in Australia.

Also in March, Dentons revealed its intention to combine with Philippine law firm PJS Law, as the firm looks to shore up its position in south-east Asia.

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