Newsletter 167

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Delivering skilled workers for Territory businesses and community 

In an effort to alleviate the severe lack of skilled labour in the Northern Territory, the Albanese Government today announced an extension of its current migration arrangement with the NT Government, which will assist more than 280 firms in the Territory.

Up to 625 temporary skilled visas for new hires will be covered by the one-year extension of the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), which will result in higher wages for new hires and more expansive pathways for permanent residency for current employees. This will ensure that all tiers of government are collaborating to place skilled workers in areas that most need them.

More carers, nurses, dental assistants, cooks, and chefs will be provided for the local NT communities as a result of this agreement, which will also guarantee that Territory firms can hire and keep people for roles they are unable to fill fill with local workers, benefitting the Territory economy. 

The Albanese government intends to broaden the range of employment opportunities provided by the agreement, simplify many prerequisites for firms, and facilitate the process of permanent residency for workers and their families.

In order to effectively handle labour shortages, the agreement will now also encompass much-needed professions like software engineers and primary and secondary school teachers, easing eligibility requirements.

The governments of Albanese and Fyles recognise the significance of guaranteeing migrant labourers’ safety at work and providing them with appropriate compensation and working conditions.

Additionally, the non-monetary compensation of the previous Liberal Government is being eliminated by the Albanese Government, which will increase workers’ take-home pay.

The agreement’s continuation will also see an increase in minimum pay in order to fulfil salary standards starting in 2024.

Migration Amendment (Biosecurity Contravention) Regulations 2023

The Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations) are amended by the Migration Amendment (Biosecurity Contravention) Regulations 2023 (the Amendment Regulations), which broaden the grounds for visa cancellation when the Minister or a delegate has a reasonable suspicion that a visa holder has violated the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Biosecurity Act), including the new subsection 186A(1) of the Biosecurity Act.

The Biosecurity Act establishes the legal foundation for controlling diseases and pests that could threaten the environment, the health of people, animals, or plants, as well as their introduction into Australia. Animal, plant, and human health as well as Australia’s environment are all seriously threatened by violations of the Biosecurity Act.

Subparagraph 2.43(1)(s) of the Migration Amendment (Biosecurity Contraventions and Importation of Objectionable Goods) Regulations 2019 created the cancellation ground. When it is reasonably considered that the holder of a specified visa (visitor, student, or temporary employment visa) has violated subsections 126(2), 128(2), 532(1), or 533(1) of the Biosecurity Act, the decision-maker may cancel the visa on this basis. Strengthening the compliance measures available to prevent and address activity that violates Australia’s biosecurity legislation was the goal of this amendment.

Convicted terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika wins High Court bid to restore his Australian citizenship 

The High Court has decided not to cancel the citizenship of Abdul Nacer Benbrika, one of Australia’s most prominent convicted terrorists.

Key Points:

  • The former government was unable to revoke Abdul Nacer Benbrika’s Australian citizenship, according to the High Court.
  • Benbrika’s incarceration ends shortly before Christmas, and a Victorian judge has not decided whether to prolong it or release him under supervision.
  • Anthony Albanese, the prime minister, said he is consulting with experts over the fallout from the decision.

Speaking shortly after the ruling, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government would seek advice on any implications of the decision. 

“We will examine the ruling and respond appropriately,” Mr Albanese said.

“Quite clearly there was an issue with the former government’s legislation, which is what this ruling relates to.

“When it comes to the legal consequences, we will seek advice for the ruling and respond appropriately,” he added.

Asked whether the ruling demonstrated overreach by the former government, opposition spokesman Simon Birmingham defended the Coalition’s actions and urged the Albanese government to consider “whatever means are necessary” to ensure Benbrika would not pose a risk to the community.

Sydney man indefinitely disqualified from profession for trust account misconduct 

The Law Society has criticized an accountant who established a boutique legal practice in Sydney for mismanaging trust funds without permission and prioritizing his personal financial gain over the interests of his customers.

Eric Shu-Wah Ip, a licensed accountant and registered tax practitioner who formed Onward Legal and served as its director, has been permanently barred from managing or working for a legal business and receiving compensation in connection with the practice of law.  

Between 2017 and 2018, Mr. Ip—who has never practiced law—and his company were hired to help with the unit sales.

Mr. Ip moved thousands of dollars in and out of trust accounts while doing that work.

None of the buyers had given their consent for the transactions to be executed, and Onward Legal had been holding the funds as deposits for the units.

In order to repay himself for payments he had made on his personal credit card for one of the projects, an additional payment of more than $22,000 had been made to that credit card. It was also determined that this payment to himself violated the Uniform Law.

The members stated that Mr. Ip’s actions would have constituted both unsatisfactory conduct and professional misconduct if he had been a lawyer.

“We keep in mind that Mr. Ip’s actions must be condemned in order to discourage other people from practicing law, whether as lay associates or otherwise.

Australia’s most wanted man Hakan Ayik arrested in Turkey after more than 10 years on the run 

Hakan Ayik, a man from Sydney who was Australia’s most wanted mobster, was apprehended in Turkey.

Turkish anti-narcotic police have caught Ayik, an accused drug smuggler who has been on the run for over ten years, in a massive operation that took place in Istanbul.

Presumably, the arrests also include a number of other wanted Australian crooks who were holed up in Turkey.

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