Showing posts with label Clarence Valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence Valley. Show all posts

Friday, 15 January 2021

Nationals MP announces $3,900 grant to help protect Clarence Valley koalas. WARNING: quotes are heavily laden with hypocrisy and political spin


IMAGE: The Chronicle
Former surveyor, property developer and one-time consultant to mining corporations, Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (right), who last year fully supported his party's blackmailing of the senior partner in the NSW Coalition Government, who backed Deputy Premier John Barilaro to the hilt when he managed through political threats and intimidation to destroy the new Koala Protection SEPP and tried to destroy what little legislated protection was left to native forests on Crown and private land by - an ultimately unsuccessful - bill to amend the Local Land Services Act.

This member of the NSW Legislative Assembly who never saw a timbered block of land he didn't want to clear fell and who was rightly labelled 'Koala Killer' during the Northern Rivers fightback against the threat to koala habitat he, his party and their political donors represent, now has the hide to wave a pitifully small amount of money in front of the electorate's eyes in an attempt to paint himself as very concerned for the fate of Clarence Valley koalas.

It's enough to make one nauseous.

Clarence Valley Independent, 13 January 2021:

Clarence Valley Council has secured a $3900 grant from the NSW Government to help protect local koalas from dog attacks, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

This is part of a comprehensive Government strategy to boost the local population with the help and support of local landholders who are ultimately the koalas’ best friends,’ Mr Gulaptis said.

Preventing these injuries to koalas and other native wildlife will help the recovery of koalas and other native wildlife following the devastating 2019-20 summer bushfires.

The smallest mouthing or bite by a dog can cause serious injury or death, and the situation is always very distressing for koalas, carers and dog owners alike,” Mr Gulaptis said.

This funding will ensure dog owners are aware of the risk of injury their dogs can cause to koalas and other native wildlife, and prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.”......

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Yes, it's been a bit wet recently...

On Thursday 7 January 2021 the Yamba Pilot Station recorded a total of 34.4mm of rain and this was followed the next day by rainfall of 22.8mm.

Up to 11 January 2021 the pilot station recorded a total of 81.9mm of rain. 

The Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2021:

Last year was a hot and wet one for the Clarence Valley, with some rainfall records broken and above average temperatures recorded.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Wooli Beach set a new record in total rainfall, with 2201.6mm recorded in 2020, eclipsing the previous record of 2004.8mm in 2011.

Grafton Research Station also had its wettest year since 1959, with 1600.2mm recorded.

Yamba’s Pilot Station had 1746.6mm of rainfall in 2020, which was about 20 per cent higher than the average annual rainfall total for the station.

Grafton Airport AWS had a total of 1527.8mm last year, a 33 per cent increase on the station’s rainfall average.

Meanwhile, Grafton experienced its third driest November since 1917 with just 7mm of rain recorded, immediately followed by its wettest December in 164 years of data, recording 513mm.

BOM senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said for NSW, rainfall was above average for most of the state.

That was a real contrast to what we saw in 2019 with those extreme drought conditions across the state,” she said.

Starting to relieve some of those drought conditions we saw good rainfall at the start of the year which helped out with those winter crops but we do still need to see more rainfall in the coming months to really relieve that long-term drought that we did see in 2019 but it was a good start…..

Monday, 4 January 2021

New Yaegl signage as Clarence Valley enters a new year

People driving south down the Pacific Highway in past years will remember the sign welcoming people to Yaegl Country. Well now there are six new signs being erected to properly reflect the Yaegl people's recognised connection to Country.... 

(l-r) Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC CEO William (Billy) Walker, YTOAC director and manager Dianne Chapman and artist Charlene Williams. Image: Geoff Helisma.Clarence Valley Independent


The Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2020: 

Colourful new signs are popping up on roads along the east coast in what local Indigenous leaders hope will be a precedent across the state. 

Minister Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the statewide pilot of the new signs kicked off this week on Yaegl Country in the NSW Northern Rivers region. 

“Many of the transport routes we take for granted today follow traditional Aboriginal Songlines, trade routes and ceremonial paths in Country followed by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years,” Mr Toole said. 

“These include roads, rail lines and water crossings around the state, so it’s a step forward to recognise the lands these routes cross by incorporating the new Acknowledgement of Country signs at important locations.” ......

Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC CEO Bill Walker said: “Yaegl people always have and always will have the physical and spiritual connection to the land, rivers and sea and will keep maintaining their culture through Caring For Country”. Transport for NSW has also worked closely with other Aboriginal Nations to roll out similar signs across the state.


This logo will be displayed at six sites along the Pacific Highway and Big River Way commencing at the northern and southern boundaries of Yaegl Country.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Try this ABC interactive postcode search to find out how your suburb is faring with regard to access to mental health care

Find out how your postcode can influence whether you need help — and if you’ll get it — at

This is what the search revealed about Clarence Valley in the NSW Northern Rivers region.

According to ABC News “Story Lab” interactive article on 8 December 2020:

NSW postcodes 2450*, 2456, 2463, 2464, 2465, are post codes with profiles indicating they are somewhat disadvantaged, where 13.7 per cent of people are likely to be highly psychologically distressed.

NSW postcodes 2370*, 2460, 2462, 2466 & 2469* are postcodes with profiles indicating they are most disadvantaged fifth of suburbs, where 18.3 per cent of people are likely to be highly psychologically distressed.

People in these postcodes fall into the area of Clarence Valley.

In Clarence Valley, taxpayers funded 23.49 sessions of care per 100 people, which cost $2,164. The national average is 22.87 sessions for $2,375.

In case you might have been wondering, NSW post code 2229 (where Prime Minister & MP for Cook Scott Morrison indicates his family home is located) and postcode 2063 (where NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian indicates her home is located) have profiles which are among the least disadvantaged so only 9 per cent of people are likely to be highly psychologically distressed.

In Morrison’s post code taxpayers fund 25.42 sessions of care per 100 people, which cost $2,632. That's a higher spend than the national average of 22.87 sessions for $2,375. While in Berejiklian’s postcode taxpayers funded 22.8 sessions of care per 100 people, which cost $2,659. That's nearer the national average of 22.87 sessions for $2,375.


* Postcode 2450 predominately covers Coffs Harbour, 2370 predominately covers Inverell-Tenterfield and postcode 2469 predominately covers Richmond-Tweed, with some crossover with the Clarence Valley at edges of these post code ranges.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

KOALA FACING EXTINCTION IN NSW: “I live on NSW North Coast, and our whole community is in uproar and distress.”


No trees, no me
IMAGE: Koala at Iluka in Clarence Valley, supplied

The Sydney Morning Herald, opinion piece, 22 November 2020:

Sorry, what, Premier?

Our farmers deserve certainty,” you and your Deputy Premier John Barilaro said in statement after one of your own, Catherine Cusack, crossed the floor on Thursday afternoon to thwart what would have been yet more devastating land-clearing legislation hastening the extinction of koalas.

And what, pray tell, do our koalas deserve, Premier? Who speaks up for them? Premier, as you know better than most, for 240 years since colonisation this continent has wiped out habitat after habitat, eco-system after eco-system, species after species. In recent years – even as the consequences of environmental devastation have been realised – the ongoing land-clearing has been justified on the reckoning that we just need a few more developments, a few more swathes of trees gone, another election or two won, and then we can stop. But we are getting near the end of the line. If it is not our generation that stops the endless clearing to protect the koalas and other species, which generation is it? If it is not a Premier with your smarts and former reputation for integrity that will stand up for what you know is right, then which one? For you know how bad this legislation is! When two-thirds of NSW koalas live on private property, you seriously want to defend legislation that allows owners to wipe them out at will? But you still backed down anyway to John Barilaro who refers to koalas as “tree rats” and put out a press release with him blathering about how the farmers deserve better.

The hero of the piece is Lib Catherine Cusack who crossed the floor to stop the legislation, and she makes the point to me that you and yours do the NSW farmers a serious disservice.

The claim that farmers want this,” she told me, “is overwhelmingly false. They love koalas and do not defend the minority cowboys and corporations. I really believe farmers share community values and wielding them as an excuse defames farmers. I live on NSW North Coast, and our whole community is in uproar and distress. The councils up here asked for greater power to protect habitat and the bill removes them.”

That bill is a disgrace, and you know it, Premier. This time Ms Cusack has stopped it, but it needs more Libs and Nats of integrity to also speak out and say what needs to be said, to support her – or at least kill it off in the back rooms. We are looking at you, Rob Stokes and Matt Kean for starters.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Berejiklian Government paying Perth-based mining exploration corporation to drill in the Clarence Valley

It puzzled me at first as to why there was a sudden rash of mining exploration applications and licences granted in the Clarence River catchment.

IMAGE: supplied

After all, over the last twenty or so years there had always been the odd speculative chancer who, after doing damage to the land inside an exploration license area, had moved on to pastures new or run out of funds to proceed.

However, that was before I realised just how toxic was the mix of a federal Morrison Coalition Government and a state Berejiklian Coalition Government -  when combined with the mindless beserker ambitions of the NSW Nationals and their environmental-vandal-in-chief, the current regional csar, NSW Deputy-Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade and MLC for Monaro, The Hon. (John) Giovanni Domenic Barilaro.

A man intent on overseeing the: logging of every harvestable native tree in Clarence Valley forests and open timbered land until the koala and other unique wildlife has gone from the valley never to return; chocking of our hinterland streams and creeks with mining waste or land slippage so that even our larger rivers become compromised; and, clear felling of as much coastal land as possible for the benefit of rapacious property developers.

We are not alone in facing this explosion of exploitative culture - the entire North Coast and the remainder of regional NSW are also in the firing line, as the Nationals minority partner plays the game of mates and a cowed Liberal majority partner in the Coalition looks the other way because it is afraid of being a minority government.

The Berejiklian Government is subsiding exploration. Currently it has granted Perth-based Corazon Mining Limited (the corporation mentioned in the video), a reimbursement of 50 per cent of per-metre drilling costs, up to a maximum of $200,000 with regard to its cobalt-copper-gold exploration lease near Mt. Gilmore approximately 25km northwest of Grafton, as part of the state's New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program. 

The Mt. Gilmore area is only one of seven areas on the North Coast within which the Berejiklian Government has indicated that it may be willing to subsidise mineral exploration for 'high tech metals'.

If North Coast Voices readers from elsewhere in the regions think that their area is safe from the threat of mining, look closely at the Dept. of Primary Industries MinView mapping of mineral exploration, assessment, mining applications and licenses as of 22 November 2020:

Coal and petroleum are not included in this state-wide mapping.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Meet the wannabe Koala killers of the Clarence Valley

Clarence Valley's very own wannabe koala killers. From left to right: Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons, Federal Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan, General Manager of Operations for Big River Group in Grafton Jason Blanch, Big River Group CEO Jim Bindon and  NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. IMAGE: Clarence Valley Independent, 11.11.20

Clarence Valley Independent, 11 November 2020:

A major restructure of Big River Group’s operations will see 20 new jobs created in the Grafton area while up to 50 will disappear from the Riverina region.

One of the Clarence Valley’s largest timber companies, Big River Group currently has two main operating facilities located in Junction Hill and Wagga Wagga.

Unfortunately, following the Black Summer bushfires, the long term supply of logs for their operations in southern NSW was severely impacted and it became apparent there was insufficient log resources in the Tumut region to sustain the Wagga Wagga facility, leading to a decision to consolidate operations at Junction Hill, where a sustainable supply of hardwood and softwood logs exist to supply productions.

Big River Group has recently been successful in securing a $10 million grant, provided through the Bushfire Industry Recovery Package, co-funded by the NSW and Federal Governments and matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by the business, to assist in consolidating its operations and enhance the Junction Hill site.

Big River Group CEO Jim Bindon and General Manager of Operations for Big River Group in Grafton Jason Blanch were joined by Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons for the official announcement on November 4.....

Mr Hogan said the announcement was “a wonderful day for the Clarence Valley and our timber industry.”

We know the industry was devastated by the bushfires last year and this is all about creating jobs in our local region and it ensures the viability of the industry,” he said.

Along with the capacity to create 20 new jobs, Mr Hogan also said the $20 million project secures the jobs of the current 60 full time employees.

This is terrific,” added Mr Gulaptis.

It means more jobs in the Clarence Valley and Big River Group can continue on with the great work that they do.

Grafton is a timber town, Big River Group have been here for decades, they’re an integral part of our community and we want to see them here well into the future.”…..

The Wagga Wagga facility will cease operations in 2021.

Big River Group Pty Ltd (formerly known as Big River Timbers Pty Ltd) was registered as a company on 28 July 1920.  It original company profile indicates it was possibly a local family-owned business. 

It is now a subsidiary of Big River Industries Ltd, registered as a company on 18 December 2015 in Victoria. It became a public company in January 2017.

Among the current Big River Industries and Big River Group officeholders there is only one who resides in the Clarence Valley.

What the Big River Industries tells its shareholders

"Big River operates Plywood and value adding factories at both Wagga Wagga and Grafton in NSW, areas amongst the most severely impacted regions of the devasting [sic] bushfires experienced over the 2019/20 summer period. Both areas saw significant losses of forest estates as part of these fire events. This has fundamentally changed the resource supply availability to the business, requiring a change to the Company’s manufacturing asset configuration. 

Whilst the Northern NSW log resource at Grafton, that the Company accesses under supply agreements with Forest Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), will recover or can be compensated from other forest compartments within the region." 

In ASX releases Big River Industries Limited admits to revenue of $249 million (up 14%) in 2019-20 and an after tax profit of $4,444,257. It also states an expectation in its last annual report that it will expand in the future.

In the aforementioned quote Big River Industries - which in this state sources some or most of its timber from the state-owned  Forestry Corporation of Australia - is admitting that forests in the Clarence Valley were "severely impacted" by the 2019-2020 bushfire season.

In fact at least half the forest canopy overall was partially or fully affected in New South Wales fire grounds according a NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment report.

Further Big River Industries hints it expects to take advantage of the additional biodiverse forests areas that were opened up by the Berejiklian Coalition Government for the benefit of its Forestry Corporation.

You know, those native tree stands, which coincide with forested land already identified as habitat suitable for or currently containing North Coast koala populations.

Big River Industries may only have two plywood production sites however one of these is at Grafton.

The principal plywood it makes includes timber from native hardwood trees and, the Clarence Valley contains the bulk of native hardwood timber trees remaining in North East New South Wales. These trees are frequently found in predictive koala habitat on Crown and private land.

According to its 2020 annual report Big River Industries has active business interests in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, West Australia and New Zealand.

Although its assets are widespread, the apparent greed of its board of directors and shareholders means that it will not even allow the Clarence Valley two years grace before it starts buying up timber freshly felled in sensitive, biodiverse habitats likely sited outside of state forests. 

Want to tell Big River how unimpressed you are with their actions? 

Here are some contact details: 

Jim Bindon (CEO and Managing Director) Ph: (02) 6644 0903 


Or directors Malcolm Jackman (Member of Anacasia Capital Business Advisory Council), Martin Kaplan (investment director of international private equity firm Anacasia Capital), Vicky Papachristos (professional company director) and Brendan York (Chief Financial Officer & Secretary, Enro Group Ltd a international company) c/- 61 Trenayr Road, Junction Hill NSW 2460 Phone: (02) 6644 0900 Fax: (02) 6643 3328 Postal: PO Box 281 Grafton 2460

Then of course there are the wannbe kola killers hiding within international and domestic financial corporations and banks as well as self-managed superannuation funds which brought Big River . 


Top 20 Shareholders as of 30 June 2019

The question some valley residents have been voicing recently is why NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis is enthusiastically supporting the Big River Group and, why on behalf of the timber industry he appears to be knowingly seeking the extinction of the koala in 

the Clarence Valley.

It seems to be a social and political relationship with another timber business which impels this politician.

The head of the Notaris family strongly disliked the idea that koala habitat 

should be protected from loggers and his family's sawmill. He even went so far as to publicly oppose a Labor candidate in the Clarence electorate and support the Nationals incumbent Chris Gulaptis during the 2015 

state election campaign because Labor had pledged to create the Great 

Koala National Park.

Chris Gulaptis read his friendship with Spiro Notaris into the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard on 18 February 2016.

J. Notraris & Sons Pty Ltd is still operating a timber business specialising in hardwood in South Grafton today and, like most 

National Party politicians Gulaptis is more about helping out mates than acting in the public interest.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

"You and your boof-headed party, Mr. Gulaptis, and the appalling anti-environment government which you are part of, will be responsible for the extinction of koalas in our region...."


Chris Gulaptis MP, the NSW Nationals & Koalas

Our local State MP Chris Gulaptis, the Nationals’ Member for Clarence, has claimed that he loves Koalas like every other Australian. The Grafton Nannas believe he has a very strange way of showing this recently-revealed affection.

Since 2011, when the Nationals came into government in NSW, they have been pressuring their Coalition partners to weaken biodiversity protection. This has resulted in significant weakening of both native vegetation legislation and State Forest logging regulations. Both of these changes have had serious impacts on biodiversity - including on koalas.

Koalas have suffered from a range of impacts in recent years including climate induced drought and bushfires as well as dog attack, car strike and disease. But a major cause of their decline has been habitat loss. The NSW Nationals have had a big role in recent years in ensuring that habitat loss is accelerating.

In September we had the unedifying “dummy spit” drama where the Nationals threatened to withdraw from the Government because they objected to the Governments’ Koala SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) which had come into operation in March after being negotiated in late 2019. This SEPP was a slight improvement on the years-old model which had failed completely as a koala protective measure.

Chris Gulaptis was one of the prime movers in this melodrama.

Shortly after Premier Gladys Berejiklian called their bluff, the Nationals, many of whom did not want to lose their ministerial perks, backed down.

There was considerable speculation about why the Nationals had suddenly found the SEPP so intolerable after it they had had input to its development and it had already been on the books for around six months.

It seemed to boil down to lobbying by certain property developers, Nationals’ supporters who were worried they might have difficulty is pursuing their plans for rural subdivisions or residential development on urban outskirts because they would need to put in development applications to councils. This would then trigger the SEPP. So it appeared Nationals politicians like the prime mover Chris Gulaptis believed these interests should outweigh the protection of koalas which are on track to extinction in NSW by 2050 unless really effective measures are put in place to protect them and their habitat.

Following the Nationals’ backdown, there were behind the scenes negotiations between the Coalition partners that led to significant changes to the Koala SEPP. Unsurprisingly the Liberals caved in and the SEPP was watered down. For example the definition of core koala habitat became more restricted and developing a Koala Plan of Management was made more difficult for councils.

That was bad enough, but the extent of the Liberals’ spinelessness became more apparent with the appearance of the Local Land Services (LLS) Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020. It further limits any opportunity to protect koala habitat.

This Bill has since been passed in the Legislative Assembly.

The Grafton Nannas held a knit-in protest outside Chris Gulaptis’ Grafton office on Thursday.

In a letter to Mr Gulaptis which was delivered to the office, we expressed our disgust with him and his party.

Below is the text of this letter:

LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2020

When we wrote to you in September about your party’s koala protection dummy spit, we expressed our disgust at your determination to undermine koala protection at a time when it was urgently needed. At that time the Nannas thought it would have been impossible to be more disgusted with you and your party.

The changes to the Koala SEPP that followed the rapprochement of your party with the Liberals showed the Nannas just how weak was the Government commitment to ensuring koalas were protected and rescued from their slide towards extinction.

And then, just to show how unimportant biodiversity protection and the fate of koalas was, the Liberals pandered further to the Nationals with the LLS Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill which has now passed in the Legislative Assembly.

You and your boof-headed party, Mr Gulaptis, and the appalling anti-environment government which you are a part of, will be responsible for the extinction of koalas in our region, if not in all NSW.”


Leonie Blain

Grafton Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

How will older Clarence Valley workers now without a job fare under the new employment landscape created by the Morrison and Frydenberg's JobMaker Hiring Credits?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the Clarence Valley NSW this is how our resident population breaks down:

Resident population – 51,662 persons as of 30 June 2019

Males – 25,891

Females – 25,771

Gender ratio (number of males per 100 females) – 100.5

Median age – 49.2 years

Age composition of population total – 0-14 years 16.9%, 

15-64 years 56.6%, 65 years and over 26.6%.

There are 3,480 people aged 80 years and older and 8,709 children 

aged between 0-14 years.

The largest age cluster in people of workforce age are those aged 

between 55-64 years.

By 31 March 2020 the Clarence Valley over all unemployment rate was 6.3% - higher than both the New South Wales and national unemployment rate.

A relatively high unemployment rate is a feature of the valley’s economy and from time to time when a new government employment program comes along our communities hope for some relief for the unemployed in their midst.

On 11 July 2014 then Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Warringah Tony Abbott launched the Restart programme.

Restart is a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to encourage businesses to hire and retain mature age employees who are 50 years of age and over who have been out of work for out of work for six months or more.

Employment under this scheme was to be for a guaranteed 26 weeks with the hope that employers would retain the subsidised workers as part of their regular non-subsidised workforce after that.

However, in the last six years and four months it appears over half of the funding eamarked for Restart has remained in federal government coffers, only est. 51,190 older workers were employed under the Restart program and 40 per cent of those were out of work within.

This program bears all the features which would make it capable of being gamed by both job service providers and employers.

Now due to the current economic recession in Australia, the Morrison Coalition Government has decided to continue forgetting that older workers exist and, focus instead on those unnempoyed individuals between 66 and 35 years of age receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance (Other) or Parenting Payment.

This new program which was due to commence on 7 October 2020 is called the JobMaker Hiring Credit. A total of $4 billion in funding has been allocated to this programe from 2020-21 to 2022-23.

It seems that this too will be a program likely to be gamed by employers…..

ABC News, 31 October 2020:

The Federal Government's new wage subsidy hasn't passed Parliament yet, but some employers are already advertising for young workers who will qualify for the program.

So how does that sit with Australia's anti-discrimination laws, and will the scheme make it more difficult for people who don't qualify to find work?

Here's what we know.

Who will be covered by the wage subsidy?

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will provide wage subsidies to businesses if they take on extra workers, between the ages of 16 and 35, who have been receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance (Other) or Parenting Payment.

Employers will be able to claim $200 per week for staff aged between 16 and 29, and $100 a week for those aged 30 to 35.

The $4 billion program, announced in the recent Budget, is currently being examined by a Senate committee, which has received a mixed response so far.

But some online job advertisements are already asking for candidates who fit the criteria.

"This is a newly created role under the JobMaker program and as such candidates will be expected to demonstrate eligibility with the JobMaker provisions," one advertisement read.

"Please confirm your age is between 16y and 35y."

Ads have begun appearing specifically asking only for people who meet the eligibility to apply.(ABC News)

Another ad asked for candidates who would be eligible for the higher Hiring Credit rate.

"To be successful in this role you will have: Eligibility for the JobMaker program (ie be aged 16 to 29 years old and have received income support, such as JobSeeker or Youth Allowance, for at least one of the prior three months)."

Nicole Newport-Ryan lost her job in March, and while she has since picked up part-time work, the 48-year-old is still hoping for a full-time position.

"They may as well write, 'If you're over this age please don't even read the advert,'" she said.

"You know like, don't even bother applying, don't read it, we're not interested in you.

"I think it's absolutely discriminatory."…..

What does the law say?

In a statement, Treasury said Australia's Age Discrimination Act generally made it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of age.

"However, the JobMaker Hiring Credit falls within the exemptions from this general prohibition," it said.

"Individual circumstances will vary, and employers should seek their own legal advice as to how the law will apply to them."

Alysia Blackham, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, pointed to a couple of exemptions that could apply.

"One of them is if it complies with another law, so once this is passed in legislation, it's possible that it will be exempt on that basis," she said…..

Youth unemployment is also a persistent concern in the Clarence Valley and, I sincerely hope that local employers who are able to hire take up JobMaker Hiring Credits and employ younger people in newly created positions. 

At the same time I hope local employers consider hiring older workers as well, using the Restart program to subsidise their wages for the first six and a half months. The Employer Hotline on 13 17 15 will be able to point prospective employers in the right direction.