Does Australia have a working poor?

Jul 10, 2012

Charities are reporting a 50 per cent increase in calls for help and most are coming from underpaid workers, says Ged Kearney.


Australia’s economic success amidst global uncertainty is the envy of the international community. Yet despite Australia’s glowing report card, there is a growing class of people known as “the working poor”.

These are people who are most often employed in the service industry, working shifts and surviving on a day-to-day basis. They are paid the minimum wage which is actually less than half the average wage in Australia. ACTU President Ged Kearney tells 3Q this section of the population have slipped through the gap and are not part of the national debate.

Do industry funds have an unfair advantage?

Jul 10, 2012

Richard Watts discusses the implications of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations to change the default super arrangement.


There’s been some big shake ups in the world of super in the past six months. And one of the biggest is the Productivity Commission’s call to change the way workers are channelled into default super funds. At the moment, the default fund is most often an industry fund but the recommendations pave the way to give retail funds a bigger slice of the $7 billion a year super pie.

Instead of the current system where unions and employers choose the default fund, the PC recommends that Fair Work Australia or another independent body choose who qualifies to be a default fund.

Richard Watts, from Industry Super Network, tells 3Q that he is receptive to a merit based system if it means retail funds meet the same governance arrangements and produce returns equal to the industry funds.

What next for public broadcasters in the digital age?

Jul 10, 2012

If SBS and the ABC don’t get a substantial increase in funding, their future is shaky, warns Nadine Flood.



The old media empires are being transformed by a new audience which doesn’t pay for its news. The News Corporation scandal in the UK is turning people away from newspapers. So what are the ramifications for public broadcasting?

CPSU’s Nadine Flood tells 3Q the role of the national broadcasters will be more important than ever. Investigative journalism and public accountability are at risk. But public funding must increase if they are to fulfil their roles and continue to innovate.