Friday 8 February 2013 

Special Edition 25

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Roxon bill changes do not go far enough

 

“The good news is that in response to community outrage, federal Attorney-General

Nicola Roxon has agreed to delete the words offend, insult and intimidate from parts

of her draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill,” FamilyVoice research

officer Ros Phillips said today. 

 

“The bad news is that far too many harmful sections remain, including the reversal

of the onus of proof and the continued use of the highly subjective terms offend and

insult in the racial discrimination provisions.”

 

FamilyVoice is among the many community groups, state governments, legal experts and

individuals who have expressed deep concern about the legislation.

 

“It is disappointing that the Greens, along with some homosexual activists and trade

unions, have argued that the bill should remain unchanged or made even more

punitive,” Mrs Phillips said.

 

One of the bill’s many flaws is the inclusion of “religion” and “political opinion”

in the long list of protected attributes. 

 

Victoria’s controversial Racial and Religious Tolerance Act protects the attribute

of religion.  It led to a bitterly contested court battle between two pastors and

the Islamic Council of Victoria following complaints about statements quoting the

Koran.  The pastors were ultimately vindicated by the Victorian Supreme Court of

Appeal – but only after five years and huge legal costs.

 

Ros Phillips agrees with Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, who noted that religious

people are often the target of offensive comments – but he does not want such

commentary made unlawful.  “We would much rather see it exposed for what it is and

dealt with in robust debate,” he said (Sydney Morning Herald, 30/1/13).

 

Ros Phillips said the bill, even with Ms Roxon’s proposed amendments, is

fundamentally flawed.  “It is long and complex, largely because there are so many

exceptions to its rules,” she said.  “It suffers from a split personality – where

discrimination is both good and bad.  Its vague wording can make it hard to

determine what is lawful and what is not.   

 

“This bill has human rights in its title, but it undermines basic human rights such

as freedom of speech and association, while reversing the onus of proof.  It should

be withdrawn,” Ros Phillips said.


New requirements for Public Reporting of Minerals: Exploration Results, Mineral

Resources & Ore Reserves

 

The Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) has released a revised JORC

Code following an extensive public consultation process.

 

Reporting in accordance with The JORC Code (full title: Australasian Code for

Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves) is essential

to ensure investor confidence in the minerals industry in Australasia.

 

JORC Chairman Peter Stoker said 'the new JORC Code represents a major step in the

evolution of Australasia's systems to ensure transparent reporting of all material

information to investors about reported Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and

Ore Reserves.'

 

'The revised Code significantly increases the level of transparency and disclosure

that is required in Public Reports and will assist investors in making better

informed judgements,' Mr Stoker said.

 

'Most of the Public Reports released under the guidance of the JORC Code in recent

years have been of an excellent standard, but a few have left significant room for

improvement. The new JORC Code provides for those improvements to be made, with the

Code lifting the minimum standard for a Public Report to include the release of much

more of the material information about Exploration Results, about the estimation

process for Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves and about the material factors that

could impact upon the investors' understanding of the minerals project.'

 

Mr Stoker said 'Early adoption of the JORC Code, 2012 Edition is strongly encouraged

now, and from 1 December 2013 it becomes mandatory. Companies should note, however,

that if they wish to use the revised Code in developing their Public Reports, then

they need to apply the 2012 Code in full as well as complying with the revised ASX

listing rules. Cherry-picking of parts of the new Code that a Company favours, but

not embracing it comprehensively for Public Reporting, is not acceptable.'

 

The JORC Code, 2012 Edition has been released with the endorsement of JORC's parent

bodies: the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists

and The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. The 2012 Code was endorsed

by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) through the inclusion of the 2012 JORC

Code in the revised ASX listing rules. The Code is also

endorsed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the

Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).

 

The JORC Committee will work with its parent bodies, the ASX and ASIC to promote the

new Code and support companies and minerals sector professionals to ensure future

Public Reports are able to meet both the ASX listing rules and the JORC Code's

requirements to adequately inform investors.

 

Contact: Peter Stoker

Chairman JORC

Phone: +61 (0)412 260 200

Email: contact@jorc.org

 

Additional Information

 

Transition to the new Code

The JORC Code 2012 Edition and the new ASX Listing Rules relating to the disclosure

of reserves and resources by ASX-listed mining and oil & gas exploration and

production companies will come into effect on 1 December 2013 (with the exception of

the requirement for a Pre-Feasibility Study or a Feasibility Study to be completed

in order to declare an Ore Reserve, which will come into effect on 1

December 2014).

 

During the transition period until 30 November 2013, the minimum requirement for

Public Reports is compliance with the JORC Code 2004 Edition and the current ASX

Listing Rules. From 1 December 2013 all Public Reports must comply with the JORC

Code 2012 Edition and the new ASX Listing Rules (with the exception of the

above-mentioned Pre-Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study requirements which must

be complied with from 1 December 2014).

 

The new ASX Listing Rules are available at:

www.asxgroup.com.au/compliance-downloads.htm.

 

Both ASX and JORC encourage early voluntary adoption of the JORC Code 2012 Edition

and the new ASX Listing Rules during the transition period, before the new

requirements come into effect.

 

An entity that voluntarily adopts the new requirements before they come into effect

should ensure that it is in a position to apply the new requirements to all Public

Reports issued by it from that point. ASX will expect the entity to continue to

comply with the new ASX Listing Rules for the remainder of the transition period

(with the exception of the above-mentioned Pre-Feasibility Study and Feasibility

Study requirements, unless they are early-adopted).

 

Background to the revised JORC Code

The revised JORC Code is the result of an extensive consultation process that

commenced in 2011.

An October 2011 Issues Paper attracted 114 written submissions as well as

significant further feedback received through public forums and meetings. A

September 2012 Exposure Draft JORC Code attracted 82 written submissions.

 

The extensive consultation process confirmed that there is strong support for the

JORC Code to remain a principles-based professional Code. The consultation

highlighted the need for the Code to support improved disclosure standards and a

greater balance between the application of the principles of Transparency,

Materiality and Competence in Public Reports.

 

The JORC Committee is very grateful to everyone who took the time to attend

consultation sessions and provide comments throughout the review process.

 

Supporting material and implementing the JORC Code

The revised JORC Code is available on the JORC website: www.jorc.org.

 

The JORC Committee has also today released:

* a summary of the differences between the 2004 and 2012 Editions of the JORC Code,

including simple 'explanatory notes' for each Clause of the 2012 Edition.

* a 'side by side' presentation of the 2004 and 2012 Editions of the Code to assist

in understanding the changes implemented in the new Code.

 

The JORC Committee in collaboration with its parent bodies, ASX and ASIC is planning

an extensive program of seminars and workshops to build minerals professionals'

understanding of the 2012 JORC Code. These important professional development

sessions will support the effective implementation of the revised JORC Code and

provide an excellent platform for improved reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral

Resources and Ore Reserves. More information will be available in the near future.


Australian jobs election ad campaign hits TV screens in regional South Australia

  The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has launched a TV advertising

blitz aimed at making the mining boom deliver jobs for Australian workers, greater

investment in mining communities and better management of the economy for key

sectors such as manufacturing.

The ads — part of the CFMEU’s “Let’s Spread it Around” campaign — tell the stories

of four real Australians, highlighting growing problems such as mining and

construction jobs going to temporary overseas workers and manufacturing jobs

disappearing due to the high Australian dollar.

Thirty-five marginal and key battleground seats are among those being targeted by

the ads, with a major focus on regional Australia where the CFMEU has tens of

thousands of members employed in mining, manufacturing, construction, forestry, and

other affected industries.

“The mining boom has created opportunities for many Australians, but it has left

many more behind, badly hurting job-rich sectors such as manufacturing, tourism and

education,” CFMEU National Secretary Michael O'Connor said.

“The latest Immigration Department data reveals that the number of temporary

overseas workers employed in trades occupations in South Australia leapt 15.9 per

cent between July and the end of November last year.

“This campaign is about refocusing the policies of the main political parties so the

big opportunities of the boom can be seized: to reduce unemployment; provide

training and jobs to a new generation of Australian workers; and invest in the

communities most affected.

“Now the election has been called we want to see all parties commit to better

managing the mining boom and the economy for ordinary Australians.”

Mr O'Connor said that while the challenges posed by the mining boom are clear, with

better management it is possible to deliver more jobs for Australians, more

investment in communities and improved economic conditions for key segments of the

economy such as manufacturing.

“The high Aussie dollar, driven by the boom, is putting more pressure on

manufacturing jobs, and instead of Government policies designed to help local jobs,

in many cases we have the opposite”, Mr O’Connor said.

“The level playing field is a joke. Australian standards are not properly applied to

imports, letting cheap and inferior products flood the market and putting workers

and consumers at risk.

“And worse, major projects, including those with taxpayer funds, are using more and

more imported products, putting Australians out of work. We need to make sure local

projects use local products, and Australian manufacturers get an even break,” Mr

O'Connor said.

“And while youth unemployment remains a major issue in communities across the

country, big miners are continuing to bring in temporary foreign workers to build

and operate their mines.

“Meanwhile people in mining communities are increasingly suffering from the high

cost of living and a lack of amenities and local infrastructure.

“This campaign builds on the CFMEU’s efforts to stop the dumping of cheap and

inferior products by overseas companies, which undermines local jobs. The work is

already paying off, with the Federal Government announcing it will set up a new

anti-dumping watchdog.”

The “Let’s Spread it Around” commercials tell the stories of four real Australian

workers: Steve works in a mine and has a good career and prospects, but knows of many

who have missed out; Tim has been trying to get work in the mining sector without

success, at the same time as mining companies are bringing in temporary foreign

labour; Greg works for a glass manufacturer that has already shed hundreds of jobs as

a result of cheap foreign imports, some of which fail to meet Australian standards

applied to local products; and Rosel works for a company that makes arena seating.

The company has built stadiums and theatres around the world, but is now missing out

on local work, including taxpayer funded jobs, to overseas suppliers, putting dozens

of jobs at risk. For more information on the campaign, go to:

www.letsspreaditaround.com.au


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