Liberal Leadership Challenge

After months of poor polling and internal conflict, a challenge has been issued to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Liberal’s ex-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has had enough.  He announced in the news today that he will be challenging Tony Abbott for the position of Prime Minister with a leadership ballot. Turnbull stated in a media conference “It is not the fault of individual ministers. Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”

Turnbull said that the government needs a new style of leadership that respects the voters’ intelligence, examined complex issues, set a course of action and justifies it. The government needs advocacy, not slogans. He went on to say, “If we continue with Mr. Abbott as Prime minister, it is clear enough what will happen. He will cease to be Prime Minister and Mr. Shorten will succeed him.”

The leadership vote is set to happen shortly.

Jakob Barrett

Tattoos in the Workplace

Tattooing is one of the oldest art forms in human history having existed for literally thousands of years. In today’s modern society, there are differing ideals of how a person should look, act, and talk. One point of concern to many is that tattoos are often deemed taboo in the workplace. There is certainly a bias in the professional environment regarding body art and great debate on whether this is right or wrong. There are obvious exceptions such as in the case of something racist or derogatory (please reconsider how that will affect other people’s perception of you).

It is important to be aware in this state, as of December 2014, changes to the Police Offences Act 1935 were introduced to help protect young Tasmanians. It is illegal to tattoo or perform body modification (such as ear lobe stretching) on a person under the age of 18.

If you are considering getting a tattoo; do your research! Have a look around your local area for reliable tattoo artists. Find a parlour that is licensed and don’t be afraid to ask about hygiene or sterilization of needles. These are important questions that can help you avoid getting a disease, such as Hepatitis C from a dodgy backyard operator. Find a tattoo artist able to work with the style you have chosen. While one artist may be skilled at black and white style tattoos, they might be terrible at colouring. If you are unsure, talk to them. It will not hurt to learn. Get some tips on how to let it heal.

Good placements for tattoos are also an important consideration. If your tattoo artist tries dissuading you from getting a particular tattoo or in a certain location, please listen. Tattoos are their livelihood and they know better than anyone does how people react to tattoos. Reconsider getting one on your neck or face, please, unless you know that it will not ever affect your occupational prospects. There are also plenty of online resources teaching people how to conceal tattoos. You can cover them up with a base layer of liquid concealer and a layer of foundation over the top. Try getting as close to your skin tone as possible.

The popularity of tattoos among young people seems to be on the rise and it is important when modifying your body in this manner you make the right choices and consider all of your options. If not, you risk ending up with a long-term regret or perhaps featured on an episode of Tattoo Nightmares!

Jakob Barrett

Tasmanian Government Training Subsidy

I’m sure there are a few young readers out there struggling with continuing their education. Some of you might have dropped out because of bad grades, some because of stress or mental illness, and others because of financial hardship. Whatever the reason, it is more important to know there are options for continuing education in Tasmania.

If you feel enough time has passed for you to try going back to school but are worried about the associated financial burden, may I draw your attention to a State Government program: the Tasmanian Government Training Subsidy. This scheme can help pay for your training directly through TasTAFE or an endorsed Registered Training Organization of your choice. Eligibility is based on the following criteria:

  • You are an Australian or NZ citizen, or
  • Australian permanent resident, or
  • State sponsored visa on a pathway to permanent residence

and be of:

  • Working age
  • Not at School (other than a school based apprentice)
  • Reside in Tasmania

The National Training Entitlement also requires that learners:

  • Do not have a Cert IV or higher qualification
  • Have not completed a Cert III qualification (including apprenticeship or traineeship) in the last 5 years
  • Are not currently enrolled in another publicly subsidised Cert III qualification

It might seem like a large burden to undertake but education helps further your goals in life. There are also plenty of online resources that you can utilize to gain knowledge in your own time.

Here are some handy links to help:

This list has qualifications for apprenticeships and traineeships which may be undertaken under a training contract.

This link opens to an Excel document giving details to RTOs with a funding agreement to allow subsidised training.

Jakob Barrett

Intro Guide to Netflix

Netflix is a wonderful online service that I recommend for anyone bored of standard television. It is an online service available for smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and your computer. An online subscription fee is needed to access its service. The lowest price available is $8.99 a month. This plan allows streaming at Standard Definition on only one screen at a time. This plan is perfect if you live alone or only have one device on which to watch Netflix. The second plan is $11.99 a month. This plan allows streaming on two devices simultaneously with High Definition quality available if your network is strong enough to allow. This plan is excellent if you want to share the account with a friend or someone else in your household. The final service is offered at $14.99. This plan allows four simultaneous viewing sessions with High Definition and Ultra High Definition if your internet connection allows that quality of streaming. This plan is good for families with varying interests in their movies and shows.

The first month of Netflix is free regardless of what plan you choose and the billing period is usually on the last day of each month, with the price dependant on what plan has been chosen. As for the issue of data and bandwidth on your internet connection, a Standard Definition stream will use approximately one gigabyte (1 GB) of data per hour of viewing whereas the High Definition will use approximately three gigabytes (3 GB) of data per hour. Ultra High Definition can use up to seven gigabytes (7 GB) per hour. This can be costly if you have a capped internet plan or slow speeds. Not so much of an issue for those with unlimited plans but the bandwidth issue can cut into the speeds of your internet instead. Several ISPs also offer unmetered streaming.

There are ways around the amount of data Netflix uses in its stream. Adjusting the settings in your account so the quality of the stream is lower can vastly change how much data is used per hour. Low quality streams use only 0.3 GB per hour for example, but the quality is not overly terrific.

Streaming to mobile devices is as simple as downloading the Netflix app from the Google Play Store or the App Store on iOS devices. The quality of the stream on mobile devices is dependent on the network to which you are connected, so if you’re using a public network don’t expect anything great in terms of video quality.

Jakob Barrett

Positive Employment Growth Outlook

The latest issue of Labour force, Australia show that the employment growth of Australians is at a four year high, with a potential for a strong growth in Tasmania.

New free trade agreements will lead to further growth according to Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz. “Our economic plan is working,” stated the Senator.

How do you feel about these statistics and effects of new free trade agreements?

ABS Statistics

Jakob Barrett, Keagan Belbin, and Nathan Tucker