How the :labour market can help South Australia Forum

The HR Nicholls Society held, on the 22nd of October, a lunchtime forum on how strengthening the South Australian economy through the labour market, other deregulatory measures and finding the right place in the supply chain in open markets. Special guest speakers were Malcolm Bosworth and Professor Christopher Findlay. This was covered in the Adelaide Advertiser:

HR Nicholls Society president Adam Bisits has called on the State Government to make application to the Fair Work Commission and call for a special lower minimum wage in SA. The free-market group advocates labour deregulation and held a forum in Adelaide yesterday. In June, Australia’s lowest paid workers were awarded a 3 per cent rise to take the minimum weekly wage to $640.90 a week, or $16.87 an hour.

click HERE to read the rest of the Advertiser Story. You can download Malcolm Bosworth’s speaking notes HERE, and his powerpoint HERE.


The following is a recent address given by Des Moore, Publicity Officer of the HR Nicholls Society, to Turk’s Head (one of the organisations created by Ray Evans) on October 8, 2014″:

Although I am a bit concerned about talking to a “prickly” group,  I feel honoured to be invited by Patrick Morgan to offer a few words on our good friend, the late Ray Evans. I welcome the opportunity to do so in the presence of his wife, Jill.

I say only a few words because the importance of Ray’s contribution to our society really warrants a book. Yet despite the enormous number of PhDs being written are any of them offering to do what would be a fascinating one on Ray? Ray himself would doubtless be saying from his grave – that is exactly what you would expect from our universities!

However his death did produce extensive praise from certain quarters on his enormous contribution to the debate on a wide range of public policies spread over about 25 years. It is almost sufficient to simply recall that he played major roles in establishing and developing the HR Nicholls Society, The Samuel Griffith Society, The Lavoisier Society, The Bennelong Society and The Galatians Group. It is quite remarkable that he had the capacity to run these groups with only limited financial and other help.

Importantly, he did however receive help from the courageous decision of Hugh Morgan to take him on board at Western Mining as a speech writer and from Chairman Arvi Parbo for agreeing that he should continue framing the 200 speeches he drafted for Hugh. One of those – titled “Yellow Cake Bob” after the Hawke government banned uranium mining – probably cost Hugh his position on the board of the Reserve Bank. Needless to say it was a serious risk for shareholders and a Chief Executive Officer to  agree in 1982 to employ Ray when he wrote in his job application  “The culture wars I now believe to be embedded deep in Western Civilisation … are fought out in every institution. We see them in the churches, within political parties, in the media, in the universities and in corporations”. Read more

Employment News is All Bad

Using the unadjusted labour force data, the September figures show an unchanged unemployment rate of 6.1%. But this apparent “stability” disguises the deterioration in the labour market.

Not only did employment fall by 30,000 but those not working or seeking to work increased by 45,000. In effect, those who lost their jobs did not even try to get back into the work force.

This is not a one off development. While over the past 12 months employment did increase by 46,000 or 0.4%, those not working or seeking to work increased by 242,000 or no less than 3.7%.

In short, the demand for labour has not kept pace with the growth in the working age population (15 years and over) and retirees and the youngees with no work prospect have increased. This is reflected in the fall to 64.5%  in the participation rate from 65.2% a year ago.

How has Australia got to this parlous situation?

While the end of the mining boom has contributed, the main reason is that Australia has a highly regulated labour market which will not allow temporary downwards adjustments in employees’ conditions in other industries. These conditions deter employers from risking additions to investment and jobs.

Unless early action is taken to remove the Fair Work arrangements, the Abbott government will not only fail by a long way to achieve the employment growth of 1.5% in the 2014-15 budget, but also the election jobs target of one million over 5 years.

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)