According to unions, many of Western Australia’s construction workers are not receiving all the pay they are owed.

The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) recently released figures stating it has recouped over $92,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements for WA’s building and construction workers last year. In 2011 alone, the ABCC recouped over $20 million worth of wages and entitlements, with the single largest being $65,774 in back payments for 13 concrete workers at a Perth building site who had not been compensated for several weeks’ work.

Some, like Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national secretary Dave Noonan, claim that underpayment and non-payment is an “absolutely massive” problem. “It’s an industry characterised by itinerant workers. Many employers engage in sham contracts and there’s a lot of sub-contracting in the industry which puts pressure on contractual charges. A lot of employers do the right thing and pay their people properly, but a lot don’t,” he said. Compounding the problem is that a lot of construction workers do not receive entitlements such as superannuation, which they don’t realise until the end of the financial year.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 16, 2020, 10:40 AM AEST