Employment

Employment

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Human beings need to be productive. In modern society, for most of us, that means having a job for which we have appropriate skills and that also offers us some stimulation and challenge and the opportunity to advance our careers.

Most of us also work, of course, because we need to earn enough money to pay for shelter, food, clothes, education, health and the other requisites we regard as necessary for a reasonable life.

Providing sufficient opportunities for all people to be gainfully employed, start their own business or in some way give back to society, is extremely important. At the same time, it is necessary to recognise that life should not be about work alone. We need other activities in our life and even “non-activities” such as rest, to ensure balance and well-being.

There are those who do not aspire to reach high career levels or attain large material wealth. For some, their focus is more about how they can contribute to society as a whole or assisting others within who have particular disadvantage. Therefore we need a flexible approach to how we see work as a part of society as well as how individual employers and employees engage with one another in a fair and equitable way.

Flexibility, innovation and equal opportunity are the hallmarks of a productive, cohesive and fair society. We should all be open to giving a helping hand to those who are looking to better themselves and give back.

When I was starting out in my tax practice, a practitioner gave me such an opportunity by allowing me to utilise his office facilities to build my own business, whilst working for him. I have since given others the same opportunity so others could to grow and evolve.

Looking after one another is the right thing to do and I encourage everyone who is in a position to help those learning, growing, evolving or struggling in any way they can.

Together we can help each other grow as individuals and therefore as a supportive, respectful, healthy and, dare I say, happy society.

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Small Business and Start-ups

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Individual initiative and the willingness to “give it a go” has long been a characteristic of Australian society. In more recent times, one could be forgiven for not recognising this for the media tend to focus far more on negative behaviours than on positive ones. I guess this is easier to report and grabs more headlines.

I admire and relish the efforts of those who will build up an enterprise for themselves, whether it be a single person operation or one employing others. Small business people could well be said to provide the commercial backbone to our community and they deserve fair treatment and appropriate incentives to assist them to succeed.

I will support measures that assist the small business community and recognise its importance to Australia’s health and prosperity such as tax free income for the first year and reduced tax in year 2.

Start-ups need a helping hand. Giving incentives and the opportunity to grow without initial tax burdens is but one way to increase their chances of success.

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Education and Training

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We all learn, most readily in our first few years of life. The early childhood and childhood years are extremely important times in any person’s life and can have a major effect on how that person will manage their life as they grow and develop.

It is said that the first 7 years will determine the type of person you will be for the rest of your life.

We don’t stop learning. Life-long learning and life experience can be as important, if not more important, than TAFE/college qualifications or university degrees. Learning can be accomplished by interaction with another, in a classroom or other mode or it can also be self-managed, by home schooling, distance education or a mixture of the above.

Learning starts at home, then proceeds to school, then into the "real world" where life skills are learned, not always the easy way.

I always think of leaving school as having earned your "L" plates and it is then that real learning begins.

When we speak of education and training, we should consider our life-long learning needs and put in place the necessary infrastructure and support that will maximise opportunity for all, at all times in our lives.

We should also consider a full education, including all the important elements that will help us to survive in the wilds of the workforce. STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics. Yes, the Arts are as important to our learning and specifically our culture, as any of the the other STEM subjects.

You can add the all-important life skills into the mix as well, so that our young adults will be better prepared for survival when leaving home and not just have the academic knowledge to get a job.

 

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Crime and Punishment

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Few of us would reject the notion that we need to impose on members of society some rules regarding how we behave together and what is considered acceptable and what is not.

At the same time, we need to be careful of continuing practices that have already been shown to fail, such as locking up people for minor crimes at a young age, which could lead them to become hardened and less respectful to society.

We need also to consider the reasons and conditions which have contributed to and created the bad behaviour of some citizens. If we only deal with the final behaviours and not the underlying social and emotional issues then we are unlikely to achieve any real improvement in society. Treating the symptoms and not the causes will inevitably lead to crowded cells and a segregated society.

Of course those who commit crimes need to be punished, but they also need to be rehabilitated before their behaviour and attitude worsens. There are many support workers doing just that but as crime rates grow and offenders repeat their illegal activities, we must ensure that training and rehabilitation resources are increased and that they target the individuals in an effective way.

A dollar spent now curing the disease will save many dollars later, dealing with the symptoms.

Also, denying someone of their freedom alone as punishment, is not enough. They must face the circumstances that they have caused be be made to make retribution for their deeds and help to undue the damage they have caused, where possible.

 

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Policy

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As an Independent Senator I will not be bound to vote for policy imposed by any fixed Party policy, pressure groups or factions. My intention is to represent what I consider to be in the best interests of Gold Coasters and Queenslanders.

On this site you will find, in brief, the stance I have now on issues that appear to concern all Australians but particularly Queenslanders.

Please understand that because I intend to LISTEN with an open mind to as wide a cross-section of the community as I can, I do expect that, on some issues, I may be persuaded that an alternative stance is more appropriate than the one I have now.

Also, as situations change and if the present policies become inadequate or are no longer applicable or appropriate I will consider the options available.

I will constantly seek your input and feedback as I am here to represent you and use this input to form positions and make decisions that best serve the electorate of Queensland and Australia as a whole.

If I do take a significant or alternative view on any issue, that new stance and reasoning will be reflected here.

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Cultural Values

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Australia *Is* a multi-cultural society. We are also a relatively successful one, more so than might be readily evident if one considers only the much publicised events of intolerance, hate crimes, prejudice and xenophobia.

Our mix of cultures is important in that it enriches our nation and will, ideally be embraced as an opportunity to make us stronger.

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Disabilities and Disability Inclusion

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Blue Roo Theatre Coy (Bulimba Opera)

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Governments have, for a long time, largely given little more than lip-service to those with a disability, whether mental or physical. Yet people with disabilities are alive, aware and need and want to be involved in the community and to contribute positively.

Of course, there have been some positive initiatives taken towards improving the lot of those with disability but it is still the case that most depend on charities or volunteer care-givers (usually family members) for assistance.

We need to see disability in a different way and instead of looking at it as a deficit, look for the positive influence that such people can have on society. Only by accepting that disabled people are “different” not “defective”, will we recognise their true potential and help them to achieve it.

I will be supporting and encouraging the following:

  • disability inclusion in society, by educating society and giving a better understanding of those with disabilities
  • disability inclusion in the workplace, through job placement, support and training
  • enterprises specifically created to employ, support and train those with disabilities
  • training for staff of enterprises that employ and work with the disabled
  • enterprises and activities in which the disabled can participate, regardless of their level of disability
  • federal government funding and incentives for all of the above, over and above that covered by the NDIS, where appropriate
  • continuation of the roll-out of the NDIS for those needing direct support

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The Arts

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“The Arts” has varied meaning for different people. To some, it suggests activities and forms of expression that are “high-brow” and too difficult for the average person to appreciate, as well as often too costly for them to afford. To others, the Arts involve all forms of creative expression and include the activities of the amateur potter or playwright through to the most exceptional of painters, poets, singers, actors and the like.

In my view, the Arts are for everyone and are essential because they shine a light on humanity and the joys and despairs of life itself. Art infuses our society at all levels and is not just about entertainment but affects the aesthetics of industrial design, architecture, urban planning and every other aspects of our society.

The Arts should and must form part of our education and help to raise the creativity and culture of our society.

You see, the Arts are not just a form of weekend entertainment. The Arts are the basis for who we are as humans, our culture, our entertainment, our means of expression, our solace in times of struggle and misfortune, our inspiration and so much more.

When we examine our history and various civilisations, the Arts stands out as a means to gaining insight into the peoples of the past, their behaviours, beliefs, life-style and culture. The Arts have obviously been an essential part of our history and evolution, so why do governments give the Arts such a low priority when they allocate funds and resources?

The Arts can help to heal, nurture and grow a balanced and productive society. So don't the Arts deserve to be a priority for government and not just an after thought?

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Welcome – Thank you for visiting.

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Welcome.

I’m Michael Kaff and I am an independent candidate for the Federal Senate, on behalf of Queensland, in the next Federal Election.

This site is here to inform you about why I am standing as a candidate for the Federal Senate on behalf of Queenslanders and to provide readers with an outline of my views on issues of significance.

I hope that if you have any comments, ideas or questions you will use this site to alert me to them. Please be assured, I AM LISTENING.

I want to contribute to the Senate remaining a strong house of review so that whoever is in government cannot ignore the wishes of ordinary Australians.

I believe that I can be a strong voice for ordinary Australians and pledge integrity and transparency to you.  Please consider me when you make your vote.

Michael Kaff

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Radio Interview with Mike Bennett (101FM Logan City) 2nd October 2017

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Here is a recent Radio interview with Mike Bennett, covering what it's like to run for an election and Baby Boomer employment issues.

There are so many issues we could have discussed, but when you only have 10 minutes or so, you have to be selective.

 

Support for Disabled and Older Workers – Report!

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Here is a quick and very easy to read summary of a current report into Disability and Older Workers in the workplace, from the Human Rights Commission.

Most importantly it includes recommendations at to what each stakeholder, including government and employers, can do to improve the employment situation for the Disabled and Older Workers.

This is an area very close to my heart and one which I wholeheartedly support.

If this interests you, please take the time to read this excellent summary of what is wrong with the employment system for these and other groups.

Michael

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/2016_Willing%20to%20Work%20Report%20easy%20read%20summary.pdf

Supporting local Aboriginal Artist

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My Shelley and I attended an Art exhibition by Phillip Collins, a wonderful Aboriginal Artist, at Kingscliff, Northern NSW.

He also just happens to be one of my Business students.

A very nice, humble and extremely talented man.

www.mkaff.net

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My comments on the additional NEIS places for youth unemployed

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Below is an article from the on-line Small Business site Smart Company. The second half shows my comments, following an interview regarding the Minister's announcement

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Government adds 2300 new places to New Enterprise Incentive Scheme to support young entrepreneurs

Michael McCormack

The federal government has made an additional 2300 places available to new business owners under its New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).

In the 2016 budget the federal government pledged to invest more in the scheme and said at the time that an expanded NEIS program would come into effect from December 2016. The aim was to bring the total number of places available in the scheme to 8600 — something that Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says the government achieved last week.

The NEIS offers support and training for new small business owners and young people who “want to be their own boss”.

Support offered through the program includes mentoring, accredited training, and even income support where eligible.

The scheme is intended to make it easier for young job seekers to pursue a life as a small business owner, with a number of “Being Your Own Boss” workshops running each year as a part of the NEIS.

Last May, the government said the planned expansion of the NEIS would cost $89 million over four years, and Minister McCormack said in a statement last week the changes will offer “practical” assistance for entrepreneurial jobseekers.

“This announcement will help those who want to have a go with practical skills they can use in small business and long-term assistance to see their dreams become a reality,” McCormack said.

“As I travel across Australia meeting small businesspeople inside their operations, I have met a number of young people who have the energy and determination to make a success of their small business.”

“These are the people who create the jobs and opportunities for Australians which our communities and our economy needs.”

NEIS a good start, but better financing options needed

Michael Kaff, a former small business owner who ran as an independent Senate candidate for the Gold Coast at the 2016 election, told SmartCompany he supports the NEIS scheme but believes some changes should be made to make it more helpful to young job seekers. Kaff ran his own business until he sold it in the 1990s and says he’s has seen both sides of the NEIS system.

“I have been through NEIS and I’ve taught on NEIS, so I’ve seen it from both sides,” Kaff says.

“Anything, where the government is helping more people to start their own business, is a good thing.”

Kaff believes the period of time where the government provides income support is not enough, noting it takes “a good year to get a business up and running”, and thinks the income support period should be stretched from 39 to 52 weeks.

An increase in the period where job seekers are ineligible to go on NEIS after having used it once would be welcomed, says Kaff. Currently, that time period is three years.

“I’ve seen some people go on the program every three years with a new business, so some people take advantage of the scheme. I think we need a longer period before people are able to go back on NEIS,” he says.

While Kaff believes the government can “never have enough” support for new business owners, he welcomes the increase to 8600 NEIS places, calling it a “good start”.

While the program does a good job of educating young business owners, Kaff says he’d support better business financing through the scheme.

“NEIS does a good job but it doesn’t help them at all with business financing. They get the initial training, then they’re just let loose,” he says.

“If you don’t have initial funding, where’s the money going to come from? The government should provide them with a low interest or no interest loan to finance the business. Additionally, once the business is up and running it should pay no tax on its first year income, and in the second year low tax.”

SmartCompany contacted Minister McCormack’s office for further information but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Never miss a story: sign up to SmartCompany’s free daily newsletter and find our best stories on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Dominic Powell is a journalist at SmartCompany and a tech and music geek. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading or browsing record shops.

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/business-advice/government-and-politics/84231-government-adds-2300-new-places-to-new-enterprise-incentive-scheme-to-support-young-entrepreneurs/#disqus_thread

Donald Trump and China – Friends or foes???

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http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2198353-is-trump-starting-a-war-with-china-china-uncensored/

Interesting times Internationally, for sure!

It's always good to be able to transfer skills gained to new endeavours. Donald Trump has huge experience in business, management and leadership, which he gained whilst building his massive empire and which hold him in good stead. You don't become a billionaire by accident.

Trouble is, when you become leader of the free world, your decisions and actions don't simply affect your business interests. They have far reaching effects on billions of lives, literally.

Business decisions rarely have fatal consequences, but political decisions certainly can. I am troubled that "The Donald" is so quick to react with emotion (Usually on Twitter), on matters for which he has neither the international experience or insight and without consideration of the far reaching repercussions.

Sure, it's a good thing to shake up the status quo, as long as it will benefit humanity in general. But there are 100's of years, or more, of history here which cannot simply be ignored or swept aside in the moment, on a whim.

I have said that Donald Trump will bring overdue, unconventional change, which is a good thing. The status quo does need a shakeup. I also said, "as long as he doesn't do anything stupid".

Time will tell if he does!

Latest radio interview with Mike Bennett at 101FM Logan on 21st November 2016

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Had a fun and informative interview with my now-good friend Mike Bennett on 21st November, 2016.

We covered emergency services, schoolies, Donald Trump and my own future in politics, not in that order.

Have a watch below:

https://youtu.be/VZH_XhhlrZo

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE – CHINESE FALUN DAFA (FALUN GONG)

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I attended the Gold Coast premier of "Hard to Believe" documentary last night (12th August 2016).

It looks at illegal and forced organ harvesting in China of the peaceful Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) members.

Their only alleged "crime" is to be part of a 100 million strong group who promote, peace, harmony and love and practise meditation and nurturing.

The Chinese Government sees them a a threat for some reason, so they incarcerate, abuse and torture members before they forceably remove their organs, cornea etc.

Many are shot beforehand but some are still alive when the operations take place.

Unthinkable violation of human rights and decency.

I strongly recommend that you gain a copy of "Hard to Believe" or go to a screening.

It is not graphic and has no medical footage or pictures. It is a documentary with interviews and some vision of public abductions.

Below is a post "Hard to Believe" interview with attendees including me.

China is our biggest trading partner and the Australian government is aware of this atrocity.

See below and attached information for more details.

The Movie - www.HardToBelieveMovie.com

The Epoch Times - www.theepochtimes.com.au or www.theepochtimes.com

Weekly publication - Epoch Weekly

Below are images of an address I gave to a meeting of Gold Coast Falun Dafa members prior to the 2016 election. I was one of 8 candidates addressing the meeting, including the Greens, Labor and Independents. (The lady on my left in red was not in fact a candidate. Hers was the last seat available. She was a tad embarrassed)

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Check out the “Michael Kaff for the Senate” Facebook feed for articles and updates.

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Hi everyone

I'm glad you're here checking out my webpage, but for up to date and continuous articles, opinions and insights, please checkout the feed from my Facebook page "Michael Kaff for the Senate". You will find a link on the front page - "FB FEED"

Now that the 2016 election is over, I'm looking forward towards the 2019 (or earlier) election.

I want YOUR opinions and insights. I want to know what YOU think so that I can be your voice.

It doesn't matter where you live, or whether you would be eligible to vote for me, I want to hear from you.
Let me know what you want me to add, change or include in my website  and "Michael Kaff for the Senate" Facebook page, so that I can do a better job for you.

Let me know about functions, conferences, meetings etc. which I can attend and to which I can contribute or speak.

Let me know if you want to be part of this ambitious project and take on a voluntary role to help put a Gold Coast and Queensland Independent in the Federal Senate.

Please share this website and my Facebook page. Share the videos and information on this site and on the FB page.

Let's get the ball rolling so that we can build a presence and reputation that will put us in a powerful position to make a real difference next time around.

We need to increase exposure to Michael Kaff's goals of being the political representative for the many industries and groups outlined the policy platforms on this site, as well as the many others who need to be heard...and we need to start NOW!

We can do this...together!

https://youtu.be/iQhts2V-KrU

Thank you,

Michael

Still no Gold Coast Senator?

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Queensland and Gold Coast's Independent Senate voice in Canberra, is still way over due!

Following the 2016 Federal election we still don't have a Gold Coast Senator, unless Murray Watt (Labor) keeps his promise from 2015 and moves to the Gold Coast. Not exactly the "local" representation we need.

The Gold Coast is the 6th largest Australian city and deserves its own local Senator in Federal Parliament.

As you know I ran as an Independent Senate Candidate at the 2016 federal election and intend to continue my journey towards the Federal Senate at the next election.

Why?

My job has only just begun.

I will continue to support people in their growth and development and to ensure that the government keeps its promises! I can only do that from within Parliament.

All my life I have helped guide people and businesses to follow their dreams and find success, happiness and security by doing what they love. I want to use that experience and expand my efforts to help more people using the federal political process.

I want people to, not only succeed, but excel, particularly in Small Business and start-ups, Disability enterprises, Arts & Culture industries, Baby Boomers, Education and Training, Youth, Employment and Entrepreneurship.

"You are defined by your actions and not by what you say or what you do for a living"

Michael’s run as an INDEPENDENT for the Senate in 2016 is over

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It's official...My run as an INDEPENDENT for the Senate in 2016 is over.

In fact, NO INDEPENDENT came close to winning a seat in Queensland or Australia for that matter. If you're not in a Party, forget it.

"Below the Line" Independent Candidates in Queensland (Not in a Party) only managed to gain .14% of the vote. That's 14/100s of one percent. Not very good, huh?

This is surprising, considering the backlash against the major Parties.

There are many reasons for this:

* INDEPENDENTS were only listed "Below the Line" under their personal names, no Party name.

* People found it too hard to vote for 12 individuals (who they did not know) "Below the Line" and instead voted for 6 familiar Party names "Above the Line".

* INDEPENDENTS, not Grouped with a Party or others (Ungrouped), occupied the last 2 columns of the metre wide Senate ballot paper and often could not be found because the paper had to be folded to fit into the booth, so they went unnoticed.

* Officials at polling booths were heard telling confused voters to "Just vote for 6 above the line", thereby excluding all Independents.

* INDEPENDENTS received basically NO mainstream media coverage, hence it was virtually impossible to get known.

* You had to be outrageous or a "celebrity" candidate like Pauline Hansen (Qld) or Derryn Hinch (Victoria) to get any media.

* Each of the successful small candidates formed their own Party and were listed "above the line". Individuals, such as myself, were listed "below the line" in the last two columns.

* The mainstream media attention that INDEPENDENTS did receive basically mocked the candidates and made them look like idiots. Who'd vote for that?

As for my campaign, I had great success in many areas, regardless of the vote:

* My "Send Michael Kaff to the Senate" FB page reached some 150,000 people, including overseas.

* My videos were viewed by some 25,000 people.

* I gained votes from all over Queensland, in small numbers, so my reach was there.

* Individuals were passionate and determined to vote for me and confirmed their votes afterwards.

* I had a Small Business policy article in the Age, Brisbane Times and Sydney Morning Herals (half page).

* I had an article in the on-line e-newsletter and FB page of Smart Company.

* I spoke to various groups for Small Business, oppressed Chinese nationals, etc and gained support there.

* I reached other groups via FB, who also supported my efforts.

* There were many questions, surveys and e-mails from groups and individuals via e-mail which were positive.

* I had a Candidate profile on a Sunshine Coast community page and Meet the Candidate page.

* Forgot to add that my website www.mkaff.net was archived by the Queensland Library for future reference. Quite an honour!

My sincere and deep felt thank you to everyone who supported me, voted for me and encouraged me. It was overwhelming and spurred me on at times when I felt it was a lost cause. Yes, I had my moments!

The experience has opened my mind and heart and changed me forever. My world is now so much bigger and petty issues are now so much smaller.

This is only the beginning of my determination to get elected, represent those without a voice and help to make a real difference.

Onward and upward...