Senators John Madigan and Nick Xenophon with the plates, cups, bowls and saucers they had made especially for Parliament House in Canberra to replace those made in the UAE. Courtesy
Senators John Madigan and Nick Xenophon with the plates, cups, bowls and saucers they had made especially for Parliament House in Canberra to replace those made in the UAE. Courtesy

Plate-gate as Australian senators blast UAE crockery

DUBAI // Crockery from the UAE is at the centre of an Australian political storm in a teacup after two senators paid more than Dh18,000 each on locally made replacements.

John Madigan of the Democratic Labour Party and independent Nick Xenophon said Parliament House's decision to use crockery from the UAE showed a lack of support for Australian manufacturing.

Fury over "plate-gate" led the senators to each spend A$5,366 on a 750-piece dining set, according to reports in Australia.

Senator Madigan found the cups and plates at a Parliament House function were from the UAE.

"There's plates that say 'Australian fine china made in UAE' and crockery 'made in China'," he told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper.

Senator Madigan said it was another blow to Australia's fledgling manufacturing industry. He also suspected the fish and chips at Parliament House were not Australian.

Senator Xenophon warned of a stir if parliament did not accept the senators' gift, consisting of 120 dining sets and 30 side plates.

"The nation's parliament not using Australian crockery is a complete crock," he said. "I'm looking forward to Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott welcoming this gift and eating off the plates.

"It's enough of a scandal the plates at Parliament House aren't locally made. It will be a bigger scandal if they knock back this gift."

Australia will hold elections next month, with prime minister Mr Rudd hoping to win the Labor Party's third term in power ahead of Mr Abbott's Liberal Party.

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High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
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On sale: Early 2024
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Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
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Industry: Sustainability & Environment
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Investors: Venture capital and government


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How the UAE gratuity payment is calculated now

Employees leaving an organisation are entitled to an end-of-service gratuity after completing at least one year of service.

The tenure is calculated on the number of days worked and does not include lengthy leave periods, such as a sabbatical. If you have worked for a company between one and five years, you are paid 21 days of pay based on your final basic salary. After five years, however, you are entitled to 30 days of pay. The total lump sum you receive is based on the duration of your employment.

1. For those who have worked between one and five years, on a basic salary of Dh10,000 (calculation based on 30 days):

a. Dh10,000 ÷ 30 = Dh333.33. Your daily wage is Dh333.33

b. Dh333.33 x 21 = Dh7,000. So 21 days salary equates to Dh7,000 in gratuity entitlement for each year of service. Multiply this figure for every year of service up to five years.

2. For those who have worked more than five years

c. 333.33 x 30 = Dh10,000. So 30 days’ salary is Dh10,000 in gratuity entitlement for each year of service.

Note: The maximum figure cannot exceed two years total salary figure.


Director: Ali Abbasi

Starring: Sebastian Stan, Maria Bakalova, Jeremy Strong

Rating: 3/5

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