House debates

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

Photo of Simon CreanSimon Crean (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, I thank the House for showing more fairness and judgment than, obviously, the member for Sturt has. I am just making the point, Mr Speaker. The question I was asked was: why is a fair deal at work important for Australians and what challenge is there to it? And I am being directly relevant to that, I would suggest. The fairness to Australians is really important for their families and the economy. So any threat to it is antifamily and antiAustralian. That is why the threat to bring back Work Choices, which we are seeing being exhumed by the other side, is a very major threat indeed. It will see cuts to leave and shift loading, cuts to penalty rates, cuts to holiday pay and pay freezes.

This approach was rejected at the last election and we will ensure that, whilst we hold government, we will continue not to just reject it but to put in place a positive structure that lifts the productivity of the nation, lifts the job opportunities of the nation, lifts real wages and lowers industrial disputes. The problem for this House though is that when the Leader of the Opposition makes the commitment, even in writing, you cannot trust his words.


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