House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Statements by Members

Trade Unions

1:53 pm

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work) Share this | Hansard source

I know I speak for everyone on this side of the chamber when I welcome the SDA's young leaders to our parliament. There are plenty in this chamber who have some pretty prejudiced things to say about the union movement, who it is and who it represents. They probably don't realise that the average union member in Australia is a woman in her 40s working in aged care—and she needs her union. The future of this great movement is in the gallery right now. The SDA's young leaders are from every corner of the city and the bush. They're diverse, and they're united by two things: they care passionately about their fellow workers, and they're willing to stand up and fight for their rights and to be treated fairly.

We face a lot of problems as a nation, but I know that, with the bright minds in front of us in the gallery turning their attention to these problems, we will have great progressive governments ahead who will work hand in hand with the union movement to ensure fairness and equity remain the bedrock of life in Australia. I say 'Well done!' to these marvellous young people. We really look forward to working with you in the future.

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