House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Questions without Notice


2:58 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | Hansard source

It happens as a result of a government that no longer believes that low wages should be a deliberate design feature of management of the economy. It is $10 a day more because of change of government policy; $10 a day more because of a government with a Prime Minister that was willing to argue for an extra dollar an hour for the lowest-paid in Australia; $10 a day more because of a government that was willing to front up and argue for increased pay for aged-care workers; $10 a day more from a government that was willing to reform the bargaining system, the same reforms that the shadow Treasurer opposed because he knew they would increase wages; $10 a day more from a government that banned pay secrecy clauses—pay secrecy clauses that they defended and voted to retain; $10 a day more from a government that had legislation to ban advertising a job for less than the legal minimum, and they still voted against that.

But there are many workers who this still isn't reaching: workers who it's not reaching because they are in a situation where there are loopholes that their employers are using to make sure they don't even get the minimum standards; workers in the gig economy, where there are no minimum standards at all; workers who work at places where there is an enterprise agreement in place but they don't get the enterprise agreement rate because the relevant employer is using the labour hire loophole to undercut the rate; and workers for employers who are willing to engage in wage theft, which should have been made a crime a long time ago, except they did the extraordinary thing of voting—

No, no. Sorry, Shadow Treasurer; it was the Liberal Party that voted against its own legislation in the Senate. They voted against their own legislation in the Senate. (Time expired)


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