House debates

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Statements by Members

Workplace Relations

1:51 pm

Photo of David FeeneyDavid Feeney (Batman, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Justice) Share this | | Hansard source

On 1 July, millionaires across Australia will get a $16,400 tax cut, while some 700,000 Australian workers will get their Sunday and public holiday pay rates cut. In my electorate, 11,000 people work in the industries that will be affected by these cuts. Tell me how that is fair. I have been talking to people across my community about these cuts. Countless locals have signed our petitions 'Protect our penalty rates'. People in my community are worried, and for good reason. Our community are concerned, and they are taking real action because they know what these cuts mean for low-income earners in our community. Whether these cuts are phased in over two years or three years does not really matter; the damage will be done: Australian workers will be worse off.

I call on the Liberal Party do the right thing by my constituents and, indeed, their own constituents by voting with Labor to protect the take-home pay of some of our lowest paid workers. Today they can decide to back workers instead of their millionaire mates, and they can do it by supporting Labor's legislation. This is a government that is presiding over a low wages growth economy, an economy with low growth across sectors, and its trickle-down model is not working. The country is becoming more unfair, the difference in the distribution of wealth is sharpening and Australians are worse off. It is time for this government to demonstrate some real compassion and support Labor's legislation to restore wage justice.