House debates

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:59 pm

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister told the parliament: 'What I believe today is what I'll believe next week and what I'll believe in a month from now.' Given, as Treasurer, he voted to support cutting penalty rates eight times, does this prove that, no matter what this Prime Minister says now, he'll always put the top end of town before working Australians?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

First of all, the member is misinformed and is seeking to misrepresent what goes on in this place. What the government believes in is having the Fair Work Commission, which is an independent agency which determines wage matters in the Australian economy. The government does not believe that the Leader of the Labor Party or any politician should be setting people's wages. We don't believe they should. We believe in the independent process of the commission, which was set up by the Leader of the Labor Party when he was in government. We do not think there should be the chaos of people's wages being determined by the politics of politicians. We think there should be a certain and fair process, where the issues can be considered and reasonable decisions can be determined, and workers and employers can get on about the job of growing our economy.

The Leader of the Labor Party wants to turn law-breakers into lawmakers when it comes to industrial relations in this country. Union bred, union fed, union led—that's what this Leader of the Labor Party would be if he were to be the Prime Minister of this country.

We do not think that politicians should set people's pay. That should be done through a fair and independent process, and that's what we will support.