House debates

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Retail Industry

2:42 pm

Photo of Mike FreelanderMike Freelander (Macarthur, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. In the past fortnight 350 workers at the Coles Smeaton Grange depot in my electorate were locked out of their workplace during a dispute over better pay and conditions. Coles has closed the depot for three months. Why is the government congratulating itself and using marketing slogans when 350 families in my electorate will have their incomes slashed over Christmas because of this unscrupulous conduct?

2:43 pm

Photo of Christian PorterChristian Porter (Pearce, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. I would invite the member to provide any further details that he's got, with respect to that particular issue, to my office. We have been obviously monitoring the way retail organisations, such as Coles and Woolworths, are engaging with their workers. We're clearly aware of it but there are some details there that I have heard for the first time, and I would very much like to receive further details on that. Whether or not that sort of a lockout is properly conducted because of economic conditions that are affecting retail is something that has to be determined. But if you've got further information on that particular issue I'd, certainly, warmly ask you to send that to my office and we will look at it.