Thursday, 10 December 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. I refer to the report in the Fin Review, 'Porter retreats in union brawl', saying that the provision to cut take-home pay was included at 'the last minute' and after the negotiations between business, the unions and the government had concluded. Why didn't the government ever raise this proposal with unions before including it in the legislation tabled yesterday? What exactly are you retreating from if there's no problem?
Again, the premise of the question is completely incorrect. The idea, the proposition and the assertion that we have had question after question and that there is anything in what has been proposed that would result in the type of reduction that the Leader of the Opposition suggests, is completely wrong.
The protections that exist in the act presently, that Labor inserted, are precisely, word for word, the protections that we have suggested should remain in the legislation that is now before the parliament.
Dr Aly interjecting—
When you go to the relevant provisions, the protections that would absolutely and in all circumstances prevent happening what the Leader of the Opposition wrongfully says would happen are these: you can never have the approval of agreement unless, 'The approval of the agreement would not be contrary to the public interest.' That is the protective line inserted by Labor, and here they are replicated in the reforms before the parliament. These are the exact same words: the approval of the agreement would not be contrary to the public interest. This is desperate, absolutely desperate. Tell untruths, try and scare people—the signs of absolute desperation.
If Yoda were here, he would remind us that fear of leadership tensions leads to the dark side. Leadership fear leads to anger. Anger leads to wildly untrue assertions in question time. That is the path to the dark side of politics, and that's the path that this Leader of the Opposition is on.