Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is again addressed to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister take the second chance that he's been given during this question time to guarantee that his industrial relations legislation will leave no worker worse off?
I'll ask the Minister for Industrial Relations to add further to the answer, but I say again: our industrial relations changes are designed to help more Australians get into work and to ensure that Australians are better off. The Leader of the Opposition seems to be living in a fantasy land when he speaks of these matters, as if we aren't coming out of the COVID-19 recession. He seems to misunderstand that job security today is about having a stronger economy that's supported by businesses creating jobs, and that is what our plans are designed to achieve.
It goes to relevance. The Prime Minister has now had a number of minutes to think of an answer to, 'Will he guarantee his industrial relations will leave no worker worse off?' It's a simple guarantee if he believes he can give it.
I'll pass over to the Minister for Industrial Relations, but I will say again to the Leader of the Opposition: Australians are seeking the job security of an economy that is recovering from the COVID-19 recession. The Leader of the Opposition seems to not understand what job security means when you're coming out of a COVID-19 recession. Australian workers know that, under the economic policies of our government, they have greater confidence about their job, they have greater confidence about being better off and they have greater confidence about their future because of the economic policies of our government that are giving them that job security—and that includes the changes that we are making to industrial relations arrangements. I will ask the minister to add further.
I thank the Prime Minister. Members of the opposition and their claims that anyone will be worse off under the government's bill are absolutely 100 per cent wrong. In fact, I think it was fascinating to read the characterisation of that written by Phillip Coorey yesterday in The Australian Financial Review. He said:
Mr Burke said other measures in the bill would also enable wages and conditions to be cut but he offered no detail to back his claim.
That's because there is no detail. There is only one side of politics in Australia that has policy plans that will make workers worse off, and that is the Labor Party, and they are on clear display in both versions of the Leader of the Opposition's speech. In version No. 1 that he provided to the media, the Leader of the Opposition said—
No, the Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat; he has taken a point of order on relevance already. The Minister for Industrial Relations was not asked about alternative policies. He was only asked about his policy, and he needs to confine himself to that.