House debates

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Statements by Members

Workplace Relations

1:39 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to put the week in review for community members in Lalor. This week we have seen the Minister for Industrial Relations, yesterday in question time, refuse to say that every worker in Australia should be paid at least the minimum wage. We've got a piece of industrial relations legislation in front of us that seeks to give the heroes of the pandemic a pay cut. We've got a JobMaker scheme that's really a job-taker scheme, where over-35s, who are ineligible, could find themselves unemployed and replaced. Put that into perspective against what we've heard the media reporting today: that the government, after admitting that $40 a day isn't enough for unemployed people on JobSeeker to live on, are now saying they'll raise it by $3.75 a day.

Put the two together. They rationalise a tiny increase, which in fact is a cut when you take away what people are currently getting, by saying they don't want to create a disincentive to work. Put that on one hand. Put on the other that they think people should work for less than the minimum wage. Of course, you can't raise this if you're lowering people's incomes. I want to appeal to everyone in my electorate. Don't take this government's bait. Don't pick up a baseball bat and take to the unemployed. Fight for pay and conditions for all Australians.