Senate debates

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013; Second Reading

9:36 pm

Photo of Christopher BackChristopher Back (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Ferguson—alongside his DNA. Mr Ferguson recognised two things. The first is that unless the interests of the employer and the employee are closely aligned their organisation is bound for its demise. The second thing understood by Mr Ferguson—whom I will give credit throughout Australia, particularly in my state of Western Australia, as an excellent resources minister who understood industry—is that everybody's interests are best served when the size of the cake is increased. It was not like the rant that we have just heard from Senator Cameron, who would have us divide up the existing cake until such time as there are only crumbs left for everybody.

Let me share with you my experience as an employer, contrary to Senator Cameron's experience. I knew David Karpin and I agree somewhat with Senator Cameron's comment that Karpin was commissioned to go around the world to see where best practice existed and how it could be brought back into Australian industry. I was a government sector employer at that time; I was with a government trading enterprise. I have to say that, contrary to the nonsense that we have heard from Senator Cameron this evening, my objective, which I achieved successfully through seven years in that job running a government trading entity, was to ensure that not only did my employees retain what was due to them but we turned it from a loss-making venture into a profit-making venture. We assured the security of employment for those people. I then moved to a private sector company. I know that I am not allowed to use visual aids in this place, Mr Deputy President—


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