Senate debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021


Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021; In Committee

12:45 pm

Photo of Ben SmallBen Small (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I would like to draw the chamber's attention to the discussion that we've been having for a number of days, and that is that the Morrison government has introduced some non-ideological incremental and measured reforms that are aimed at empowering Australian workers in the workplace to have the right to convert casual employment to permanent employment for the very first time. Instead, we see those on the opposition benches voting against that very important and fundamental right.

We have sought to improve the agreement-making process to deliver higher wages into the pockets of Australian workers faster. Those on the Labor benches are voting against that. We have sought to improve the enterprise agreement process, which Paul Keating has said is broken. It has fallen to the Liberal Party and the Morrison government to improve that. But what do we see from Labor and the Greens? We see unfounded claims that somehow this is racist and sexist. We have sought to deliver the 69 per cent increase in average earnings, compared to awards, under an enterprise agreement into the pockets of Australian workers. But, no, there's nothing from those opposite but unfounded rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims.

In all of the contributions that we've heard from around this chamber this week there has been nothing—no constructive opportunity or comment—from those opposite on how these reforms might be improved. Instead, this has fallen to our crossbench colleagues—


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