Senate debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Questions without Notice


2:27 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Minister for the Public Service) Share this | Hansard source

Remember those opposite, when there was talk of minimum-wage workers getting an increase of $1 a day, saying how the world was going to end, that the sky was going to fall in? That tells you everything you need to know about the policies of those opposite. Unlike them, we want to see strong, sustainable wages growth as part of the solution to cost-of-living challenges in our economy. We don't see it as part of the problem. By delaying consideration of the closing-loopholes bill, those opposite are now delaying further pay increases for mine and aviation workers.

But should we be surprised? This is in their DNA—to make sure wages are kept low and conditions are in favour of the employer, not the employee. They're delaying minimum standards that will save the lives of gig workers. They voted to trap permanent casuals in insecure work for longer. They voted to delay the criminalisation of wage theft. They've spent their entire time in government keeping wages low and holding workers back, and nothing's changed with them in opposition.


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