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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3776..


Mrs Burke (continuing):

by that process, through that committee, and not through Assembly debate. I seek your guidance and ruling.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Burke, I have just had a look at the words that you are referring to. After taking advice and understanding the intent of this MPI, I am satisfied that the MPI specifically targets a narrow scope of the broader issues that you are referring to. Given that, I am going to rule your point of order out of order; I am going to allow the MPI to proceed. Mr Gentleman, would you like to now rise and proceed with your MPI?

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.21): Mr Deputy Speaker, I would like you to think back to Sunday, 9 October. It was quite a windy day. The clothesline was challenged, facing force from every direction. I, too, was forced to bow to winds and take cover at the height of its ferocity. I should have seen it as a sign. On the same day, it was not just the clothesline taking a beating; 9 October will go down in history as the beginning of the end of workers' rights in this country, for, on the same day, safe from the winds, Prime Minister John Howard and industrial relations minister Kevin Andrews released the details of their industrial relations changes.

WorkChoices—what an Orwellian name! Mr Deputy Speaker, I say to you that WorkChoices is bad; it is very bad; it is "double ungood". WorkChoices outlines how the federal government intends to destroy workers' rights and entitlements in this country. These rights and entitlements gained over 100 years of worker struggle will be obliterated without any consideration of the outcomes.

Earlier today the Chief Minister reflected on Billy, and I want to quote WorkChoices on Billy:

Billy is an unemployed job seeker who is offered a full-time job as a shop assistant by Costas who owns a ... retail store in Canberra. The clothing store is covered by a federal award. The job offered to Billy is contingent on him accepting an AWA.

The AWA Billy is offered provides him with the relevant minimum award classification wage and explicitly removes other award conditions.

As Billy is making an agreement under WorkChoices the AWA ... offered to him must at least meet the Fair Pay and Conditions Standard.

The AWA Billy is offered explicitly removes award conditions for public holidays, rest breaks, bonuses, annual leave loadings, allowances, penalty rates and shift/overtime loadings.

I would like to repeat that for the benefit of the opposition:

The AWA Billy is offered explicitly removes award conditions for public holidays, rest breaks, bonuses, annual leave loadings, allowances, penalty rates and shift/overtime loadings.

Billy has a bargaining agent assisting him—

as we have heard—


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