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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3580 ..

elected for another term. Middle-income workers will be crippled under financial strain; government support agencies will be overwhelmed by the influx of families who are unable to support themselves.

The ACT government understands better than anyone the severe ramifications that Work Choices poses on all employees around Australia. Working families will continue to suffer if these laws are not changed. Here in the ACT, this government has shown great initiative by committing to combat the issue of Mr Howard’s IR laws and deal with the issues that climate change poses for our environment. It is great to see that the federal opposition is aware of the problems that our society is currently facing and that finally the coalition has to answer for the injustices it has brought to the Australian people.

It is clear to this government, and also to Mr Rudd, that John Howard is not interested in taking this country forward. John Howard is simply interested in finalising his retirement plans. As we all know, if elected he plans to hand over the prime ministership to yet another unqualified Liberal party member. Mr Rudd echoed this sentiment just the other day in his address as federal opposition leader during the launch of Labor’s election campaign for the 2007 poll. Mr Rudd realises the extent of Work Choices and what it has done and will continue to do to working families across Australia. As a result, in his address, Mr Rudd vowed to rid Australia of Work Choices and abolish AWAs. Mr Rudd vowed to establish 450,000 additional training places across Australia, with support for up to 65,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years, with places possibly available as soon as April. It is fantastic to see that the Australian people will now have the opportunity to be represented by a government that will support their rights at work.

Labor also understands the severity of climate change and the disastrous effects that it poses for our planet. Mr Rudd is committed to ensuring a future for all Australians. Just the other day, Mr Rudd pledged to immediately ratify Kyoto, a move that the incumbent Prime Minister is not even willing to consider.

Mr Rudd vowed that a Labor government would be economically responsible. Mr Rudd stressed that the Howard government was on an irresponsible spending spree. He said: “This sort of reckless spending must stop.” Mr Rudd—flanked by three of our nation’s former leaders: Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating—delivered Labor’s policies towards a future Australia. If elected on 24 November, Mr Rudd will steer Australia towards a safe, clean and knowledgeable future.

The Australian way of life is suffering as a result of an incompetent federal government. Australia will crumble if the coalition continues on its destructive path. The federal government’s current IR laws are destructive in regard to workers’ rights and fairness within the workplace. Australia has worked tirelessly to establish itself as a proud, developed country with an emphasis on equal opportunity for all. All that the Australian people believe in will be lost if the Howard government successfully gets away with the treacherous IR laws it implemented. The environment will continue to suffer if severe action is not taken immediately to combat climate change. This will not happen under the leadership of a man who believes that climate change is not an important national issue.

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