Page 3780 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

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• mandating union involvement in a dispute resolution, despite the fact the parties must now agree to a dispute-resolution body determining disputes as the AIRC will no longer automatically fulfil this function;

• providing a remedy for unfair dismissal;

• allowing for industrial action during the term of the agreement; and

• prohibiting the use of AWAs.

A $33,000 fine for wanting to put in clauses that protect you and your colleagues against situations like that of Suzy or Nelly and the metaphoric Billy! $33,000 is a splash in the ocean compared to the reported $100 million the federal government intends spending in their attempt to convince the public.

But they themselves are not convinced of the truthfulness of their own campaign. Plastered on the WorkChoices website is:

The Commonwealth does not guarantee, and accepts no legal liability whatsoever arsing from or connected to, the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material contained on this website or on any linked site.

I suppose we are all to believe that in the long run Big Brother knows best. I am not convinced. Nor are my colleagues here in the government.

I call on the opposition to make a public commitment to working families in the ACT. I call on the opposition to publicly denounce these WorkChoices and to demand that their colleagues on the hill halt the destruction of workers’ rights and entitlements.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (4.36): I am delighted that we have an MPI on the impact of the federal government’s WorkChoices policy announcements on the Canberra community, because they are indeed welcome and positive in terms of the impact they will have not only on the ACT community but on the Australian community at large. It has been the norm for programs of the Australian government in so many areas since its election that what was first predicted as gloom and doom has in fact resulted in vastly improved conditions for many different Australians from all sorts of walks of life, for Australian families. And let us hope that there will even be more reform within the taxation arena in the period ahead.

The workplace changes proposed by the Australian government will bring benefits to Canberra, as they will to the rest of Australia. Indeed, over the past 10 years, Australian workers and Australian businesses have been changing the way they work. More employees and employers have been sitting down together talking and working out their own workplace arrangements. And both employees and employers have benefited as a result. There have been more job opportunities created for women and for school-leavers.

Although I am sure Mr Gentleman would share the views of many in the union movement that are such harsh critics of casual employment, the fact is that a large

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