Page 3842 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 19 October 2005

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Question so resolved in the negative.

Industrial relations

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (12.14): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the federal Government’s recently announced “WorkChoices” industrial relations reforms will have a negative impact on the ACT community, in particular on:

(i) minimum wage earners;

(ii) women;

(iii) casual workers; and

(iv) young people;

(b) much of these effects will be caused by the Government’s ideological driven attempts to have all workers sign secret, individual, Australian Workplace Agreements;

(c) these agreements will no longer be subject to a “no disadvantage” test;

(d) these agreements are already a precursor to beginning employment at a number of Commonwealth agencies; and

(e) church and community groups have spoken out against these changes; and

(2) consistent with comments from church and community groups, calls on the federal Government to guarantee that no Australian worker will be worse off as a result of these changes.

I raise this motion today to bring to the attention of the Assembly the draconian industrial relations laws that the federal government is proposing to impose on the ACT. We have heard quite extensively from Mr Mulcahy and we have also today heard from Mr Seselja. Hopefully, we will hear from the Leader of the Opposition with his views on these issues. I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

These laws will have a negative impact on the ACT community as a whole, but I am particularly concerned about the minimum wage earners—women, casual workers and young people. I had the great privilege of representing many of these for five years when I worked for the Australian Services Union as the local organiser, a role that I am particularly proud of. These negative effects will largely be caused by the government’s ideologically driven attempts to force all workers on to Australian workplace agreements. Recognising these concerns, church and community groups have already spoken out against these changes.

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