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Wednesday, 18 September 1996
Page: 4554

Mr McMULLAN —My question is directed to the Acting Prime Minister. Let him have a go at this one. Is he aware of the article by the eminent Australian economist Professor Bob Gregory, as reported in this morning's Australian Financial Review ? Does the government argue, as the article suggests, that labour market flexibility can only create jobs by allowing real wages to fall in response to high unemployment? How will the workplace relations bill both create jobs and deliver on the Prime Minister's `rock solid' guarantee that no worker will be worse off at the same time?

Mr TIM FISCHER —Let me give you the benefit of resubmitting that question later to the Minister for Industrial Relations. You will get more chapter and verse. It is exactly right to say that the IR legislation, the purposeful reform legislation which has already passed this lower house, will provide, sensibly and safely, greater flexibility to the workplace in Australia. By that action it will help to create jobs and boost exports—and by providing the right to belong to a union and the right not to belong to a union.