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Thursday, 19 March 2009
Page: 2103

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (4:12 PM) —This is an important issue and something that Work Choices totally underestimated when it was being proposed as the last lot of IR changes. I think this strengthens the bill to make sure that there can be no risk of public holidays being traded away without the right sort of compensation. I know the government would say that the modern awards or the National Employment Standards take care of it, but this puts it squarely in the bill rather than in the awards or the National Employment Standards—although they are obviously referred to within the bill and are part of it, I suppose you would say. I do not think this has as much danger or would cause the problems the government is describing. So we are supportive of this amendment to cover compensation for public holidays.