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Monday, 20 June 2011
Page: 3245

Senator SHERRY (TasmaniaMinister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation, Minister for Small Business and Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism) (10:40): There is one relatively brief point I want to make about this issue of international competitiveness. Whether Senator Brown or indeed anyone else likes the fact or not, it is a fact that many areas of the economy in Australia—and I can think of many sectors, including the mining sector and the finance sector—are interlinked with the rest of the world. Whether people like that or not, it is just a fact of life that we are in an internationally competitive world. It is appropriate that in some areas of the labour market there is movement to and from Australia as part of that world economy, and that is true in financial services, tourism and mining. That is just a fact of life.

No matter how some people might criticise that or be concerned about it, it is part of the international capitalist economy in which we live. Part of that, of course, is the movement to and from labour markets and on occasions—I would not argue or suggest on all occasions or anywhere near it—you need to take into account the pay and conditions in that international labour market itself. That is just part and parcel of a modern Australian economy and a modern world economy.