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Thursday, 5 June 2014
Page: 5803


Ms MARINO (ForrestGovernment Whip) (16:27): In the time available to me I will continue. The reason for our legislation is probably supported by the previous industry minister, Martin Ferguson. I quote an article from the Australian Financial Review on 28 February in which he said:

Strength will come through policy and reform that makes it easier for businesses to invest with certainty. Therefore, we must reduce red and green tape, commit to market-based policy and re-evaluate how our workplace relations framework influences access to labour and how it affects the economic viability of new projects. … Less intrusive regulation will stimulate business activity and increase revenues from tax and royalties without diminishing environmental standards.

He had a number of other things to say too. I note today, again from the Financial Review, in relation to union activity that the ACCC is now looking at an investigation over Boral allegations. The article reads:

The industry leaders have been urging the ACCC to act. Commissioner Simms is quoted as saying, 'It has been very visible behaviour. We have had a number of people ask us what we are doing about behaviour they think they can see.'

The article goes on to say that he would not specify the exact nature of the claims or put a time line on the investigation but he said that it was a high priority for the ACCC.

When you look at what preceded my comments in beginning this particular part of the discussion, when you look at the 2007 election campaign Labor promised all sorts of wonderful things, including flexibility on matters such as rostering and hours. When it came down to delivering, however, Labor maintained that poor performance that leaves us in the current position we are in with the budget and debt and deficit. Once again it needed the election of a coalition government to make the changes, as we are through this legislation, to get this country moving. There is no doubt that the delivery of flexible workplaces must look after the interests of employees as well as employers and it is possible to create a mutually beneficial workplace where the needs of both employers and employees are met. We do know, however, that Australia is a high-cost place to do business and we can see the result of that everywhere, particularly in Western Australia. If you try to get a project off the ground it can be anything from—

Debate interrupted.