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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3894

Mr FLETCHER (BradfieldParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (13:28): I am very pleased to rise to speak on the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014. This is an important bill, which will restore certainty in the workplace relations system and balance the needs of employers and employees. It is a bill which amends the Fair Work Act 2009 and gives effect to a number of the government's commitments made in the coalition's policy to improve the fair work laws. It includes a range of measures which are vital to ensuring that Australian workplaces can operate as productively and effectively as possible in the immediate term.

I wish to cover three points in the time that is available to me today. The first point is that Labor took the workplace relations environment back to the 1970s. This was a payback by the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments to their union mates. The second point is that this is a productivity and efficiency issue for our nation. Indeed, as the previous speaker observed, the importance of productivity is something that those of us on all sides of the House can agree on and that is one of the reasons why we are so committed to these measures; it is with a view to improving Australia's productivity. The third point is that the coalition made clear and explicit promises in our policy in this area before the election, and we are now acting, consistent with our policy, to implement our promises.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour, and the parliamentary secretary will have leave to continue his remarks when the debate is resumed.