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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5060

Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (13:57): I rise to speak on the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013. On many occasions I have come into this House and spoken in support of over 87.3 per cent of the bills that have come from the government. But this bill is one that I cannot support because it is fundamentally flawed, it is bad policy and there are no strong productivity outcomes for our nation as a whole. On closer inspection of the bill—in trying to understand its genesis—call me cynical, but it does look like it has been orchestrated as some kind of payback to the unions for supporting the Prime Minister.

I note a bill like this was not put forward under the reign of the previous Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd; and, as a result, the faceless men turned on him and dug the knife in and there was blood, political blood, everywhere. That is why we now have a bill before the House which is fundamentally flawed and poor in its choreography—in particular with regard to the right-of-entry provisions. I employed over 100 staff and had 14 depots around Queensland. There is a place in the Australian landscape for good union representation, but this bill goes way too far with its demands for right of entry to small businesses.

The bill speaks to employees of employers as bad people, but I can tell you that the relationships between staff and employers across the nation in small business are good ones. They are good relationships where employers are often more than just a boss; they are a marriage guidance counsellor, they are a friend. These types of reforms are not needed for small business. If there is an argument for right of entry to large business, then so be it. But this bill cannot be accepted for small business across this nation.

Debate interrupted.