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Govt defends IR changes -

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(generated from captions) on the end of a pin to who's angels

are they any way? A'm certainly

not a supporter of a radical

weakening of the unions. I think

that's gone far enough. IR has

become a question of spiritual

significance, a topic preoccupying

the nation's top theological minds.

Our prosperity, brothers and

sisters, has been purchased at a

fearful price to relationships.

Recently I've been raising

Recently I've been raising questions publicly, as you may know, about

publicly, as you may know, about the government's IR revolution. What

concerns me is the need to preserve

shared time for children, families

and relationships for all

Australians. The nation's

Australians. The nation's religious leaders fear industrial relations

reform is just further evidence of

society's increasing tendency to

worship far more fervently at the

alter of maman. Sunday is the new

Monday. If this is the consequence

of the new legislation, if it is,

and I haven't read the legislation

yet, there won't be time for

relationships and after all I would

have thought that's what life is

about, rather than the economy.

Without shared time, we may as well

be robots. I have to admit I wait

anxiously to see what a new

workplace relation system is going

to mean for our community. When it

comes to IR reforms Archbishop

Jensen is certainly no believer,

more a scept cam agnostic. Last

night he spelled out his concerns

night he spelled out his concerns to the faithful and the message has

the faithful and the message has far beyond the pull pit. Given the

community leaders such as

community leaders such as Archbishop Jensen view your extreme proposals

in this way, why doesn't the Prime

Minister just back off, back off

now, shred the bills? Let he say

now, shred the bills? Let he say I grow with him that relationships

grow with him that relationships are far more parent than money. Mr

Speaker, I think afternoon Jensen

Speaker, I think afternoon Jensen is - Archbishop Jensen is a very fine

Archbishop of the Anglican

Archbishop of the Anglican afternoon diocese of Sydney and a fine

community leader. And of course

not one that can be or should be

ignored. Industrial relations

ignored. Industrial relations reform like a modern parable is in the

interpretation. Whilst

interpretation. Whilst relationships and the close relationships within

families are far more important

families are far more important than economic considerations, it is also

the case that job security is very

important to family security, Mr

Speaker. Job security is built on a

strong economy and a strong economy

strong economy and a strong economy depends crucially on the right

industrial relations policy and

that's what this government is

about. Of course it's not just the

Anglican Archbishop Jensen who

appears to be wrestling with the

moral implications with the

pressures of the modern world. Even

the new family first Senator

Fielding field from the more pent

cos tal wing of the faith has deep

philosophical reservations. People

are not economic units. They are

people. We need to be making sure

we're looking after the people in

the long term in the community.

Catholics are worried, too.

Cardinal George Pell, who has over

the past few months before the

target of fierce lobbying from some

of his flak in the union movement

like Bill shorten, has recently

expressed his reservations. I

personally speaking, and I think I

represent the general Catholic

tradition here, I wouldn't want to

see the unions weaken to much

further. And today Labor made sure

all the main denominations were

represented in the most pie yas

attacks so far on the government's

workplace plans. Prime Minister, I

refer to the late Pope John Paul's

statement follows his meeting with

factory workers in Parramatta

Australia's industrial relations

system has, "Helped to defend the

rights of workers and promote their

wellbeing, while at the same time

taking into account the needs and

future of the whole community.

future of the whole community." For this government, IR reform is

an ideological crusade. It's even

been described as an article of

faith for John Howard. But the

faith for John Howard. But the Prime Minister says it isn't and

Minister says it isn't and shouldn't be an accumenical moral dilemma.

There will be Catholics who will

agree and disagree and Anglicans

agree and disagree and Anglicans who will grow and disagree. That's what

should - how it should be in a

nation such as this that has a

proper regard for the respective

roles of the government and the

church . The separation of powers

of course is an important matter of

principle here. As they say, God is

everywhere and even prime ministers

can find him in their corner from

time to time and give in to

temptation. I would like to add to

the answer I gave by informing the

House Mr Speaker that I've been

advised by sources on our side

advised by sources on our side which I regard as impeccable in these

matters -- Order, order! -- as

impeccable in these matters that

late Pope John

impeccable in these matters that the late Pope John Paul II in 1981 said,

"If the primary responsibility of

government is to create the

conditions under which everyone who

wanted a job can get one." CHEERING Political editor Michael Brissenden. And that's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow, but for now, goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.