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More smoke than light from Hockey/Gillard.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Murray Democrats Senator for Western Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Workplace Relations

Dated: 07 November 2007 Portfolio: Workplace Relations

More from Senator Andrew Murray on Workplace Relations

More Smoke Than Light from Hockey/Gillard

Today’s IR debate between Joe Hockey and Julia Gillard was over gridlock or change. With every poll predicting a Labor government, the Australia Democrats say the Senate will decide IR's future. "The importance of this Senate election must not be understated. In government the Coalition promise no IR change, but are good at breaking promises. In opposition the Coalition would stop IR change. In Government Labor therefore needs the Senate in progressive hands," said Senator Andrew Murray, Democrats Workplace Relations spokesperson. "The Democrats have the policy circuitbreaker needed to replace the Coalition's complex unfair Workchoices and to resolve the ALP's struggle with business over its alternative agenda. "We propose a single national system to replace the inefficient confusion of state systems still overlapping the federal system. We propose a strong independent Industrial Relations Commission with restored powers to ratify, vary and determine awards. We propose a strong, independent National Workplace Regulator. "We propose a genuine safety net with minimum wages awarded annually; 8 minimum conditions for all workers regardless of employment under statutory or common law agreements, and a genuinely flexible bargaining system - union and non union; collective and individual. "Labor is at least trying to unite, not divide. In contrast all the Coalition does is whine about union control of Labor. All the Coalition had to do was to make it a condition of a political party constitution that only financial members of a political party can vote in pre-selections for election candidates, and outside influence would fall away, so removing union leaders' powers to influence or control pre-selections, delegate selections, or balloted matters. "The Greens oppose Labor policy - a unitary system, secondary boycotts, restricted right of entry, very restricted right to strike, restricted awards, the ABCC carrying on, continuing with AWAs under transitional arrangements, and so on. The Democrats do not. Our strength is we improve Labor's policy," concluded Senator Murray.