Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Partial transcript of doorstop: State Parliament House, Perth: Monday, 24 October 2005: delay with the Howard Government's industrial relations changes and the Senate Inquiry.



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

E&OE T106/05

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP - STATE PARLIAMENT HOUSE, PERTH, MONDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2005

SUBJECT: DELAY WITH THE HOWARD GOVERNMENT’S INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CHANGES AND THE SENATE INQUIRY

SMITH: Kevin Andrews in a briefing in Melbourne today has confirmed that the Senate Inquiry into the Government’s extreme industrial relations legislation will effectively be a five day inquiry - five days worth of hearings, only in Canberra, and hearings which will exclude important aspects of the Government’s legislation like unfair dismissal.

So we’ve seen the Government’s advertising campaign has been going on now for 15 days at more than $1 million a day, and the now the scrutiny will effectively be a five day Senate Inquiry, limited to Canberra and excluding things like unfair dismissal. The Government here is engaged in a deliberate attempt to try and slide this extreme legislation through without any proper or effective scrutiny.

It’s quite clear that the more the community becomes aware of the extreme nature and detail of the legislation, the more concerned they become. The Government wants to slide this through without people appreciating how vulnerable they are.

Yesterday we saw Kevin Andrews confirming that people seeking employment will be exploited. But it is also the case that people moving from job to job and also people in jobs are also going to be exploited. As you move from job to job you won’t have the protection of the no disadvantage test. And those people, who are employed in firms of up to 100 employees, are at risk of being unfairly dismissed without any remedy whatsoever.

So the Government wants this legislation to be rushed through without the community appreciating just how vulnerable they are.

JOURNALIST: If five days in not enough, what is suitable?

SMITH: When we’ve seen legislation of this nature in the past, whether it was the Government’s 1996 legislation or major industrial relations legislation in 1999, we saw Senate Inquiries which lasted 2 to 3 months. We saw Senate Committees going around the nation giving everyone in Australia, the outlying States, people in the capital cities, and people in rural and regional Australia, giving everyone an opportunity of making an input.

Here we see the Government desperate to avoid scrutiny, desperate to limit this to hearings in Canberra, excluding important aspects like unfair dismissal.

So where will the opportunity be for State Governments to make submissions to a Senate Inquiry in their own capital cities? Where will be the opportunity for people who live in rural and regional Australia to make submissions? Where will the opportunities be for community leaders, like the Churches, the Bishops and the Archbishops from the capital cities and the regional centres, to make their submissions?

This is a Government desperate to avoid scrutiny, desperate to avoid the Australian community understanding how vulnerable they are when you examine the detail of these changes.

TIMELINE FOR SENATE INQUIRY INTO HOWARD GOVERNMENT’S INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CHANGES

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sat/Sun

31 Oct

House Sitting & Senate Estimates

1 Nov

House Sitting & Senate Estimates

2 Nov

House Sitting & Senate Estimates

3 Nov

House Sitting & Senate Estimates

Likely intro of legislation*

4 Nov

Senate Estimates spill-over day (if required)

5 & 6 Nov

7 Nov

House & Senate Sitting

8 Nov

House & Senate Sitting

9 Nov

House & Senate Sitting

Closing date for Submissions to IR Senate Inquiry

10 Nov

House & Senate Sitting

11 Nov

12 & 13 Nov

14 Nov

IR Senate Inquiry

Public Hearings

(Canberra only)

15 Nov

IR Senate Inquiry Public Hearings

(Canberra only)

16 Nov

IR Senate Inquiry Public Hearings

(Canberra only)

17 Nov

IR Senate Inquiry Public Hearings

(Canberra only)

18 Nov

IR Senate Inquiry Public Hearings

(Canberra only)

19 & 20 Nov

21 Nov

22 Nov

Report due for IR Senate Inquiry

23 Nov 24 Nov 25 Nov 26 & 27 Nov

* Senate Inquiry commences when legislation is introduced into the House of Representatives

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651