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Windsor diregards [disregards] interests of small business.



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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Sandy Macdonald Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate

WINDSOR DIREGARDS INTERESTS OF SMALL BUSINESS

The interests of small business throughout New England have been disregarded when Member for New England Tony Windsor today voted against changes to unfair dismissal regulations, NSW Senator Sandy Macdonald said.

The WorkChoices Bill, which has been supported by industry and business organisations both locally and nationally, sets out much needed changes to unfair dismissal laws.

"Small businesses in New England and across NSW have been put off employing more staff because of the costly and sometimes biased process of unfair dismissal claims," Senator Macdonald said.

"Key business groups in New England, including the Tamworth Chamber of Commerce and the NSW Farmers Association have thrown their support behind the industrial relations reforms," he said.

"These reforms will do much for small businesses caught up in the red-tape associated with the sometimes unreasonable unfair dismissal claims."

Under WorkChoices, it will continue to be unlawful to terminate an employee's employment on grounds including: illness, injury, union membership status, union-related activity, race, colour, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin, absence from work for maternity or parental leave, filing of a complaint or appearing as a witness against an employer, representing employees.

"If the Government can put forward reforms which will encourage local business to employ more staff, then this legislation should be supported."

"The passing of the WorkChoices legislation is imperative for the future economic growth of Australia, particularly in rural and regional areas."

"I am also very disappointed with the unions, who continue to run their scare campaign against this legislation by distributing misleading information."

WorkChoices will move Australia towards a single, simpler and fairer national workplace relations system, which will contribute to a strengthening of the economy.

WorkChoices allows Australia’s employers and employees the freedom and the choice to sit down and work out the arrangements that best suit them. WorkChoices makes the necessary changes to move away from an outdated and inefficient system that no longer meets the needs of a modern Australian economy.

Ends….10 November 2005

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 0408 019 537 Website: www.sandymacdonald.com.au