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Waterfront reforms inadequate



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MEDIA RELEASE THE SENATE

FROM THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY & COMMERCE AND DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE, SENATOR AUSTIN LEWIS

JUNE 01 1989

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

Waterfront reforms inadequate

The Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology & Commerce, Senator Lewis, said tonight that the government's attempts at addressing the problems of the Australian waterfront and shipping industries fall far short of anything that may bring about significant micro-economic reforms.

Senator Lewis was commenting on the Government's response to the Inter-State Commission (ISC) report on the waterfront and the Shipping Reform Task Force's report on coastal shipping.

"Australia's economy is on the edge of an abyss and one of the most important areas where massive change is needed, to assist Australian business to become more competitive, has received a totally inadequate response," Senator Lewis said.

"The Hawke Government has failed a crucial test of its ability to implement micro-economic reform.

He said that the decision to allow a three month period i n ยท which all parties - Government, unions and employers - may come to some form of agreement is another 'Claytons' decision.

"In effect, the Government has said take a couple of aspirin and come back in three months," Senator Lewis said.

"What happens if, at the end of three months, no agreement is reached, which appears likely as the Waterside Workers Federation has rejected the ISC report?

"Australia doesn't have three months to waste.

"The Hawke Government has run out of time."

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Media Contact John Robertson (062) 77 3205