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Budget documents reveal failure of waterfront reform



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JOHN SHARP MEDIA RELEASE

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GILMORE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SHIPPING AND WATERFRONT REFORM

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Tel 06 2 7 7 4213, Fax 06 2 7 7 2 1 2 4

BUDGET DOCUMENTS REVEAL FAILURE OF WATERFRONT REFORM

The Budget Papers reveal the extent to which the Government's waterfront reform program has failed.

The Budget expenditure is the barometer of the Government's achievement.

It has achieved only 21.6% of its target expenditure on waterfront reform - or in other words only 21.6% of the redundancy program that it set out as its target this time last year.

Of an allocation of $84,866,200 in 1990/91 for the waterfront reform program, to fund redundancies, only $18,360,927 was expended.

The reason for this is simple, just as it was simple in 1990/91 - the Government's reform program is not happening at anything like its promised pace.

The Government now has the impossible task of spending almost the entire program allocation for three years in only one year if it is to complete the WIRA program and achieve even its own modest goals. The forward estimate for 1991/92 of $59.5 million

has now blown out to $126.3 million in this Budget, an increase of over 100%.

The forward estimate for 1992/93 also stands increased, from $0.5 million, essentially a wind-up figure, to $4.9 million. It would be interesting to speculate what that sum might blow out to if Labor continues on its blind path and builds on the "successes" so far claimed by the Prime Minister and Senator Collins.

The program is well and truly stuck in the mud of the unions' veto and the Government's lack of courage.

The unions' veto has been well and truly exercised in the past year, with the result that the redundancy program is running nowhere near schedule, as is clear from the near- incredible under-expenditure.

This Budget has been a badge of shame for the Government. Micro economic reform has all but vanished from the Government's vocabulary now, and waterfront reform in particular has become just an embarrassing example of Labor's inability to tackle their trade union mates. „

Ends.........WR85/91 20-8-91

. ■ Contact: John Wallis

COMMONWEALTH I A/H 06 277 4213

PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y