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Turbet resignation damns Keating and Cook



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NEWS RELEASE JO H N H O W A R D , M.P. M E M B E R FOR B E N N E L O N G S H A D O W M IN IS T E R FOR IN D U S T R IA L

R e l a t i o n s , e m p l o y m e n t a t r a i n i n g

IRET 024/92

TURBBT RESIGNATION DAMNS KEATING AND COOK

Commissioner Ken Turbet has resigned from the Industrial Relations Commission because the processes of that body have been corrupted by both Senator Cook and the Prime Minister, Mr Keating.

In his resignation letter, Commissioner Turbet damns the Keating Labor Government as one which "cannot be relied upon to keep its word".

From a man who has served the Labor Party and the broad labour movement all of his working life this is the ultimate in political condemnation.

Commissioner Turbet is no longer prepared to put up with the consequences of Peter Cook being Bill Kelty's office boy.

It is well known that I and the Coalition support a reduced role for the Industrial Relations Commission.

However/ we have been open and honourable in declaring our intentions to change the laws of Australia to bring this about.

By contrast, both Peter Cook and Paul Keating, whilst mouthing platitudes about the central role of the Industrial Relations Commission, have by stealth and subterfuge set about transferring power to the headquarters of the ACTU.

As I said in April last year when Senator Cook rejected the full bench decision on the national wage case his actions represented a watershed in relations between the Labor Government and the Commission.

On that occasion, the Government repudiated its own umpire to do the bidding of its union masters.

Ken Turbet was for sixteen years a senior official of a public sector union.

Even he, with that track record, can no longer stomach the bullying monopoly of industrial relat y the

Secretary of the ACTU.

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The Prime Minister stands even more condemned than Senator Cook.

It was he and Bill Kelty who really instigated rejection of the April 1991 wage decision as part of the campaign to undermine the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.

The immediate trigger for the Turbet resignation has been the government's rejection of a determination of the Remuneration Tribunal.

However, the deeper explanation lies in the refusal of Commissioner Turbet to tolerate any longer the IRC having become a branch office of the ACTU.

Such a state of affairs is In defiance of the intentions of the current industrial laws of Australia and, until those laws are changed, there is every justification for Commissioner Turbet having taken the action he has.

The continued corruption of the Industrial Relations Commission by the Prime Minister and Senator Cook is yet another reason why the Government's intention to drag thousands of independent contractors within the killing fields

of the Industrial Relations Commission must be opposed and defeated.

TOWNSVILLE 24 April 1992

Contact No (018) 745-599