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Democrats support proper scrutiny of IR revamp

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Senator Cheryl Kernot Australian Democrats Parliamentary Leader

23 May, 1996____________ MEDIA RELEASE___________________ 96/281


The Australian Democrats have given an assurance to voters that they will support proper scrutiny of major legislative reforms.

Democrats' Leader Senator Cheryl Kernot said the Coalition's 300-page Workplace Relations legislation would undergo proper review through the committee process endorsed in the Senate today.

She said the Leader of the Government in the Senate Senator Hill was being totally unreasonable and misleading in trying to portray Senate scrutiny as being "obstructionist".

"It would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a committee to review a 300-page rewrite of the entire industrial relations regime by June 17," Senator Kernot said.

"The Bill contains an enormous number of changes from the draft we were given just over a week and a half ago. And Industrial Relations Minister Peter Reith has foreshadowed it may even need to be amended before it even gets to the Senate.

"We must remember that this Government gagged debate on the Telstra legislation in the Lower House - such is their commitment to parliamentary scrutiny."

Senator Kernot said a claim by Senator Hill that the Government's Natural Heritage Trust Fund to rescue the environment has been "left in limbo" was plain dishonest.

"The Government hasn't even introduced the Natural Heritage Trust Fund Bill," she said. "In fact, Senator Hill said it would not be introduced because he did not want to clog the Senate with unnecessary legislation.

"That's the extent of his government's commitment to the environment. r ί

"There is a Bill to fund the Government's environment programme - that's the Bill I introduced this week which pays for their plans without selling Telstra."


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