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The accord - reality catches up with the myth



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

EDIA RELEASE - 26TH FEBRUARY, 1985

STATEMENT BY THE SHADOW MI NI STER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND I NDUSTRI AL RELATIONS AND YOUTH AFFAI RS, MR., PETER SHACK

THE ACCORD - REALITY CATCHES UP WITH THE MYTH

" R e a l i t y i s b e g i n n i n g t o c a t c h up w i t h t h e myth o f t h e A c c o r d , " P e t e r

S h a c k , O p p o s i t i o n Spokesman on Empl oyment and I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s , s a i d l a s t n i g h t i n h i s A d d r e s s - i n - R e p l y s p e e c h . "

" T h e Go v e r n me n t has t r i e d t o s e l l t h e Accord as a document o f e q u i t y , of

s o c i a l j u s t i c e . I t has had a f a i r success i n t h a t m a r k e t i n g t a s k . B u t

i t s t r u e n a t u r e , i t s e m p t i n e s s , i s now b e i n g e x p o s e d r e l e n t l e s s l y -

expos e d, what i s more, not j u s t by t h e O p p o s i t i o n , n o r j u s t b y c r i t i c s

i n t h e m e d i a , b u t b y t h e h a r d c o l d ' e v i d e n c e o f s t r i k e s , e c o n o m i c

m a l a i s e , and c o n t i n u i n g l y h i g h l e v e l s o f u n e mp l o y me n t . "

" T h e s i g n s a r e t h e r e f o r a l l t o s e e , and n o t j u s t i n a n e c d o t a l acc ount s

o f i n d u s t r i a l c o n f l i c t , n o r i n s t a t i s t i c s on t h e l e v e l o f i n d u s t r i a l

d i s p u t a t i o n i n A u s t r a l i a . "

" M o s t s t a r k l y , i t i s e v i d e n t i n r e c e n t empl oyment s t a t i s t i c s whi ch show

t h a t t h e mi nor g r o w t h i n e m p l o y m e n t l e v e l s w h i c h o c c u r r e d d u r i n g t h e

H a wk e G o v e r n m e n t ' s f i r s t t e r m h a s b e e n a r r e s t e d and t h a t , most

d i s t u r b i n g l y , much o f i t was a t t r i b u t a b l e t o p u b l i c s e c t o r j o b c r e a t i o n

anyway. "

" I f t h e r e i s a s i n g l e r e l i a b l e b a r o me t e r as t o t h e h e a l t h o f t h e economy

a n d i t s i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s s y s t e m , i t i s t h e l a b o u r m a r k e t .

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , and t h e G o v e r n m e n t must c a r r y t h e can on t h i s o n e , our

l a b o u r ma r k e t i s l o o k i n g v e r y s i c k i n d e e d . " -

" P e o p l e a r e b e g i n n i n g t o q u e s t i o n what t h e Accor d amounts t o anyway, as t h e y wat ch Mr . W i l l i s and t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e un i o n s s t r e t c h and d i s t o r t

i t so c o m p l e t e l y t h a t i t s h o l l o w n e s s i s r e v e a l e d . "

" T h e A c c o r d i s a my t h f a s t p e r i s h i n g b e c a u s e i t l a c k s a n y i n t r i n s i c

s t r e n g t h , a u t h o r i t y or u t i l i t y . I t i s t h e r a t h e r t h i n p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s

d o c u m e n t o f a Government w i t h a v e r y o r d i n a r y , r a t h e r t h a n v e r y s p e c i a l ,

r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e t r a d e u n i o n mov e me n t . "

- 00-

CONTACT: C h r i s W a l l a c e ( 0 6 2 ) 7 2 . 6 6 5 1