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Transcript of doorstop interview of the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations: Federation Square, Melbourne: ACTU Sydney Rally.



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THE HON KEVIN ANDREWS MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE

Transcript

ACTU Sydney Rally

Doorstop, Federation Square, Melbourne

MINISTER: Ladies and Gentlemen. what we have seen in the last 24 hours is cracks opening up between the Labot Party and the union movement. Yesterday when be had an opportunity to say what the union movement wanted, mainly that he will abolish individual workplace agreements Kim Beazley did not take that opportunity. He did not say what the unionists want. The question to Mr Beazley is where does he stand, where does the Labor Party stand on individual workplace agreements? Yesterday he missed the opportunity, he refused to take the opportunity to say he'd abolish them, where does he stand? There's been a policy review going for twelve months or so in the Labor Party, it doesn't take twelve months, he can do it in twelve seconds and simply say where he stands on workplace agreements. But since then we also see a crack opening up between Premier Beattie of the Labor Party and the union movement. Premier Beattie is now accepting the principle that there can be an exemption for small business on unfair dismissals, that's what Premier Beattie has said, he accepts that principle, there can be an exemption for small business. in contrast to what the union movement is saying and so on two counts we see a crack between the Labor Party and the union movement, just in the past 24 hours.

REPORTER: How do you view the union campaign, Melboume: yesterday, Sydney today against the workplace relations changes?

MINISTER: Well the fact is the overwhelming majority of Australian workers were at work yesterday, the overwhelming majority of Australian workers will be at work today. The reeason is they know that this Government"s track record in terms of producing 1.6 million jobs, a 14% increase in real wages is a good record. Australians want to make up their own their minds themselves, not to be patronised by a misleading campaign by the unions.

REPORTER: Unions say they will be targeting politicians, including Liberal politicians are you concerned at all considenng you have

control of the Senate?

MINISTER: Well, Australians want to make up their own minds, they don't want to be patronised, they don't want untruthful, misleading campaigns, they want the facts. they will make up their minds based on those facts and they base it on the fact of this Government's track record, an increase in jobs and an increase in wages.

REPORTER: You only need one or two Senator's to defect from your side to have the changes not go through, do you think that may happen?

MINISTER: When these measures were taken to the Coalition party room, there was no dissent, there was wide spread support. As Members and Senators of the Liberal, National Party they agree we must make further changes so Australians in the future have the jobs, have the prosperity they want.

ENDS

For further information contact:

Russ Street 0417 044 712

1/07/2005