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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

22 June 2009


Last week in Parliament Labor voted against the jobs of hundreds of Pyrenees workers in the farming, retail, pharmacy and aged care sectors.

As Senate debate over the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2009 resumed on Wednesday last week, Labor confirmed that these important community sectors are not worthy enough to be exempted from Labor’s botched attempt to create ‘modern awards’.

Labor had the chance to save these sectors from the devastating effect on jobs of these so-called ‘modern awards’, but refused to do so. Coalition amendments would have seen these very important sectors given the same chance as the restaurant and catering sector - an opportunity to be spared from the spiralling costs and mass job losses coming from the Labor Government’s new award system.

Instead, Labor blew it. They voted against saving the jobs of hundreds of Pyrenees workers in these crucial sectors. This is a massive blow to workers and business in these important community sectors. Labor obviously believes they are not as important as cafes and restaurants.

Although I welcomed the news that restaurants and caterers have been temporarily spared, Labor cannot give us any good reason as to why these other sectors are not also important. I have been contacted by local businesses including local IGA owners who are concerned that they will struggle to afford to stay open with these proposed changes to the award.

People shop on weekends because they’re too busy during the week. Shoppers and local employees will be the ones who lose if shops are forced to close because they can’t afford to stay open on Sundays anymore.

This entire modern award process has been botched and bungled by Labor from day one. Labor have simply turned their backs on Pyrenees producers, pharmacists, shop workers and aged care workers.

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Media contact: Lisa Downs (03) 5572 1100