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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Page: 2071

Workplace Relations


Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaChief Nationals Whip) (14:57): My question is to the Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation. Will the minister update the House on bargaining at the Oaky Creek mine and outline steps the government has been taking in order to encourage the parties to reach agreement? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr LAUNDY (ReidMinister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation) (14:58): I do thank the member for Capricornia for her question. I want to thank her, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, the member for Dawson and the member for Flynn, in particular. I am pleased to inform the House that next Monday the workers at Oaky Creek will head back into the mine. That is a great result, and I would like to thank the Fair Work Commission for the role it has played in that. But, in particular, I would like to thank the member for Capricornia, the member for Dawson, the member for Flynn and the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia for the opportunity they provided me in meeting with local CFMEU delegates in the last couple of weeks, as well as with the company involved, Glencore. In the last couple of weeks I have met with both sides of this dispute on several occasions, as have they. We have urged the parties to come together and bargain in good faith—an approach that I hope, in whatever time I have in this portfolio, to attack it with, to bring both sides together—

Ms Chesters interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bendigo is warned.

Mr LAUNDY: and find a constructive solution. On Monday, this lockout will end after near seven months.

I'm asked if there are any alternatives. Just last night, we found out all about Labor's secret plan, the plan that has been constructed by Sally McManus and the ACTU, in which the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Gorton are going to rip up their own Fair Work Act, the result of their legislation drafted between 2007 and implemented in mid-2009, which they have stood behind and all said magnificently proud things of. Why? It is because, as the member for Gorton said this morning, the system's broken. The nuclear factor, which is what Sally McManus refers to, is terminating agreements. In the last 12 months, three per cent of the agreements terminated have been contested. Ninety-seven per cent have been done by mutual consent.

What does this broken system look like? This week Olivia, a year 10 student, and her mother took action in the commission against the Yoghurt Factory and their enterprise agreement. They beat the company and had it contested and dismissed. Why? It was because the conditions in that had come to a stage where they needed to be updated. A year 10 student and her mother used the system as it was designed.

This system is not broken. It is being manipulated by the ACTU and the left of the Labor Party, as they dictate to the member for Gorton and the Leader of the Opposition, who swallow it hook, line and sinker. Why? Because they are interested in union power in the workplace—nothing more and nothing less. What will be the result? The decimation of this economy and a loss of jobs. Again, there is not one policy that will create one job—only policies that decimate the economy. If you put this mob in charge, you will pay the price.