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Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Page: 1148

Senator MURRAY (5:45 PM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (3) and (4) on sheet 5443 together:

(3)    Schedule 1, page 68 (after line 1), after item 132, insert:

132A  Subsection 643(10)

Omit “100 employees”, substitute “15 employees”.

(4)    Schedule 1, page 68 (after line 1), after item 132, insert:

132B  Paragraph 645(5)(c)

Omit “100 employees”, substitute “15 employees”.

In moving these amendments, I will briefly remark that I understand the arguments put by the coalition in support of their policy, but I will indicate my own opinion is that there is absolutely no empirical evidence to indicate that there was a one per cent drop in unemployment because the size of a business to which unfair dismissal provisions applied was raised to 100 employees from zero. In fact, I recall with pride the contribution the Democrats made to the pre-Work Choices area, where I think employment increased by 1½ million or more over the years, and I would never dream of attributing that to the efforts we put in on unfair dismissals or anything else.