Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Page: 1054

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (18:29): It certainly is going to be a long night, because it is obvious that you are scrambling—as you did when we last debated the bill. Minister, I am really surprised that you do not understand the basics of your portfolio. You talk about agreements covering everyone on site; Minister, you would be aware, or you should be aware, that agreements do not cover everyone on site. You should correct that position, because it has not been legal to have pattern agreements on sites for many, many years. I am not sure why you are using this rhetoric about agreements covering everyone on site. You mentioned Boral. You have basically named and shamed two companies, Lendlease and Probuild, and I am asking you whether you have referred Lendlease and Probuild to the ACCC. Do you have evidence of cartel behaviour that breaches the ACCC legislation? You shake your head, so you have no evidence. I think it is outrageous that you have no evidence, shaking your head, 'No, I've got no evidence,' and yet accuse companies who have operated legally in enterprise bargaining for years.

You raised the issue of 2014. I want to draw your attention to the fact that on two occasions parliament rejected the bill that would have provided for the code that is now in place, and no company had a legal obligation to comply with a code that had not been subject to a legislative change within parliament. Really, your capacity to understand these issues to me seems to be less and less every time we are here. That is why it becomes a long night, because either you or the government do not understand how industrial relations works in this country. I asked you, 'Have any other surveys been done?' and I thought it would have been an easy answer—either surveys have been done or they have not. If no surveys have been done, are you relying on the MBA for your advice as to what is happening in the industry?