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Keating and Kelty to speak at ACTU Congress 2012: 15-17 May, Sydney Convention Centre

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Keating and Kelty to speak at ACTU Congress 2012: 15-17 May, Sydney Convention Centre

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating and former ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty have been confirmed as guest speakers at the ACTU Congress in Sydney in May.

They will both address the official Congress dinner on 16 May.

Mr Keating, the then-Treasurer, and Mr Kelty helped to forge the Accord in the mid-1980s that delivered universal superannuation, Medicare and other social and economic policies from which working people continue to benefit today.

ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said he was delighted that Mr Keating and Mr Kelty had accepted invitations to address the Congress.

“Both Paul and Bill are giants of the Australian labour movement,” Mr Lawrence said.

“They created lasting reforms that we continue to build on today, and are testament to the strong and enduring relationship between unions and the Labor Party.

“I expect they will both deliver riveting and inspiring speeches that reinforce to us why we must dedicate ourselves to improving the lives of working Australians and their families.”

Almost 1000 delegates representing workers from every industry and sector in Australia will attend the ACTU Congress at the Sydney Convention Centre from 15-17 May.

The ACTU Congress is the largest and most important gathering of Australian unions. Delegates will debate and vote on policies regarding the workplace, rights, and campaigns to improve wages, conditions and quality of life for Australian workers and their families. This process sets the union agenda for a further three years.

The Congress will also elect a new Secretary to lead the ACTU, along with other office-holders.

The theme of ACTU Congress 2012 is Secure Jobs. Better Future. With about 40% of the Australian workforce employed as casuals, in labour hire, on short-term contracts or in other forms of insecure work, improving their rights, entitlements and protections is a major priority of Australian unions.

Other Congress highlights will include speeches from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, the public release of the report of the Howe Inquiry into Insecure Work, policy sessions and debates, and fringe events.

All media are invited to this important event in Sydney from 15-17 May. Visit for more information.

Media contact: Rebecca Tucker (03) 9664 7359 or 0408 031 269;