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Comments on speculative stories in News Ltd papers, industrial action under Fair Work laws

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Comments on speculative stories in News Ltd papers, industrial action under Fair Work laws

Thursday 3 November 2011 Transcript

Senator the Hon Chris Evans [link:/evans]

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations • Leader of the Government in the Senate •

E&OE Transcript National Nine News - Channel 9 Sydney 11.31 AM THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2011

Newsreader: Let’s get all the details and our top story now and Labor MPs have accused News Limited of a destabilisation campaign over the latest reports that Kevin Rudd is being urged to make a run for the leadership as soon as this month. For all the details we are joined now by Government Leader in the Senate, Chris Evans. Senator, thank you for your time this morning.

CHRIS EVANS : My pleasure.

Newsreader: Is there a challenge being planned, and if there is, who would you support?

CHRIS EVANS : This is a nonsense. Julia Gillard has a very strong support in the Caucus and I think there is a bit of new confidence in the Caucus. We’re getting on with the job. Climate change legislation will go through the Parliament next week and the introduction of the mining tax which is going to bring benefits to all small businesses and to all employees through increased superannuation, gives I think, a sense of confidence about the Government that we are coming through a tough period with a really positive agenda.

Newsreader: So who’s to blame for this latest report? Is it people within Labor or are we talking about the News Limited journalists here?

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CHRIS EVANS: Well look, there’s no named sources again and all I know is that this paper‘s run stories about the Qantas dispute in the last few days that I know are just factually wrong; they’re not true. And I suspect this one’s the same.

Newsreader: The fact that Kevin Rudd keeps coming out and addressing the media on this...only obviously when questioned... does that just add fuel to the fire?

CHRIS EVANS: Well look, Kevin is the Foreign Affairs Minister. He’s in the media all the time. He’s doing a fantastic job but he keeps getting asked these questions. All he can do is answer them.

Newsreader: Quickly on another subject Senator - how damaging is the TWU boss Tony Sheldon’s admission that the Gillard Fair Work laws allow him to take this legal action against Qantas?

CHRIS EVANS: Look, I’m unapologetic about that. We deliberately changed the laws from Work Choices to give employees more rights.

And one of those rights is to be able to discuss with their employer their job security; ensuring that they’re not subject to unfair dismissal; ensuring that they can take maternity leave without threat of losing their job.

Job security is a key issue for working people and Labor stands for allowing them to negotiate with their employer about that issue. We’re proud of that, and we are not going back to the Liberals’ Work Choices approach which said job security was out of bounds.

Newsreader: All right, Senator Chris Evans, thank you very much for your time this morning.

CHRIS EVANS: My pleasure.

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