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Unfair dismissal move a cowardly act

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Media Release Hon Arch Bevis MP Federal Member for Brisbane S h a d o w M in ister for In d u strial R elation s

17 December 1998


Opposition Industrial Relations spokesman, Arch Bevis, said today that the Government’s attempts to exempt small business from unfair dismissal laws by regulation rather than legislation are cowardly and ‘too smart by h alf.

Mr Bevis said Workplace Relations Minister, Peter Reith, had gone in under the cover o f the G ulf crisis to arrogantly attack the rights o f millions o f Australian workers and thumb his nose at the Parliament.

‘Just two weeks ago, Mr Reith gagged debate on the unfair dismissal legislation, preventing 23 Members from speaking on the issue,’ Mr Bevis said.

‘Now he has gone one step further by trying to circumvent the Parliamentary process by choosing to change the law by administrative means before the Senate has had time to consider it.

‘He keeps talking about how vital the Bill is for jobs and business, and yet the very thought o f any debate on the issue seems to terrify him.

‘This is just another example of the ‘too smart by h alf Reith style of administration - he could, and should, have done it in Parliament last week. Or does he want us to believe he only thought of it when he woke up this morning.”

Mr Bevis said he would be checking the legality of Mr Reith’s move.

T don’t intend to let him get away with this attack on Australian workers.’

For further information: Arch Bevis 0418 785 122