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ETU should stick to facts.



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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 09 July, 2007

Media Release

ETU Should Stick to Facts

The latest Electrical Trades Union newspaper advertisements show how far the union bosses are prepared to

bend the truth in their $100 million scare campaign to get Kevin Rudd elected.

Both misleading ETU ads in today’s Courier Mail demonstrate how the union bosses are prepared to put

smear and fear before actually helping working Australians.

The ETU claims 457 visas are all about "cutting wages and conditions".

Yet the biggest single user of 457 visas in 2006-07 was Peter Beattie’s health department which is encouraging

large numbers of nurses to work in Queensland’s hospital system. Indeed, state Labor government’s are the

biggest users of 457 visas - a fact the ETU deliberately ignores in its expensive ads.

"It’s no surprise the ETU is not spending large amounts of money to attack Peter Beattie," Minister Hockey

said. "The union isn’t interested in the facts or responsible policy - it’s just desperate to get Kevin Rudd into

office.

"The ETU is so desperate to make a misleading political point that it is also ignores that most nurses wages

and conditions are negotiated between the state Labor governments and the unions," Minister Hockey said.

"The ETU’s hypocrisy is breathtaking - they know there are strict rules about minimum rates of pay for 457

visa holders while workers can only enter the country on these visas if they are entering an industry that faces

a genuine labour shortage.

"The strong economy and low unemployment means industry and state governments support the need for

skilled migration in order to help ensure that Australia’s future economic prosperity is secured."

The ETU is equally wrong on the issue of apprentices. "The Howard Government has boosted support for

trade training enormously," Minster Hockey said.

"The number of people training in Australian Apprenticeships has risen from 154,830 in 1996 to 397,400 in

the December quarter of 2006 - an increase of 157 per cent. We are providing an additional $1.06 billion over

four years for initiatives in the skills needs trades.

"If unions such as the ETU are going to run ads that contain outright lies then the Government has a

responsibility to explain how the laws actually work."

For further information contact:

Emma Needham 0400 334 091