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Democrats warn AMWU: don't bet on a better ALP industry policy.

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Senator Meg Lees Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia

Press Release Dated: 27 Aug 2000

Press Release Number: 00/526 Portfolio: Industry 

Democrats warn AMWU: Don’t bet on a better ALP industry policy The Australian Democrats today welcomed the decision of the AMWU to launch a public campaign for a better industry policy for Australia, but warned that the union body will be “wasting its members’ money” if it assumes that the ALP will deliver a better policy.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Meg Lees, said Kim Beazley had comprehensively rejected the AMWU concerns at the recent ALP National Conference and that Labor had shown no sign that it had learned anything from the mistakes of its economic rationalist policies of the 1980s.

“The AMWU’s own research, conducted by the respected National Institute of Economic Research, shows that Labor’s trade and industry polices during the 1980s have already cost 60,000 jobs and will have cost 200,000 jobs by 2005,” Senator Lees said.

“The same research shows that the economic rationalist polices, embraced by both Kim Beazley and John Howard, have added significantly to income inequality. In the decade to 1996, these policies reduced living standards across the working class suburbs of Sydney by 10%.

“By continuing to embrace free trade, the free market and economic rationalism, Labor is condemning Australian industry to a slow strangulation and Australia to a slow decline in living standards compared with the rest of the world,” she said.

“Like the AMWU and other experts, like Dr Peter Brain and the Chief Scientist, Roy Batterham, the Democrats recognise that current industry policy, as practised by Labor and the Coalition since 1987, is failing Australia’s long term interests and leaving us further and further behind in the knowledge-based global economy.

“I welcome the commitment from Mr Cameron, that the AMWU will consider

supporting like-minded politicians from outside the ALP. The Democrats will be seeking to work with the AMWU and the employers group, the AIG, to increase public awareness of the need for a change of direction on industry and trade,” Senator Lees concluded.


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 08:18:58