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Tony Abbott's an embarrassment.

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Arch Bevis - Tony Abbott's An Embarassment Monday, 06 August 2001

Tony Abbott's An Embarassment Arch Bevis - Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

Media Statement - 3 August 2001

The comments by Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott, concerning the TriStar Steering and Suspension dispute were an embarrassment, not only to himself but also to the Prime Minister. Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Arch Bevis said today.

"Tony Abbott's comments that strike action undertaken by the workers at TriStar Steering and Suspension was 'industrial and economic treason' are ill considered and only serve to inflame what is already a very heated dispute.

"I noticed that even the comments reported this morning made by the Prime Minister were far more considered, and rightly so. He is trying to negotiate a deal to keep Mitsubishi manufacturing in Adelaide.

"Tony Abbot's ridiculous outburst has undermined the Prime Minister.

"Time and time again we have seen Tony Abbott make outrageous claims and this outburst is just the latest in a long line of these.

"Tony Abbott describes himself as an 'L' plate Minister and continues to prove that this description is accurate.

"The fact remains that this dispute is the only way parties can attempt to negotiate under the Coalition's Workplace Relations Act.

"The current dispute is in relation to negotiations for a new enterprise agreement, the actions being taken are legal and in accordance with the Government's 1996 Act.

"As Labor has said from the beginning, the Howard/Reith 1996 laws promote division and an adversarial approach to negotiations. The most unfortunate thing about disputes that occur under these laws is that the government seems to think that when an industrial dispute comes along, their job is to be in there swinging punches.

"Tony Abbott is an embarrassment to himself, the Prime Minister and to Australia as a whole", said Mr Bevis.