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Transcript from local debate.

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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

16 November 2007 ABB159/07


The ALP has outrageously doctored what I said in a debate with the ALP’s Warringah candidate in Brookvale on Tuesday night. This is the transcript of the question and my answer in full.

Question from mediator: This has been dubbed the Me-Too election and Work Choices is certainly one area where the two national parties differ significantly. Putting national statistics aside, Mr Abbott, have you any evidence to prove that the introduction of Work Choices has been good for the people of your electorate?

Tony Abbott: As that great Labor leader Tony Blair said, ‘fairness begins with the chance of a job’ and there is a lot more fairness in the workplace today in this country than ever before because there is a lot more chance of a job. [applause]

I accept that certain “protections” - in inverted commas - are not what they were. That whole raft of regulation expressed in awards that sometimes ran into hundreds, even thousands of pages, I accept that that has largely gone. I accept that. I accept that the Industrial Relations Commission doesn’t have the same power to reach into the nook and cranny of every

business that it used to have. I accept that.

But in the end, the best protection for the worker who feels he or she might be under pressure at his job is the chance of another job, the chance of a better job. That is the best protection. Not going off to some judge or Industrial Commission that might order your employer, who you don’t like and he doesn’t like you, to keep you in an unhappy partnership forever.

So that is the best protection that we can give people, the protection of an abundance of jobs, the protection of an economy which is crying out for more workers. That is the best protection and I think that has been delivered in spades locally and nationally.

Media contact: Claire Kimball, 0413 486 926