In the life of any great nation, it is appropriate to pause and reflect and ask: are there things in the past we could have done better? Are there things we should have done better? Are there things we should not have done at all? A great nation, while celebrating its overwhelming achievements, should also find within its soul and conscience the capacity to ask the tough questions and reflect. Australia, being the great nation that she is, with a record second-to-none as a country of hope, reward and opportunity, nevertheless does not have an unblemished record. We have left people behind, and shamelessly so. And it is in recognition of that realisation that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition made their heartfelt statements earlier today in the Great Hall: statements of apology on behalf of our nation for forced adoptions.
“Bill Shorten is facing a serious test in coming weeks after revelations today that Victorian Unions are attempting to blackmail the Minister unless he makes even more union boss friendly changes incorporating compulsory arbitration in the Fair Work Act,” Senator Abetz said today.
“It is a shameful threat by the Victorian Trades Hall Council to withdraw support for Labor in marginal seats unless Mr Shorten implements additional changes to the Fair Work Act.”
“Bill Shorten’s announcement today that Jeff Lawrence will be appointed a Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission confirms that Labor’s “Jobs for Labor’s mates” network is alive and well,” Senator Abetz said today.
“It was always very curious that Mr Lawrence silently stepped away from his plumb job at the ACTU but now we know why.”
“Tasmania has missed out again in the ‘latest’ reshuffle of Ms Gillard’s ever-revolving door of Ministerial and Parliamentary appointments,” Senator Abetz said today.
“In every other State there was a promotion for somebody, but Tasmania has completely missed out.”
The Maritime Workers Union is set to use a new pattern agreement to try and extort huge wage rises as well as additional allowances with no productivity trade-offs.
According to reports, the pattern template will be used by the MUA to negotiate for cooks and related positions who work on ships in the offshore oil and gas industry in 2013.
Just days after Labor announced sweeping new powers that will give expanded right of entry powers for union bosses, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has today released data that shows a significant increase in working days lost to industrial disputes on a year on year basis.
During the year ended December 2012, there were 273,200 working days lost compared with 241,500 in the year ended December 2011, a significant increase of 31,700 working days lost.
Today in the Senate, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, could offer no excuse for repeatedly promoting Eddie Obeid when Premier of NSW.
Senator Carr had no credible answer to rebut former Premier, Morris Iemma’s charge that he had very publicly voted for Eddie Obeid to be a Cabinet Minister in order to send a message that Obeid’s candidacy should be supported.
The Coalition has clearly indicated there will be NO major changes to the GST distribution in Tasmania.
To add to this we have stated numerous times that we are committed to horizontal fiscal equalisation.
“Tasmanians won’t fall for Labor’s latest act of desperation with their campaign of pedalling lies over GST funding,” Senator Abetz said today.
“Having suffered from State Labor lies that they would do “no deal with the Greens” before the 2009 State election and the Federal Labor lies over “No Carbon Tax” before the 2010 Federal Election,, Tasmanians will rightly view this double act of Senator Wong and Premier Giddings with some cynicism.”
Bill Shorten’s announcement today expanding rights for union bosses even further seeking increased access to workplaces, including forcing employers to pay for helicopter joy flights for union bosses to fly them out to offshore oil rigs, is just another broken promise from Labor in an effort to appease the union bosses.
In 2007, Julia Gillard promised not to change right of entry laws and said “I'm happy to do whatever you would like. If you'd like me to pledge to resign, sign a contract in blood, take a polygraph, bet my house on it, give you my mother as a hostage, whatever you'd like”.
Bill Shorten’s imminent appointments to the Fair Work Commission could damage the standing and independence of the tribunal and undermine the appointments process by laying it open to political interference.
Using the cover of some of the more benign recommendations from the Fair Work Review Mr Shorten has also legislated to create two new positions at the industrial tribunal. These would slot in at second and third place in the chain of command.