We as a Government know that it is our job to set the overarching policy but it is people like you that actually create jobs. We know that it is people in this room who have taken out mortgages on their houses to finance their businesses. So, can I start by saying to each and every one of you – thank you for the work that you do in this State.
As an aside, I should note that speeches to Master Builders Victoria by Coalition politicians often have unforeseen consequences. When the now Prime Minister addressed this gathering, he later found himself sued for defamation by John Setka. I hadn’t intended to make any comments about Mr Setka today, other than to observe that his two best mates at the moment appear to be Mick Gatto and Daniel Andrews. Hopefully none of those three individuals finds any defamatory imputation in such a comment.
When Martin Luther initiated the Reformation and posted his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg, the reverberations ultimately led to a major war between Protestants and Catholics - the Thirty Years War - which wracked Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century. As a Protestant, I won’t blame Luther for starting the war.
Workplace relations devotees might say that when Gerard Henderson posted his nine page “Industrial Relations Club” Thesis in the pages of Quadrant in 1983, it had similar but more immediate consequences.
Supposedly the devastating length of the Thirty Years War convinced many people that neither side could be absolute victor, and consequently the two sides ultimately learned to live together, albeit on rather strained terms.
You will be pleased to know that the anti-bullying provisions in the Fair Work Act came into operation twenty-four days ago.
I note that Aaron Lane wrote about those provisions in The Australian just last week.
I understand that resort to these anti-bullying provisions will not be needed in the settlement of any electoral contests for your new executive – congratulations to the incoming President Ben Riley and Vice President Chris Browne and Executive.
I wish you success as you build on the legacy of your predecessors.
Address to the 2013 Mainstream Policy Forum, Sydney
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Thanks to an extra $10 million given to the ABC by the Greens/ALP Government outside of the normal budget process, or the triennial funding arrangements, and at a time the budget is hopelessly in deficit, we will now have the ABC’s Fact Checker, along with a Vote Compass, to assist us in the upcoming election campaign.
Address to the 7th Annual Workplace and Industrial Relations National Conference, Sydney
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In recent times, the Coalition has announced its Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws.
Our policy will help make Australian workplaces even better, by improving the Fair Work laws to provide a stable, fair and prosperous future for all.
I seek leave to move:
That further consideration of the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) Bill 2013 be an order of the day for the first day of sitting after the government provides for equal funding for both the yes and the no case, to ensure that the Australian community is properly informed about the arguments for and against the proposed change to the Constitution.
Opening Address to the A Future without Age Conference, NSW Parliament House, Sydney
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‘You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake’ – so quipped Bob Hope.
And as more Australians are experiencing that (only) welcome cost of living increase, it is important that we as a society engage in discussion on Productive Ageing.
It’s always good to attend these PIR conferences which have become a cornerstone event in the workplace relations space. As I read through the programme I noted that as always you have a very balanced attendee list with representatives like Mr Shorten and myself but also union bosses.
It’s a true shame that this isn’t a two way street. That unions refuse to invite the other side of politics represents a regrettable mindset. That said, when you have unions like the Maritime Union celebrating 140 years of union militancy – read illegality and thuggery – I’m not sure that’s something that anyone would seek to be involved in.