Monday, 9 January 2012

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott gets his industrial relations figures muddled yet again

On 6 January 2012 The Australian reported:

Speaking in Brisbane yesterday, the Opposition Leader said the rate of industrial disputation had increased since the government changed and the Fair Work Act was brought in and it was important the review of the act ordered by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten addressed these problems.

On the same day The Sydney Morning Herald also reported:

In Australia the Federal Coalition Government under Howard was in power between the federal elections of 2 March 1996 and 24 November 2007. The Federal Labor Government under Rudd and Gillard has been in power from 3 December 2007 to the present day.

Work Choices was enacted over the period 14 December 2005 to 27 March 2006 and the Fair Work Act was enacted over the period 7 April to 26 May 2009.

So who is right, Abbott or Shorten? I am giving the point to Shorten.

Firstly because there was an equal rise and fall in the annual instances of industrial relations disputes in the four years since Labor gained government and disputes only rose in one year out of three since 2009 – Tony Abbott was in error in seeing an increased rate directly related to the 2009 Fair Work Act. Secondly, because Abbott misrepresents industrial relations disputes under the Howard Government - in those eleven years dispute instances randomly rose in five years and randomly fell in six years.
Thirdly, the industrial relations landscape was varied enough between 1996 and 2011 for Shorten’s overall assessment to be accurate.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS):











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