Sunday, 18 July 2010

WorkChoices dead says Nats Kevin Hogan. Oh yeah?

This is what Leader of the Opposition and aspirant to the office of Australian prime minister,Tony Abbott, said in his Address in Reply to the 2010 Budget:

We'll seek to take the unfair dismissal monkey off the back of small businesses which are more like families than institutions.

We'll make Labor's transitional employment agreements less transitional and Labor's individual flexibility agreements more flexible. We have faith in Australian workers who are not as easily pushed around and exploited as the ACTU's dishonest ad campaign is already making out.

If elected, we will be faithful to the liberal conservative tradition......

This is Tony Abbott in 2009 on the 27 July ABC TV 7.30 Report:

Well, if we are going to have productive workplaces, we can never ring down the curtain on workplace reform.

Tony Abbott on 17 July 2010 in a speech at a Queensland Liberal Party gathering:

"Yesterday the Shadow Cabinet backed my recommendation that an incoming Coalition government would not seek to change the Fair Work Act at least for the three years of the next term of Parliament."

A senior Liberal Party MP Eric Abetz fleshes this odd promise out:

"We will not be revolutionising, or indeed reforming, we would only be tweaking and that is what our policy will confirm...
An incoming coalition government will seek to make Labor's individual flexibility agreements more flexible and seek to reduce the burdens on small business...

Nationals candidate in the Page electorate on the NSW North Coast Kevin Hogan, reported on ABC North Coast NSW last Tuesday, thinks that:'s silly to suggest Workchoices is back on the Coalition's agenda. "A lot of the things in Workchoices people didn't like - we realise that, we lost an election over that so there is certainly no way that we would bring back things that the Australian public and the Australian workers don't want"....

The unions and many local workers are understandably nervous about the Coalition's industrial relations intentions and Hogan does not inspire confidence given his own political inexperience and Abbott's track record on key elements of WorkChoices.

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