Canberra Connection with Justine Elliot

Office contacts

Ph: 1300 720 675

Fax: 6277 5379

Address: PO Box 6996, Tweed Heads South, NSW, 2486


Further industrial relations changes

When I was in Canberra recently for Parliament I spoke against the Independent Contactors Bill which is a continuation of the Howard Governments extreme industrial relations laws.

These changes will further undermine the job security of working Australians by making it easier for big businesses to replace existing workers with independent contractors.

Workers who are classed as independent contractors have to pay their own superannuation, taxation and workers compensation. Further, such contractors do not have any basic entitlements to annual leave or sick leave.

The proposed legislation complicates an area of law unnecessarily and provides a costly system of redress for small business and workers.

It is not just the workers that will suffer. Under the new system, if there is a dispute, small businesses will be worse off as the matter will have to go to the federal court. This is a much more complex, lengthy, and more expensive process than the existing IRC process.

I cannot support the federal governments Independent Contractors Bill, as anyone who genuinely cares about preserving traditional Australian values in the workforce could not support this Bill.

These laws will hurt ordinary working Australians like drivers, cleaners, carpenters and electricians. These laws tear away the protections and entitlements for decent hard working Australians.

This arrogant federal government is sending a clear message to workers and their families. This legislation is saying to Australias workers youre on your own now.

The Prime Minister has lost touch with hard working Australians. He is Americanising our workforce. What type of future are we building for our children? Federal Labor will rip up these extreme industrial relations laws and replace them with a system that is fair for everyone.

Mandatory code for horticulture

The National Party has betrayed rural and regional Australians by failing to deliver on their promise to introduce a mandatory code of conduct in the fruit and vegetable industry within 100 days of the last election.

This issue is important to fruit and vegetable growers in Richmond who have suffered for decades as wholesalers, agents and supermarkets have unfairly wielded their power in the market place at their expense. There is a clear need for a mandatory code of conduct to tackle abuses of market power in the industry.

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