AWAs to go in first sitting of new Parliament

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AWAs to go in first sitting of new Parliament

Labor is already working on a transition bill to put an end to AWAs and will present it at the first sitting of Federal Parliament in January or February next year.

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Labor is already working on a transition bill to put an end to AWAs and will present it at the first sitting of Federal Parliament in January or February next year.

And Labor's deputy leader, Julia Gillard has hinted she may have additional portfolio responsibilities as well as industrial relations when Kevin Rudd selects his ministry this week.

Move quickly

Gillard said the new Labor Government would move 'as quickly as humanly possible' to get the transition laws written and put through the Parliament.

Gillard said the legislation would reflect Labor's policy as put to the electorate and would not negotiate on its terms.

Both Gillard and Prime Minister elect, Kevin Rudd rejected calls by Unions NSW leader, John Robertson for the legislation to be retrospective so workers currently on AWAs could get relief quickly rather than have the AWAs run their course.

No retrospective laws

'Robertson … is wrong and we will adhere to the implementation arrangements of our industrial relations policy as outlined during the election,' Rudd said.

Rudd also rejected a statement by Liberal Senator, George Brandis that Labor did not have a mandate to rip up WorkChoices and that electors had merely voted for a 'change' of government.

'Here we have therefore the Liberal Party on day one saying that they want to restore and retain WorkChoices,' Rudd said. 'So, the Liberal Party of the future has as its core mission the restoration of the WorkChoices of the past. I thought the Australian people had a fairly clear message on that only a couple of days ago.'

Libs split on WorkChoices

The Liberal Party is clearly split on this issue, with former Minister Christopher Pyne saying WorkChoices should be dumped because the Party ought not to cling to the 'shibboleths' of the past.

Gillard said the incoming Labor Government had not made any arrangements to talk with the  ACTU, though she had been congratulated by ACTU President, Sharan Burrow.

Gillard was quizzed on radio about whether she would take on additional ministerial responsibilities other than IR, and while she confirmed she would have that portfolio, she did not specifically deny she might have other areas as well.

Related

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