Fairness test will stay, says Howard

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Fairness test will stay, says Howard

The AWA fairness test will not be 'watered down' if the Coalition wins the next Federal election, Prime Minister John Howard said in Parliament yesterday.

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The AWA fairness test will not be 'watered down' if the Coalition wins the next Federal election, Prime Minister John Howard said in Parliament yesterday.

Howard was responding to a question from Opposition IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, who referred to an earlier interview in which Treasurer, Peter Costello, had failed to give such a guarantee.

'Prime Minister, given your Treasurer and deputy leader would not guarantee this week's changes to your WorkChoices laws, the last until after the election, why should any Australian believe that they will last?' Gillard said.

Howard claimed Gillard was 'verballing' Costello.

He said that under the Government's policy, there will be an independent assessment of whether there has been fair compensation [for award provisions traded off under AWAs].

'So let me say on behalf of everybody in the Government that if the Government is returned, there will be no watering down of the fairness test,' Howard said.

Labor yesterday decided to support the fairness test legislation, but reiterated that it would get rid of AWAs if it won the next election.

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