Fear of WorkChoices swayed one-third of voters: poll

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Fear of WorkChoices swayed one-third of voters: poll

One-third of voters were influenced by a fear of the return of WorkChoices, when marking their ballot paper at the last federal election, a survey has found.

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One-third of voters were influenced by a fear of the return of WorkChoices, when marking their ballot paper at the last federal election, a survey has found.
 
An Auspoll survey of 1218 people, commissioned by the ACTU, found that 32% of respondents said WorkChoices was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important in deciding how to vote, while a further 26% said it was ‘fairly’ important.
 
As well, 79% agreed that if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott became Prime Minister he should keep his pledge not to bring back WorkChoices.
 
From London yesterday Abbott said:
‘We have no intention, not the slightest intention, not the nearest skerrick of a hint of a plan to do anything that might resemble the policy of the last days of the Howard Government.’
Policy is ‘dead and buried’
 
‘I said during the election that that particular policy was dead, buried and cremated and that’s the way it stays.’
 
The poll also showed that 78% of respondents want no cuts to the unfair dismissal regime if the Coalition came to office.
 
Earlier this week there were media reports that senior Coalition MPs wanted unfair dismissal provisions removed from small business and further restrictions imposed on collective bargaining.
 
Both shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop raised concerns about the effects of the unfair dismissal laws on small business.
 
Further refinements
 
Yesterday, Liberal MP Steve Ciobo said there needed to be ‘further refinements’ to the Fair Work laws.
 
ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said the debate over industrial relations policy by Liberal MPs this week showed ‘key elements of WorkChoices’ were back on the Liberal agenda.
 
‘Our post-election poll found WorkChoices was a major factor in determining how people voted,’ he said.
 
‘An overwhelming majority of voters — around 80% — wanted Tony Abbott, if he became prime minister, not to bring back WorkChoices by any means.’
 
He said the election outcome would have been ‘very different if more voters had suspected the Liberals never had any intention of keeping this promise’.
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