'We're all individuals', says Andrews

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'We're all individuals', says Andrews

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews is aggressively pushing an 'every man for himself' line on the Australian economy, arguing strongly for rewarding individual effort.

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Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews is aggressively pushing an 'every man for himself' line on the Australian economy, arguing strongly for rewarding individual effort.

'Why shouldn't a person be rewarded for their efforts?' Andrews asked in a speech to the Queensland Liberal Party State Convention in Brisbane this week.

'Why should one business be constrained by the business next door? Why should one person's economic future be determined by another? Why should one family's economic future be determined by another?'

Andrews said WorkChoices is not 'just about industrial relations as such'.

Risk taking and reward

'It's about individual effort, it's about businesses prospering, it's about the continued prosperity of this country, it's about a new ethic of entrepreneurialism and risk taking and reward for effort, it's about having a go, it's about getting ahead in this nation,' he said. 'And it's also about choice, about choosing to have a go or not, and that's up to the individual.'

Andrews said his own family story was of his parents starting their own business and 'having a go'.

'They employed people when business was going well ... they made a better future for themselves and they gave me and my brothers the best start in life that was possible,' Andrews said. 'That's what it's about ladies and gentlemen, having a go, reward for effort, having kids [and] giving them opportunities in life, building a future family life and a future nation and stronger communities in this country.

Getting ahead

'Having a chance to earn more and getting ahead. That's what the Australia of today is about.'

Andrews said under the Coalition 'people will no longer be shackled by the old one size fits all of industrial relations'.

'We want to continue to build incentive into the wages system so you can be rewarded if you go out and work hard, if you go out and have a go, then you will be rewarded for your efforts, and that's what we're actually starting to see.'

Andrews said recent data from the Melbourne Institute, from their wages report, found that 23% of employees on individual contracts were more likely to receive performance loadings and bonuses as a reason for receiving pay increases, compared with 16% under collective agreements and 9% under the award system.

'Having a go, reward for effort, that's what these [industrial relations] changes are about.'

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