'Abide by NSW awards' rule will drive couriers away, says business

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'Abide by NSW awards' rule will drive couriers away, says business

The demand by the Iemma Government that tenderers for Government courier work must abide by NSW industrial awards will increase costs and drive courier companies away, according to the State Opposition and a leading employer organisation.

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The demand by the Iemma Government that tenderers for Government courier work must abide by NSW industrial awards will increase costs and drive courier companies away, according to the State Opposition and a leading employer organisation.

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Andrew Fraser, said courier companies in NSW have been sent a 190-page tender/contract document which requires them to abide by the State's industrial awards even though many of these companies are operating on a national basis.

'These contracts will mean that many companies will not bother tendering for any Government contracts in NSW — contracts which are worth an estimated $40m per annum — as they will be unable to meet these onerous conditions,' he said. 'This action is simply a political manoeuvre by the Iemma-Costa Labor Government to discredit the Howard Government's Work Choices legislation.'

190-page form is 'crazy'

Kevin MacDonald, CEO of ABL State Chamber, said the 190-page form for couriering is 'crazy and most sane businesses would avoid participating in a contract like this one'.

'The only reason the Government has done this is to try to hinder WorkChoices and to scare businesses who participate in the Federal scheme,' MacDonald said. 'Instead, they have tied up their own procurement program and if this approach is extended across Government will result in increased costs for Government procurement and eventually a Budget blow-out.'

MacDonald said the Government in the procurement area has lost track of the main game — 'which is to access the most reliable and inexpensive goods and services, rather than hunting down companies who participate in WorkChoices'.

Political purposes

'Clearly the Government has to give up on this plan to use its procurement policy to hinder WorkChoices,' he said. 'WorkChoices is Federal law and the NSW Government should accept this and get back to the job of governing efficiently and effectively, rather than using its procurement policy for political purposes.'

The tender for couriering services opened before Christmas and will close on 1 February 2007.

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