Farmers back IR laws, but Labor forecasts doom

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Farmers back IR laws, but Labor forecasts doom

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has backed the Federal Government’s IR legislation, while two senior ALP politicians have said it will ruin recreational sport and stall workplace productivity.

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The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has backed the Federal Government’s IR legislation, while two senior ALP politicians have said it will ruin recreational sport and stall workplace productivity. 

NFF President, Mr Peter Corish said workplace relations reform was critical for continued economic growth in Australia. 

‘The flow on effects of the introduction of the Work Choices Package will be a crucial component for our industry to continue to remain competitive in a global market through ongoing productivity growth,’ Corish said. 

No amendments needed except to clarify

He said the NFF does not support any amendment to the WorkChoices Bill unless it ‘specifically relates to points of clarification or resolving unintended consequences’.

‘The objective of removing complex and inflexible arrangements must be adhered to by Parliament,’ Corish said. ‘NFF would not agree to new provisions being included in the Bill that in fact create more restrictive workplace practices than what are currently in place.’

ALP position

The Shadow Minister of Sport and Recreation, Senator Kate Lundy said employer demands for parents to work longer hours, further casualisation of the workforce and greater unpredictability of hours under the legislation, will mean that many parents can no longer commit to coach, train, officiate, manage or support their community sporting teams in the afternoons, evenings or on weekends. 

‘This pressure will exist for volunteers and officials in all levels of sport,’ she said. 

Opposition Senate Whip Senator George Campbell said the WorkChoices legislation has the potential to ‘mirror the New Zealand economic experience of the 1990s’. 

Campbell said that following the introduction in New Zealand in 1991 of the Employment Contracts Act, productivity stalled and charitable food banks flourished. 

He said the Act in New Zealand ‘swept away awards ensuring minimum pay and conditions for thousands of workers’. 

‘It created an environment supporting individual contracts over collective bargaining, outlawed strikes for multi-employer agreements, supported take it or leave it bargaining and undermined the role of unions. 

‘Sound familiar?’

Related

Federal IR changes 2005  

 

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