‘Give small business a voice at FW review’: Opposition

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‘Give small business a voice at FW review’: Opposition

The Coalition has called on the Gillard Government to set up a website to make it easier for small business to make submissions to the Fair Work review.

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The Coalition has called on the Gillard Government to set up a website to make it easier for small business to make submissions to the Fair Work review.

Shadow Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said small businesses and family enterprises were time-poor and without the resources to make a submission to match the big end of town.

‘The review process is at risk of being dominated by the “old IR club” of big unions and big business organisations when actually smaller businesses are at the pointy end of the changes introduced by the Labor Government,’ Billson said.

‘Small businesses are telling me they want their voice heard and to be able to simply share their experiences with Fair Work and how it is impacting on their viability and ability to employ.’

‘The Government and Review Committee must seek out and facilitate small business input in ways that best encourage and embrace this crucial sector.’

Web-based survey
 
Billson said an example of a helpful step would be to set up a time efficient and readily accessible web-based survey or prompt-question format that busy small business operators can complete and be confident that their contribution will be properly considered.

‘We know small businesses have had problems with the Fair Dismissal Code and getting accurate information from Fair Work about what awards their employees should be on,’ Billson said.

‘It’s important these issues are heard from the perspective of small business in the review so the Gillard Government actually does something to fix them instead of turning a blind eye.’

‘This is a test to see whether Labor actually cares about what small business has to say or whether it will continue with its sustained attack against the sector.’

‘If conducted properly the Fair Work review can arrest the tide of the 300,000 jobs lost in small business since the election of Labor.’

‘Shutting down dissent on ABCC’
 
Meanwhile, Coalition shadow IR minister Eric Abetz has accused Labor Senators on the Senate Committee examining the abolition of the ABCC of blocking Coalition attempts to have former Commissioner John Lloyd appear before a Senate Committee in Melbourne today.

‘Lloyd made a valuable contribution to the nation as the Commissioner and has a unique insight into the operations of the ABCC and on the impact that Labor’s changes would have on the sector,’ Abetz said.

‘Instead of allowing the Senate Committee to hear first-hand from Lloyd, Labor Senators have blocked him from appearing.’

‘The ABCC was established out of a Royal Commission [and] has ensured higher productivity, fewer working days lost and a $5.9 billion economic welfare gain for the sector.’

‘Now, Labor wants to throw all that out the window without hearing from the current or former Commissioner.’

‘Labor should agree to another hearing where the current Commissioner Leigh Johns and Lloyd can appear and give evidence to the Committee.’

When Abetz was manager of government business in the Senate during the Howard Government he regularly blocked Labor Senators from asking questions of witnesses at Committee hearings.
 
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