Hockey's IR comment 'pretty' patronising, says Labor

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Hockey's IR comment 'pretty' patronising, says Labor

Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey's comment that the Government's IR policies were not as popular as Labor's because he was not as 'pretty' as shadow IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, shows he is not listening to working families, Gillard said.

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Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey's comment that the Government's IR policies were not as popular as Labor's because he was not as 'pretty' as shadow IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, shows he is not listening to working families, Gillard said.

'Julia Gillard's on the front cover of the ABC magazine, she's in Women's Weekly and all those things,' Hockey told journalists. 'I'm not as pretty as Julia Gillard, obviously.'

'The reason that … the Howard Government's WorkChoices laws are hated in this country is because they are bad for Australian working families,' Gillard said. 'For Hockey to suggest anything else is to really patronise the Australian people.'

Asked if she was offended that Hockey was 'suggesting that it was because you are pretty not because you are smart or have good arguments or something', Gillard said she was 'offended on behalf of Australian working families that Hockey counts their views for so little'.

'Arrogance and contempt'

'Australian working families have spoken loud and clear on WorkChoices,' she said. 'Since the day it came into effect Australians have said they didn't want it, they don't want it now and for Hockey to not hear that voice is to treat Australian working families with arrogance and with contempt.'

Opposition Accountability spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said she believed the Australian public supports Labor because of how it handled important issues.

'I'm not going to comment on how Joe Hockey looks, but I will say this, if politics were a beauty contest I'm sure there would be many of us who wouldn't be in parliament,' she said. 'I hope the Australian people are smarter than that, I think they are.'

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