Hockey's IR election spin 'laughable', says Gillard

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Hockey's IR election spin 'laughable', says Gillard

Labor has described as 'laughable' the claim by Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey, that the campaign emphasis on WorkChoices actually cost the ALP votes in Saturday's NSW election.

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Labor has described as 'laughable' the claim by Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey, that the campaign emphasis on WorkChoices actually cost the ALP votes in Saturday's NSW election.

Hockey said yesterday that the polls showed Labor was 'at its strongest about 10 days out, and then it started advertising on industrial relations and it started to lose votes'.

Hockey was asked on Channel 10: 'A number of those polls and focus groups and I believe Media Monitors' monitoring of talkback radio showed that industrial relations was the only issue in which the NSW Labor Government was running ahead on, was positive for the Government, and yet they've won the election. How can you say IR was not a factor?'

'Of course when it comes to media buy, the Labor Party and the trade unions massively outspent the Liberals,' Hockey said.

Union bosses 'wasted money'

He said union bosses 'have to be held accountable to their members for the massive amount of money, particularly wasted money, that was spent' including the NSW Nurses Federation.

Labor's IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard, said 'Hockey should be brave enough to face Australians and tell them the truth'.

'Joe Hockey's claim is simply laughable,' she said. '[NSW Premier] Morris Iemma has said that industrial relations was a huge issue in the campaign and of course even the National Party Leader in NSW has acknowledged that industrial relations was hurting the Coalitional in NSW.'

'Iemma promised to protect NSW people as much as he could from John Howard's laws. Iemma and Labor opposed Johns Howard's laws, the Liberals in NSW supported John Howard's laws. Labor won and Liberals lost.'

'The implication for the upcoming Federal campaign is clear. Working Australian families don't want John Howard's laws and they will get a true opportunity at the Federal election to tell him through the ballot box.'

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