WorkChoices? What WorkChoices?

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WorkChoices? What WorkChoices?

The ALP has accused some federal government backbenchers of supporting WorkChoices in parliament and then pretending they had nothing to do with it in their electorates.

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The ALP has accused some federal government backbenchers of supporting WorkChoices in parliament and then pretending they had nothing to do with it in their electorates.

On Brisbane radio yesterday Opposition IR spokesman Stephen Smith said the Liberal backbench was 'handcuffed' to WorkChoices.

No comment at home

'Since the legislation was introduced at the end of last year and the beginning of this year there have been over 30 votes on the floor of the House of Representatives, and all of the Queensland Liberal and National Party Members have voted for it, they are handcuffed to it,' Smith said. 'But when they come back to Queensland they are either silent about it or pretend it has nothing to do with them.'

'When you look at the newsletters that Queensland members put out, Teresa Gambaro and Gary Hargrave, in marginal seats at the time the legislation was going through the Parliament, they were lauding its virtues and merits in the Parliament, but they were completely silent in their newsletters when it became law.

'Because they know this is nothing more than, nothing less than a massive attack upon the wages and living standards of Queensland working families and they will walk a hundred miles from it publicly. They know how concerned the Australian community and the Queensland community are about these extreme changes.'

Asked whether concern is being expressed to these politicians in their electorates, and 'they are deliberately ignoring the issue', Smith said 'absolutely'.

Concern

'Everywhere I go, from my own home state of Western Australia and across the nation, people are concerned about what they regard as extreme changes that have tilted the lever too far in favour of the bargaining power of the boss, or the employer,' he said.

'I get a lot from mature people who say "we might be okay, but what about our young children and the circumstances that they will face".'

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