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Employment and Workplace Relations

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Work Choices result in NSW foreshadows Senate poll

"The only way to get rid of Work Choices is to rescue the Senate from Howard Government control," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"IR will be a major issue in this year's federal election, and people are particularly concerned about the impact on their kids."

"The only way that a Rudd Labor government will be able to rip up Work Choices will be with the Greens in balance of power in the Senate. The ALP simply cannot get the numbers this time around," said Senator Siewert.

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Slamming the door on workplace safety

The Australian Greens will oppose the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Amendment Bill 2005. We see this as yet another attack on Australian workers. In the last 12 months, the Howard government has fundamentally changed the way Australians are employed, and this is yet another go at watering down safety standards for workers of Australia.

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Welfare to Work and Family Carers

The Greens share the concerns articulated today by Senator Wong and Senator Bartlett.

But today I want to focus on one particular area of the Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Welfare to Work and Other Measures) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006. I have circulated an amendment to this legislation to deal with an issue that I have been raising repeatedly about this legislation whenever I can. That is the issue of family carers.

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Welfare assault

I believe Welfare to Work is a major assault on those on welfare, introducing harsh penalties for those on income support and cutting support to single parents and people living with disabilities. If this legislation goes through, these people, the most disadvantaged in our society, will have to learn to live on less, and I do not see how the government expects them to do so.

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Work 'Choices' - Bad Legislation

This is bad legislation.

I said so in my speech on the second reading; I have said it repeatedly in committee. It is bad legislation. I tell you: employment is going to rise. Employment for lawyers is going to rise because there are so many problems with this legislation. People will have to have many lawyers. Workers will have to have lawyers to try to protect the rights that are being taken away. That is one area in which we know employment is going to improve.

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Exposing the building industry star chamber

I rise today to speak against the passing into law of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005 and to recommend that it be thrown out. This legislation is flawed. It is full of unintended consequences and loopholes. It is all bad, and it has no redeeming features. As I said, I do not think we should support it. This legislation fails the government's own test of fairness, simplicity and choice. The bill has unfair consequences for many in our society.

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Work 'Choices' - Australian families 'Collateral Damage'

I rise today to speak against the passing into law of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005 and to recommend that it be thrown out. This legislation is flawed. It is full of unintended consequences and loopholes. It is all bad, and it has no redeeming features. As I said, I do not think we should support it. This legislation fails the government's own test of fairness, simplicity and choice. The bill has unfair consequences for many in our society.

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The Value of Higher Education

One of the big questions for me about this bill is: are these changes needed for the higher education sector? I and a number of other people do not believe that they are. This is yet another plank in the government's attack on industrial relations conditions in this country and it promotes their ideological campaign. There is strong consensus on this issue across the university and TAFE sector, with agreement among the Vice-Chancellors Committee, the AVCC; the tertiary unions, both the NTEU and the CSA; the academic and general staff; and students that these changes are not necessary.

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