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Employment and Workplace Relations

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No work 'choices' for young people

I want to take this opportunity to address the impact the Work Choices legislation will have on a specific group within our society, and that is young people. Behind these particular impacts, which I will address shortly, is a wider issue: the manner in which the proposed changes to industrial relations impact on the disadvantaged in our society and are likely to increase disparity in wages across our society.

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Safety in the workplace

Workplace safety is an issue of major importance. It has direct relevance to the day-to-day lives of all working Australians. Lack of safety has a major impact on workplace productivity, costing millions of lost work hours per year and costing the economy an estimated $20 billion a year. Those figures are provided by Access Economics. It has a tragic personal impact on thousands of Australians and Australian families who lose a loved one through an estimated 4,900 work-related deaths each year, not to mention those that are seriously incapacitated.

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Women, Work and Family

I am deeply disappointed that the government firstly refused the extension and secondly will no doubt object to this motion as well. Don't they want scrutiny of the impacts of their proposals? As a community, we need to know the full ramifications of the legislation that is going to come before this place. We need to know what has happened in the past with various industrial agreements.

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Employment Advocate Report

I had a quick look last night at the report of the Office of the Employment Advocate 2004-05 and was interested that, here again, we are seeing reference to how AWAs and individual agreements have improved productivity. But, when I looked through the document in the hope of finding out how they have increased productivity, there was nothing that supports the claim.

Senator Crossin-Another unsubstantiated claim!

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Work Choices?

I rise today to support Senator Wong's referral motion. The Greens believe an inquiry is absolutely essential to allow a full analysis of the implications of this legislation. We need to remember that it is not senators that present evidence to committees-it is the community. It is the people that would be affected by this legislation that would give evidence before an inquiry. This would provide them with a very much needed opportunity to comment on legislation that will surely change their lives.We have heard a lot of claims about this legislation from the government.

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