Release type: Media Release


Liberals turn their back on historic reform for a return to WorkChoices


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations

Senior Liberal Party Spokesperson, Andrew Robb confirmed the Liberal Party will continue its tired ideological obsession to return to WorkChoices abandoning the most significant industrial relations reform in the nation’s history, Minister for Workplace Relations Chris Evans said today.

InThe Australian Mr Robb said:

“If we confirm that the changes have in fact tipped the balance too far, we will present necessary changes for consideration at the next election."

This is nothing more than a shameless smokescreen to pave the way for a return to WorkChoices. It is a tired argument and one which the Australia people have rejected.

Senator Evans said the Fair Work Act had restored fairness and balance to the industrial relations system. The data shows the Fair Work Act is working extremely well and delivering historic levels of agreement making, moderate wages growth, low unemployment, and low levels of industrial disputation.

“The FWA has enterprise bargaining at its heart. Enterprise bargaining allows employers and employees to work out what works best for them, Senator Evans said.

“This is the best way of making sure real wages growth is underpinned by productivity growth, benefitting the employer and reducing inflationary pressures.

“For decades business leaders championed the need for a single workplace relations system. They called for genuine reform to end the complexity of the award system and to cut bureaucratic red tape, reform the Liberal party failed to deliver.

“The Federal Labor Government delivered and Labor’s national reforms resulted in more than 4000 state and federal awards being replaced by just 122 modern awards.

“This is making it easier for employers, especially small businesses, to find the award that applies to them.

“It is these historic reforms that the Liberal Party will turn its back on in pursuit of its tired, ideological obsession to return to WorkChoices which will once again see minimum conditions of employment and unfair dismissal laws stripped away from Australian workers”.