Release type: Media Release


WorkChoices warriors let off the chain


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

The Liberal Party’s WorkChoices warriors have been let off the chain to continue their campaign to bring back extreme industrial relations policies.

Today’s comments by ideological war horse and former Industrial Relations Minister Peter Reith confirm yet again the Liberals’ obsession with its extreme industrial relations policies.

Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Workplace Relations said Mr Reith is playing a critical role in the Liberal Party’s federal election campaign and will be very influential in shaping the Liberal party’s policy platform at the next election.

“Peter Reith has ensured the spectre of WorkChoices continues to threaten Australian workers,” Minister Evans said.

“It only took a matter of hours before Liberal MP Jamie Briggs rallied behind Mr Reith’s calls to wind back the Fair Work Act.

“Mr Briggs’ simple tweet that “Peter Reith is right” is a clear signal that Liberals are being encouraged to join the campaign to bring back WorkChoices.

“Someone has let the dogs out and Mr Abbott can no longer hide from this issue.”

Senator Evans said WorkChoices always was and always will be at the heart of the Liberal Party’s industrial relations agenda because it is at the heart of the Liberal Party.

“Mr Reith joins a growing chorus of senior Liberals and backbenchers who are determined to return to extreme industrial relations policies.

“Andrew Robb, Joe Hockey, Steve Ciobo, Jamie Briggs, Chris Back and Nationals Senator John Williams are all campaigning to a return to the policies of the past.”

Australians want decent and fair workplaces for themselves and their children. They want a fair wage for a fair day’s work; they want decent award conditions including weekend and shift penalty rates, allowances and rest breaks; they want the right to challenge unfair treatment at work.

The Opposition doesn’t understand these values and can’t be trusted when it comes to industrial relations.