SUBJECTS: Bill Shorten, unions, Fair Work Act
ROSS GREENWOOD: Let’s go now to the Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, who’s on the line. Many thanks for your time, Craig.
MINISTER LAUNDY: G’day, Ross.
ROSS GREENWOOD: Alright. So, let’s go to union power in this country. We held a Royal Commission into the abuse of union power in this country, whereby there were recommendations for, and ultimately charges laid against, some members, and indeed CFMEU members amongst those. For Bill Shorten even to be addressing this group of the CFMEU, and then claiming he’s going to roll back some of the industrial relations changes that have been made, really should send shudders down the spines of people in Australia.
MINISTER LAUNDY: Absolutely, and this is the thing; he wanted to make last year a contest on jobs, that’s what he said. He actually said it thrice; jobs, jobs, jobs. We have delivered 12 months under the Turnbull Government 403,100 jobs; a record 75 per cent full-time. And not only did he not have a policy that is- will create one dollar of investment or one job, he is now- and the kicker here, when he thought he was safe amongst the picket line outside a mine, a lockout mine in Queensland, in Far North Queensland – he belled the cat.
You know, fortunately there was a rat in the rank, obviously, who’s taken a video of it and leaked it because you hear his real agenda. And this sadly, Ross, isn’t becoming peculiar. It is really because he’s so weak internally, he has had to lurch to the left to get the support of the ACTU and the more militant unions, and they want their pound of flesh. And the loser here will be workers Australia-wide and ultimately our economy, and you just can’t risk it.
ROSS GREENWOOD: Okay. So, let’s not pretend as though the Coalition is in a cosy place right now. Let’s not pretend that the public doesn’t think that your government is on the nose, because clearly you can tell from the polls, you can tell from what’s been taking place, that it does. The problem is that the alternative isn’t that palatable either.
MINISTER LAUNDY: Ross, look. You heard him that …the second quote from him, where he tried to correct the- you know, what Malcolm had said. There’s a- he’s saying the system’s broken and we’re going to restore the balance. There’s this term that Sally McManus started using, and surprisingly she starts saying something, Brendan O’Connor parrots it within 48 hours, and within a month it becomes Labor Party policy through Bill Shorten. But they call it the nuclear option, which is terminating enterprise agreements, and they say: this is happening, that’s the nuclear option, companies are taking it, the system’s broken, we’re going to fix it. That’s the premise of what they are basing, what they’re arguing for.
Ross, here are the facts. In the last 12 months, of the terminations of enterprise agreements, three per cent were contested. Ninety-seven per cent were not contested by either side of the termination. They are making stuff up. You know, then they’re using- the poor miners at this mine, they’re using this mine as their poster, their pin-up, for why the system needs to change. The problem you’ve got is the system’s working perfectly. And then here’s the ultimate irony, Ross: you said what Bill Shorten said about the system. In 2009 when they introduced the Act, this is the quote he had – this is from the floor of Parliament – the Fair Work Bill proposes to restore fairness in the workplace; this legislation aims to create workplaces where our children will do better, not worse, than we used to do; and in which prosperity expands and embraces us all.
The problem here is he’s beholden to his union mates for his grip on power, and we’ve now heard what he’s telling them behind the scenes. We’ve had some dribs and drabs like the brain explosion on the minimum wage increase of 28 per cent, but this is an agenda and if it is implemented, don’t worry. Here’s the kicker for your listeners Ross; if they’re elected in the Lower House and form government, everything they want to do will get through the Senate with the help of the Greens. This country will be cactus.
ROSS GREENWOOD: I’ll tell you what, the Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, I want to get you on next week if that’s okay, Craig, because I want to talk to you about payroll tax, which I think also is key [indistinct] South Australia. The opposition there say that they’ll make some changes if they come to power in this forthcoming election. Craig Laundy, many thanks for your time.
MINISTER LAUNDY: Anytime, Ross.