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It is not just unions....Look who else opposes the new work laws

25 July 2005

A lot more people than just unions oppose the proposed changes to work laws, including senior members of both the Liberal and National Party.

Here are some examples of people who have expressed their concerns or outright opposition:

Queensland National Party leader Lawrence Springborg:

"There is no justification for dismantling what is a very good, cooperative IR (industrial relations) system.

"My word of caution to the Commonwealth Government is there are bigger fish to fry than having a single IR system, which will create enormous problems in the future and dismantle the whole way industrial relations is worked."

"I am absolutely opposed to the unitary industrial relations system - I think it's stupid," he said.

"The state IR system is very, very settled."

WA National Party leader Brendan Grylls

"Although John Howard has the ability to make these changes and impose the changes on us, it is certainly not something that we here in Western Australia are happy about," he said in June.

"We need to uphold our state's rights and have our own IR system..."

Liberal Party leader in WA Matt Birney

"I cannot see any reason for throwing the baby out with the bath water."

"WA employers should have a choice on which IR system they use, one at a federal level and one at a state level."

The Liberal Party Federal Council

A majority of delegates on June 25-26 meeting voted in favour of five motions supporting states' rights to have their own work laws.

The WA Young Liberal president who moved them, Matthew Eggleston, spoke against against a single set of workplace laws, saying "centralism is more in line with the extremes of socialist regimes".

The National Council of Churches (represents the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches)

Council spokesman Reverend John Henderson said: "The value of each worker is not as a commodity but as a person, as a human being loved by God. Our community has values that are more important than economics."

Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

The Archbishop said he was worried the proposed unfair dismissal laws would lead to deep injustice in the workplace.

"The purpose of unfair dismissal laws is to prevent unfair dismissals.

" If the change means we're going to allow unfair dismissals - that is, expose vulnerable people to unfairness - that is a real concern, not only to the churches but the whole community," Dr Aspinall told The Australian newspaper.

Jesuit Social Services representative Father Peter Norden

"These industrial and welfare changes will result in the creation of a permanent underclass in Australian society."

Family First Senator Steve Fielding

"No worker should be forced to bargain for a meal break or to get paid on Christmas Day," he told the Herald Sun.

"The Government purports to be all about families but if it goes ahead with this it will be selling out families.

"Are they seriously suggesting a checkout operator at Coles or Safeway can go out and haggle with their boss."

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