IR advert campaign 'disgusting'
October 09, 2005
THE Australian people know what the Federal Government is about to do to their wages and conditions, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said today.
And they know it is about to happen at a time when they are being hurt by high petrol prices, he said.
Mr Beazley was referring to the expected announcement today of the detail to the government's long-awaited industrial relations legislation.
Prime Minister John Howard announced the package outline in May, including plans to take over state IR systems, cut unfair dismissal access for those in companies with fewer than 100 employees and to trim award conditions.
Mr Howard is this morning briefing business groups on the changes.
"This is so John Howard today. You've got a lock-up for business to take a look at their industrial relations changes," Mr Beazley told the Nine Network.
"No workers there and no workers' representatives.
"The simple thing that he is trying to do today is to sugar-coat a poison pill.
"You can't do that. You can't conceal the real intention here.
"It's to lower wages and to lower wages at time when the cost of living, particularly through petrol, is dramatically increasing."
Mr Beazley said the government's planned ad campaign, rumoured to be costing $100 million overall, would not work because people knew too much about the government's intentions.
"They know the intention is to cut wages and they know that that threatens their capacity to pay mortgages and the capacity to fill up their petrol tanks," he said.
"You're not dealing here with an area of policy in which the people are ignorant.
"People are very well informed about how they get their wages and what level of advantage or disadvantage they find themselves standing in, in the workplace."
He described the ad campaign, using taxpayers' money, as disgusting.
"It is a disgusting thing," he said.
"It's $100 million, which could have been spent improving the security of this nation.
"It's being spent, essentially, on Liberal Party advertising."
Also see Howard Government Taxpayer Funded Propaganda Campaign on Industrial Relations 2