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AUS: Queensland Labour Relations

The Hon. Peter Reith, MP

Minister for Employment, Workplace

Relations and Small Business Leader of the House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 The Hon Santo Santoro MLA

Shadow Minister for Employment,Training and Industrial Relations

9 September 1999

Joint Media Release

Queensland Labor Industrial Relations Laws Are Worse Than The Hawke Or Keating Era

The Queensland Labor government has re-regulated industrial relations laws in the State in a way that brazenly increases union power at the expense of small business, employee rights and job creation.

It has done so in a way that exceeds even the worst excesses of the Hawke or Keating Labor governments.

The extent to which the new Queensland legislation empowers unions is revealed in an information paper jointly released today in Queensland by the federal Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Peter Reith and the State Shadow Minister for Employment, Training, Industrial Relations and Multicultural Affairs Santo Santoro.

The information paper has been prepared because of the lack of public scrutiny so far about the true extent of the changes which have been made.

For example, on union rights:

union officials are given new rights to enter every Queensland business premises whether employees want the union there or not;

union officials are given new legal rights to intervene and effectively veto agreements genuinely and lawfully made by employers and employees;

On small business:

the Coalition's small business exemption from unfair dismissal laws has been completely removed - meaning more exposure to unfair dismissal claims;

union officials are given the rights to have small business independent contractors declared as employees and subjected to union rules and membership;

small businesses can be forced to actively encourage union membership even if the employees do not want to join the union.

It is no wonder that it was bulldozed through Parliament with no real public debate or scrutiny.

The new Queensland industrial relations laws make a mockery of the Beattie Labor government's promise of a 5% unemployment target.

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