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Speech: Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill 2017

Speeches in Parliament
Lee Rhiannon 26 Aug 2017

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:07): I want to indicate that the Greens will also support these amendments. But, first off, we need to give some context as to where the debate is at. When the minister finished up in her second reading speech, she made a great flurry with accusations about false statements. Minister, your comments that your bill is anticorruption and pro-worker is false. It's more than false, it's a bit of a joke. I think it would have stand-up comedians really enjoying themselves dining out on that line that it's pro-worker. It's not pro-worker coming from this government when you see how the bill has been designed. It's drafted so broadly, it will make it very difficult for people to conduct what are currently seen as lawful activities. The Law Council nailed that as a very major problem.

It's not pro-worker and, at times, it's not actually pro-business, because it could well just make things so complex that it could be barely workable. Then when you talk about it being anticorruption—and this also goes to how Labor have just voted. You need to deal with corruption across the whole society. That's what we should be doing now, rather than just targeting a section of the workforce, a section of the business community and industry. It shows that there are other agendas going on here. Everybody just had the opportunity to get behind a national anticorruption commission. What did we see? We saw Liberals, Nationals and Labor voting together to vote against it, once again. It is really extraordinary. It's not anticorruption. It's not pro-worker. It's actually another con job. It could actually be quite destructive in terms of how relationships in the workplace play out.

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