10/08/2004 - 22:00

Reader Response - Case of deja vu

10/08/2004 - 22:00


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Mr Barnett’s so-called new policy (‘Liberals release IR plan’ WA Business News August 5) is not new, it’s back to future – back to the unhappy days of the Court Government’s unfair industrial relations policy.

The worrying thing for many of Western Australia’s responsible employers, who abide by community standards of pay and conditions, is that the Liberal policies would plunge them into an uncertain “race to the bottom.”

They would be under threat from industrial cowboys and under pressure to take part in this race to the bottom, at the expense of their workers, in order to stay in business.

WA’s responsible employers have been supported under the Gallop Government because we’ve had lower wages growth than others States.

Labor has helped create a buoyant economic climate and confidence to help businesses thrive and prosper.

In claiming there’s been an exodus from the State to Federal employment agreements Mr Barnett is obviously forgetting there were 50,000 public sector workers, who transferred from the WA system when the government he was part of was in power. 

Industrial disputation was worse under previous Liberal government, with average days lost more than 14 per cent higher than it has been with the Gallop Government.

The 1993 Liberal government promised ‘choice’, with no workers being worse off. 

As we know from an unhappy history with the Liberals, the reality was very different and saw WA’s minimum wage fall about $50 per week behind other Australian States.

The Gallop Labor Government’s reforms to the State’s industrial relations framework have been delivered with increased investment confidence in WA, exceptional economic growth, more jobs and improved productivity.

I’m sure responsible employers don’t want to put their growth at risk now, by going back to the future. 

John Kobelke

Consumer and Employment Protection Minister


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