Bill's Media Releases

Opposition fail to show up for work

The Opposition have shown their utter contempt for Australian working people by failing to show up to work this morning, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said today.

 The Consideration in Detail of the DEEWR Appropriation Bill was scheduled in the Federation Chamber at 11:00 am this morning.

As part of the Budget process, Ministers are required to answer questions from Members of Parliament on measures contained within their portfolios. This is an important parliamentary process which ensures appropriate scrutiny is given to the policies and expenditure of the government of the day.

 “Today was an opportunity for the Opposition to forensically examine the employment and workplace relations portfolio measures in the Budget,” the Minister said.

 “I, along with my ministerial colleagues Kate Ellis and Julie Collins, were present to answer questions about important Government policies and programs in employment and workplace relations, all of which are of keen interest to working Australians and their families, and Australian business large and small.”

 “Not a single Opposition member bothered showing up to ask questions on behalf of their constituents.”

 The Consideration in Detail wasn’t just an opportunity to ask about important taxpayer expenditure in the Budget like:

  • The $1.1 billion supplementary payment for people on income support

  • Changes to the parenting payment single

  • The Government’s $55 million mature aged employment initiatives

  • Measures to ensure redundant workers have enhanced access to income support

  • $225 million in additional childcare support to provide even greater incentives for parents to work

  • The Government’s $1.5 billion Remote package

 It was also an opportunity to ask about:

  • The Fair Work Act Review

  • Industrial disputes

  • Regulation of registered organisations

  • Fair Work Australia and its recent investigation into the Health Services Union

 It indeed was an opportunity to ask about anything of interest in the employment and workplace relations portfolio.

 “The only conclusion to be drawn from their forfeit this morning is the Liberals do not consider these matters to be worthy of their attention, or the attention of their electors.”

 “Under the Liberal Party’s workplace laws, it is safe to say these MPs, who have not shown up for work today, would be out of a job.”

 This major embarrassment for the Liberal Party all took place whilst Tony Abbott was absent from Parliament House for the purposes of yet another media stunt.

 “I’ve challenged Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz and Joe Hockey to a debate on industrial relations policy – I’ll debate them anywhere, anytime.”

 “Australians deserve to know what the Liberals have planned in industrial relations.”

 “It is high time for the Liberals to bring their policy out of witness protection and reveal their plans.”

 Mr Shorten’s Media Contacts: Sam Casey 0421 697 660