Bill's Media Releases

Will Tony Abbott repudiate John Howard or agree with him on workplace relations?

Former Prime Minister John Howard has made his views on workplace relations policy clear today.

 Tony Abbott needs to say today what he would do and what his views are - without using evasive generalities.

 Mr Abbott needs to bring his workplace relations policy out of witness protection and tell Australian workers which parts of John Howard’s laws he would bring back.

  • Would he once again scrap penalty rates?

  • Would he remove protection from unfair dismissal that Labor has given to 7 million hard working Australians?

  • Would he once again allow employers to offer take-it-or-leave-it Australian Workplace Agreements which force workers into a choice between their job and a pay-cut?


Mr Abbott should either repudiate or agree with his old boss.

 The former Howard Government (of which Tony Abbott was a big part) and the current Liberal state governments, are the strongest contemporary indicators of what a Tony Abbott Federal Government would be like on workplace relations.

 Tony Abbott is unable to resist the growing tide of opinion from within his party to adopt extreme and ideological workplace policy. After all, as John Howard’s former Chief of Staff Senator Sinodinos said, it is in Coalition DNA to do something about workplace relations.

 The horror stories of Liberal workplace relations policy this Labor Government abolished are now being revived by conservative state premiers, and are nothing but the warm up act for what would happen in Australian workplaces if Tony Abbott ever became Prime Minister.

 I once again re-issue my challenge to Mr Abbott: bring your workplace relations policy out of witness protection and join me in a town hall style debate.

 You name the time and place – I’ll debate you anytime, anywhere.

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