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Liberals reject urgent need for penalty rates inquiry for Tasmanian workers

  • Hodgman Government sees weekend workers as low priority
  • Liberals reject vital need for inquiry into Fair Work Commission ruling
  • Government does not care about Tasmanians struggling to make ends meet

The Hodgman Liberal Government has again proven it does not care about some of Tasmania’s lowest paid workers by rejecting an inquiry into the cut to penalty rates.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the Liberals had today used their numbers to defeat a Labor motion to establish a Select Committee to investigate the social impacts of cutting penalty rates for at least 25,000 Tasmanian workers.

“The Select Committee would have had the power to also inquire into the economic impacts to Tasmania of the Fair Work Commission ruling but the Hodgman Government clearly does not care about how this unfair decision affects both the state and workers who will struggle to make ends meet,” Ms White said.

“The cut to people’s take home pay affects weekend workers in the hospitality, retail and pharmacy sectors and will disproportionally impact women and young workers.

“It is unfair to those Tasmanian workers and it flouts basic worker’s rights but the Hodgman Government’s behaviour today  shows it does not care about either fairness or those rights.”


The Motion:

Ms White to move—That:— (1) A Select Committee be appointed, with the power to send for persons and papers, with leave to sit during any adjournment of the House and with leave to adjourn from place to place to inquire into and report upon:— (a) the economic and social impact and cost of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates, particularly on:— (i) Tasmania’s lowest paid workers; (ii) women; (iii) young workers; (iv) single parents; (v) the detrimental effect on the Tasmanian economy; and (vi) the flow on effects of the decision to other workers through enterprise bargaining or the future extension of the decision to other industries. (b) possible safeguards and Federal Legislative changes that can be advocated for at a Federal level to protect vulnerable Tasmanian workers. (c) other matters incidental thereto. (2) The Committee shall consist of 5 Members: 2 being nominated by the Leader of the House; two nominated by the Leader of Opposition Business; and one by the Leader of Tasmanian Greens Business. (3) The Committee report by 21 November next. (8 August 2017)