Monday, 11th February 2013

LABOR RELATIONS

As reported on the ABC, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has flagged workplace relations changes to extend the rights of parents returning to work.

The proposal is part of the government's ongoing quest to sharpen the policy differences with the Opposition, in an area it believes it has an advantage  - and it's a great opportunity to say 'WorkChoices' again.

The policy itself is devoid of any value other than the symbolic. It would give working parents (along with carers and disabled and older workers) the legislated right to request flexible working arrangements. But it puts no obligation on employers to accept the request or make any changes to working conditions whatsoever. 

The government is no doubt keen that headlines about Labor values today are about working mothers rather than a certain NSW former minister responding to major corruption allegations.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Gillard Flags Workplace Reform For Working Parents

“Prime Minister Julia Gillard has flagged workplace relations changes to extend the rights of parents returning from maternity leave. Ms Gillard said there will be announcements this week stemming from the review of the Fair Work Act. Ms Gillard said one of the key aspects will be helping new parents return to flexible work environments.”

Minister Secretly Controlled Coal Trading Company

Former NSW mines minister Ian Macdonald secretly controlled a ­Singapore coal trading company which was set up in May 2008 six days after he asked the mines department for information about coal tenements over a farm owned by Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.”

Also: With Friends Like These … “The long rise of Eddie Obeid from obscurity to the glare of the ICAC, and the ALP powerbrokers who helped along the way.” – Alex Mitchell (Sydney Morning Herald)

Flaw To Blame For Tax Shortfall As Treasury Miscalculates Write Downs

A fundamental flaw in the mining tax is the main reason for the massive shortfall in revenue, not the drop in iron ore and coal prices claimed by Wayne Swan. The design failing means the tax cannot hope to bring in the revenue predicted, which the government had promised would pay for removing tax from low-income superannuation contributions, lifting the superannuation guarantee and small business tax breaks.”

Katter's World Causing Cluster Headaches ...

“Developmentalism is having a renaissance. Gags about the ghost of Joh Bjelke-Petersen wafting around miss the point that this isn't actually nostalgia - this is present thinking from elements of the mining industry and the once tinder-dry champion of free markets, the Institute of Public Affairs; and, politically at least, a response to the Katter effect of 2013. Bob Katter's Australian Party wants Senate balance of power.”

The Big Paradox Of 2013

“The popular sense of economic wellbeing is no longer anchored in anything objective; it has become something increasingly subjective and impervious to the facts. This points as well to some of Labor's deficiencies. If Labor hasn't been able to receive credit for the economy the way it should, it is because it has failed in its political salesmanship. Good policy and good politics aren't the same things. Labor's political execution and judgment have been left wanting.”

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