Sunday, May 28, 2017

Greens candidate says Coalition statements on Workchoices ring hollow

Posted by Jim on July 19, 2010

The Coalition is just not believable on industrial relations, The Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald, said today.

“Until we hear statements from key Coalition figures, including the Leader of the Nationals, that they will promote collective bargaining in the workplace there will always be a fear that an Abbott Government will reintroduce their oppressive workplace laws.

“Tony Abbott had hardly finished telling the electorate that the Coalition’s policy on workplace relations was dead when Senator Eric Abetz said the Coalition will tinker with Labor’s Fair Work laws.”

He said the central plank of The Greens’ policy on workplace relations is for a fair and equitable industrial relations system for all workers.

“Our policy on employment and industrial relations states that Australia’s future workforce must be highly skilled, highly trained and well paid. The existence of a safety net and the right to collectively bargain are essential to achieving these aims.

“The prosperity of the region is dependent on families whose wage earners have secure employment and decent working conditions.

“But the Coalition have always promoted individual contracts as a central plank of their workplace ideology. In putting Workchoices in place they took away many of the rights workers should enjoy under international labour conventions. Tony Abbott and Eric Abetz were key Coalition Ministers driving that policy.

“One of those rights was workers’ access to collective bargaining. And the current member for Wide Bay actively supported isolating workers in individual contracts.

“But the Coalition adopted double standards on collective bargaining,” he said.

“As the Agriculture Minister in the Howard Government, Mr Truss supported legislation to give farmers and small businesses some clout in negotiation against the large retailers.

“These are exactly the same arguments supporting collective bargaining for workers in the workplace. But in supporting Workchoices, he denied workers easy access to that same right.

“What every worker in Wide Bay is entitled to know is whether Mr Truss now recognises the benefits of collective bargaining for workers as well as small businesses.”

Dr McDonald said that for years research in Australia and around the world had been available that demonstrated that collective bargaining systems produced a more productive workforce.

“Despite that evidence, the Howard Government ignored the benefits of collective bargaining for ideological reasons, putting up slippery ‘choices’ for the average worker under Workchoices.”

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Posted by Jim on April 30, 2010

I am pleased to be working with the team to elect Larissa Waters to the Senate. I expect her to be the first Greens Senator in Queensland.

She will make a quality Senator when she joins the competent women senators in the Greens who have made a significant contribution to the job of governance of this country.

Launch 30/4/10

Greens Senate Candidate Larissa Waters and Wide Bay Candidate Jim McDonald talking to the cameras

I have spent the last several weeks talking to people in the Wide Bay electorate from Murgon to Tin Can Bay and from Noosa to Maryborough.

It will be my task as the Greens candidate to bring to the fore the issues that are important to the people in the electorate.

People are sick of the spin doctors. The Greens’ polling on Climate Change makes it quite clear that people want action not spin. They want straight talking not weasel words. They want a vision for Australia not protection of vested interests. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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Aged care sweetener doesn’t solve the big problems

Posted by admin on April 12, 2010

The Australian Greens said today that Kevin Rudd’s aged care announcement doesn’t address the drivers of the aged care crisis and is designed to get his controversial hospital plan over the line rather than to address the key sustainability problems in aged care.

“What is needed from the Rudd Government is a comprehensive approach to solving the myriad problems in aged care – simply providing more beds and interest free loans for some of those beds does not address the shortfall in the cost of providing care,” said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

“This demonstrates the Rudd Government simply doesn’t understand the aged care crisis.”

“We are already seeing bed licenses not being taken up by aged care providers – simply putting more beds out there isn’t going to solve the problems unless the underlying affordability issues are addressed,” she said.

“What is needed is a commitment to bench-marking and meeting the real cost of providing care. This means for example a real increase in care funding and an increase in wages for aged care nurses and care providers.”

“Many aged care facilities are old and their infrastructure is deteriorating, but aged care providers cannot access the funding they need to renovate and upgrade existing beds. Furthermore, the interest-free loans in this package appear to only apply to some new beds and not renovation.”

“If the Federal government is intent on taking over aged care it will have to seriously lift its game. We’ve seen an erosion in real terms of the value of federal aged care packages – which means that people being cared for at home are receiving fewer hours of care from the same packages.”

“Aged care reform is about much more than just beds and moving people out of hospital. If we want to reduce the growing cost of care, then we need to put much more effort into helping people stay out of hospital or residential care for longer by helping them maintain their health and mobility in the first place.”

“An aged care system focused on crisis response will always be playing catch-up and spending more money to deliver poorer outcomes.”

“If the Commonwealth wants to take over aged care then they need to demonstrate a more comprehensive understanding of the drivers of the aged care crisis. The community can have no confidence that the Federal Government can do a proper job of delivering quality affordable care until they see a detailed plan for comprehensive aged care reform,” Senator Siewert said.

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Population planning responsible and necessary

Posted by Jim on April 5, 2010

Clive Newton [Sunshine Coast Daily, 25 March] seems to be quite comfortable with uncontrolled growth in our region and accuses the paper of adopting The Greens’ policy on population growth. Far from being “bizarre” as he describes it, planning policy is self-evidently responsible and necessary.

In The Green’s policy on Australia’s population, one of the key questions for planning at both national and regional levels is sustainability. This is about questions such as whether there is sufficient water for the region and whether waste is manageable without destroying habitat, undermining water quality, and alienating productive land.

This is not just a question of how big a population the Sunshine Coast can support. That planning would take into consideration the ability of the region to provide adequate social services, accessible health facilities, and adequate public transportation infrastructure.

Sustainable growth and its management must therefore address the social justice and equity implications of regional planning, ensuring in the development of South East Queensland communities that families can rely on stable work opportunities with decent wages and conditions, for example. Or that opportunity and equity for all generations is achieved. There is no point in allowing huge growth in our regions if it creates poverty and isolation of families.

Jim McDonald
Queensland Greens Candidate
Wide Bay Electorate

Letter to editor, Sunshine Coast Daily, 26 March 2010

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