Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    Gallop's innovation plan is just a pipe dream: Minister

    30/01/2001 3:15 PM

    Geoff Gallop’s $50 million Innovate WA plan to encourage new technology businesses is really a pipe dream that will never come to fruition, according to Labour Relations Minister Cheryl Edwardes.

    “The ALP’s labour relations policy will sound the death knell for technology-driven employers who rely on the simple, flexible workplace relations system the Coalition has introduced to remain internationally competitive,” Mrs Edwardes said.

    “Victoria is a prime example of how innovative businesses are suffering while unions dictate how their operations will be run.”

    Mrs Edwardes said two unions have been involved in a bitter dispute in Victoria for the past six months over who will represent call centre employees nation-wide.

    “Workers’ wishes have been ignored by the faceless and unrepresentative powerbrokers of the ACTU in Melbourne, who are running a campaign to entrench union right of entry and a preference for collective agreements. This is an example of how unions will treat other new industries,” she said.

    Mrs Edwardes said Labor would scrap the Coalition’s reforms, the very bedrock of improvements to the State’s economy and workplace improvements and new, innovative industries would be lost overseas while unions squabbled over who had the right to represent workers at their worksite.

    “You can bet your bottom dollar union strategists are waiting for their carte blanche entry rights under a Western Australian Labor Government to get their hands on existing and fledgling industry,” she said.

    “Victoria will be the litmus test with a return to the bad old days of union domination already pushing costs up for an estimated 30 per cent of Victorian businesses under Labor changes.

    “Victoria’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates 22,000 jobs could be lost and many small businesses would be forced to the wall in the process.

    “WA can’t afford to return to Labor’s old style of industrial relations because it would shackle business, restrict jobs growth and lower living standards.

    “WA is an increasingly competitive and modern economy which needs a competitive and modern workplace relations system to ensure it continues to go from strength to strength.”

    Media contact: Steve Manchee on 9421 7777