Yvonne Henderson

Yvonne Henderson

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    Kennett attack on Victorian public transport condemned

    7/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson has described the Kennett Government's attack on Victoria's public transport system as typical of the Liberal Party's crash-through approach to industrial relations and micro-economic reform.
     
    Mrs Henderson said today that the axing of 8,500 jobs, including 5,500 sackings, was a further horrifying example of Kennett's style of government, coming on top of his slashing 6,500 school jobs and 3,500 health workers' jobs.
     
    "His claim that this is necessary for reform of public transport is a mere attempt at justification of his arrogant disregard of workers and commuters," Mrs Henderson said.
     
    "The Liberal Party still has not learned that public sector reforms that will benefit the economy can be achieved without industrial upheaval," she said.
     
    "The Liberal attitude is in stark contrast to that of the Labor Government in Western Australia that has seen major changes in the transport sector achieved without industrial disputation.
     
    "In WA, there has been a huge increase in productivity in Westrail while at the same time its staff numbers have been halved in the past 10 years.
     
    "These gains have resulted in big falls in rail freight rates and a dramatic turn-around in the operating profits of Westrail.
     
    "Westrail now is regarded as the most efficient publicly-owned rail facility in Australia.
     
    "The difference is the Labor Government here has worked in consultation with workers and their unions to bring about needed reforms.
     
    "The Liberals, on the other hand, ignore the rights of workers and the contribution they can make to the reform process and high-handedly axe jobs.
     
    "This latest episode in the short and sorry history of Liberal government is yet another grim reminder of the impact the Liberals' industrial relations policies will have in WA."