Aug 10, 2006

Questions without Notice – Workplace Relations


10 August 2006

Mr ALBANESE (2.06 p.m.)—My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that Tristar in my electorate has an enterprise bargaining agreement which expires on 30 September and allows for four weeks redundancy pay per year of service?

Is the Prime Minister also aware that the workforce has been reduced from 300 to 60 because there is no work to do and the factory is facing closure? Is the Prime Minister aware that Tristar is refusing to guarantee that it will not use the Work Choices legislation to avoid these redundancy provisions after 30 September?

What does the Prime Minister say to the 60 remaining workers at Tristar, including Simon, who has 32 years of service and stands to have his redundancy of $160,000 reduced to just 12 weeks pay after 30 September? Given the refusal of the company to meet with local representatives about these issues, will the Prime Minister use his office to ensure that the Work Choices legislation—

Mr Pyne interjecting—

The SPEAKER—The member for Sturt is warned!

Mr ALBANESE—is not used to reduce these redundancy payouts to these great, hardworking Australians?

Mr HOWARD—The answer to the member for Grayndler is: no, I am not aware of the facts and circumstances. As always, I will check what the member has said. Clearly, we will expect the obligations of this company, like all other companies, under the law to be met. You mentioned redundancies. I seem to remember you had 13 years to fix a redundancy safety net and you never did.