Sep 2, 2020

REGULATIONS AND DETERMINATIONS – Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2020 – Disallowance – Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the Opposition) (12:42): I move:

 

That the Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2020 made under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 on 14 May 2020 and presented to the House on 10 June 2020, be disallowed.

 

This government is making a range of changes to workers’ entitlements under the cover of the pandemic. This is not the only one. We have an attack on superannuation, even though it has been legislated and promised on not just one occasion. It was promised prior to the 2013 election, and that promise was broken. It was promised again prior to the 2016 election, and that promise was broken. It was promised again in the 2019 election, and that promise is going to be broken by those opposite if they can get away with it. They’ve done that.

 

They have, under the cover of the pandemic, extended the labour market flexibility changes that were there for companies that were in dire trouble to make sure that workers and employers could continue to keep their relationship into the future. They’ve extended those labour market flexibility provisions, which were agreed to by the unions, to what they call ‘legacy cases’—that is, companies that are actually doing much better. They’ve introduced changes so that a worker who works for a company that is worse off and therefore still eligible for JobKeeper will receive a level of income support that’s reduced but still there, but a worker who works for a company that’s only had a 10 per cent reduction in its turnover could well lose 40 per cent of their hours and 40 per cent of their income. And who might they be? They’re retail workers, hospitality workers and frontline workers. The government made that provision there as well, even though we offered to support a sensible suggestion of having a safety net so no-one could actually be worse off than they would be under JobKeeper. What we’ll have is some workers who are working three days a week getting paid less than those workers who are not working at all because their companies have stood them down temporarily but they have access to JobKeeper. It’s an extraordinary proposition from those opposite.

 

And then there’s this proposition, at a time when Australia Post are doing ‘extraordinarily well’—in their own words—and at a time when Australia Post had their busiest day on record yesterday, with 2.5 million letters and parcels delivered around the country. They are so busy that they’ve asked for volunteers to help deliver parcels using their own cars. These are the same workers who are having their conditions attacked by the Australia Post management, put there in cahoots by this government. This is a government that’s never seen a worker entitlement that they didn’t want to get rid of.

 

Scott Morrison made an election campaign vow to keep the promise of Australia for all Australians. Remember he said that? It turns out there was a little asterisk next to the word ‘all’, and the fine print is in the post. It’s in the post; it’s on the way. The fact is that those opposite aren’t prepared to defend their position on the economy and aren’t prepared to defend their position on jobs, of all days—