Don’t worry too much about budget leaks. The IR legislation amendment plans are going to be just as important in preparing for the next election.

Family First Senator Steve Fielding’s wish list of “minimal” changes to “improve” WorkChoices now looks like some very prescient kite-flying. The Prime Minister’s response, rather than looking like windy rhetoric, now seems to have been designed to keep the kite afloat.

We then saw the reports in the Fairfax Sundays: “A secret plan to soften controversial workplace relations laws has been developed by the Federal Government and will be unveiled if public support for the changes continues to crumble.” There, in some staffer’s top drawer, was an almost identical proposal to Fielding’s.

Since then we’ve had the official denial of any such plan — clear confirmation of its existence, as any Yes, Minister fan can tell you.

The Budget won’t be the only attraction of the Budget session. Stand by for the legislation to counter what no doubt will be called “the tiny number of rogue employers not playing the WorkChoices game properly.”

It’s as good as on the Notice Paper. The real question is – will anyone out in voterland be listening?

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.