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?

Peter Fray

72 hours only. 50% off a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

Our two-for-one offer with The Atlantic was so popular we decided to bring it back.

But only for 72 hours.

Use the promo code ATLANTIC2020 and you’ll get 50% off a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year of digital access to The Atlantic (usually $70). That’s BOTH for just $129.

Hurry. Ends midnight this Thursday.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

Claim Now