Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett has some pithy observations on this week’s Senate Estimates hearings on his blog.
His big focus, however, is on what he calls “the (not) WorkChoices advertising campaign” to alert the public to the IR changes — and the actual bill that will amend the legislation.
“The one thing about the latest Workplace Relations advertising which shows that this is primarily about helping the Coalition Government is that they had the advertising ready to roll at heavy bombardment levels ($4.1 million worth in the first week) but they still haven’t finalised the legislation that the advertising is supposedly about,” he complains.
The legislation has been referred to a Senate committee to have a look at, even though the legislation does not yet exist. It has still to be introduced into the Parliament, but the advertisements explaining the impact of the new ‘legislation’ are so omnipresent as to be almost unavoidable.
At time of writing, the website of the relevant Senate committee has the following unusual detail: ‘Inquiry into Workplace Relations Stronger Safety Net Bill (Exact title of bill currently unknown)’.
Obviously, it is not just the title, but also the content of the bill which is still unknown, but the public is still required to be in submissions by 4th June and the committee is meant to hold a public hearing and prepare a report on the bill by 14 June, with an aim that the bill be passed by the Senate by 21 June.
He’ll be glad to know that the legislation now seems to have a name — and will probably be presented to the Reps as early as next Monday.