Protect Penalty Rates

27 June 2017

Speech delivered to House of Representatives, Parliament House on Wednesday, 14 June 2017.

The clock is ticking to 2 July, when we will see penalty rates cut in Australia. Today I speak for the 10,588 people in the Oxley electorate working in the retail, pharmacy and accommodation industries and will be affected by these cuts. In 17 days, these people are facing a pay cut. It does not matter if the cuts are phased in over two or three years—the damage is the same. People will lose money. The day before penalty rates are cut, this government will show exactly where its priorities lie, delivering a tax cut worth $16,400 for millionaires. This increasingly divided extreme right-wing government is proud to give them the largest pay cut in Australia's history since the Great Depression. If you are a worker living in my electorate in the suburb of Durack cleaning a hotel, you get a pay cut. If you are a retail worker living in Redbank Plains, you get a pay cut. If you are a pharmacy worker living in Jamboree Heights, you get a pay cut under this government.

Bill Shorten and Labor will fight this pay cut, the proud unions that represent the 700,000 workers in Australia who will be affected will fight this pay cut, and my community will fight this pay cut. It is time this Prime Minister started listening: start backing workers in Australia instead of looking after the millionaires in boardrooms in this country. Cutting penalty rates will hurt our economy. Only Bill Shorten and Labor will fight these cuts. Only Bill Shorten and Labor will stand up for the workers in this country.