Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today joined thousands of Queenslanders who protested against the Newman Government’s continuing assault on hard-working people.
Angry and frustrated workers were joined by citizens to vent their concerns about the LNP’s use of its massive majority to strip away workers’ rights and personal freedoms.
“The ‘rally for rights’ demonstration is a powerful commentary on the skewed priorities of a brutal and uncaring government,” said Mr Pitt
“People are justifiably outraged by the Newman Government’s assault on the judiciary and its blatant attacks on working people.
“Thousands of government workers have already lost their jobs despite promises by the Premier that their jobs were safe.
“Now all those who work in the public sector, for the State Government and local councils, face a new threat from legislation the Opposition is describing as Newman’s WorkChoices.
“The community knows the difference between fair and unfair and this latest unjustified attack on workers is entirely unfair.
“Newman’s WorkChoices drastically reduce redundancy entitlements for public sector employees, attack penalty rates and allowances, ban interim pay rises and retrospective pay rises during negotiations and prepares the way for further job cuts and the privatisation of health and other services.
“The LNP is already making life tougher by breaking its promises to cut the cost of living, now it wants to make life tougher by slashing pay-packets and conditions
Mr Pitt said the legislation would punish teachers, police, emergency workers, council workers, correctional services staff, senior doctors, surgeons, nurses and paramedics.
“It is the prelude for the next round of redundancies and the privatisation of government services. Why else would the Newman Government seek to restrict redundancy entitlements?
“Changes to penalty rates and allowances will be a severe blow to those on average pay who work in health and education and provide council services. Cuts to take-home pay will have knock-on effects for small businesses, particularly in those rural communities where government sector employees are a large part of the working population.
“This legislation is more extreme than anything introduced by the Howard Government and is an attack on security of employment, terms and conditions and negotiating rights. It has far reaching implications for doctors and teachers among others.
“By removing fatigue provisions it will not only hurt recruitment of doctors in regional Queensland, but will lead to over-tired surgeons operating on patients when they are in no fit state to do so.
“Teachers will face larger classes as the Bill removes provisions governing teacher-pupil ratios.
“No wonder there has been such a telling outpouring of opposition today. Sadly the Newman Government seems immune to public opinion and determined to ram through its divisive agenda no matter the cost.”