The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:38): I want to speak about the Rann Government’s spin, deception, hypocrisy and broken promises, but I only have five minutes. After the election, the Premier indicated that he was going to reconnect with the electorate, and he directed his ministers and MPs to doorknock and listen to the electorate in terms of their concerns.
A good Labor source advised me that, after the first Community Cabinet meeting in the southern suburbs, when Minister O’Brien—who is, of course, well connected to his northern suburbs electorate, living in Springfield—was required to go out and do some doorknocking, he went off in the ministerial car with a senior staff member from his ministerial office and said that he was not going to do the doorknocking. He dropped off his staff member, left him there to do the doorknocking on his behalf and headed off, and then sent the car back to collect him. That is an example of a senior Minister in the Government (Minister O’Brien) listening to the Premier in terms of reconnection!
Yesterday, I spoke briefly about the commitment in relation to the Labor Party always claiming that it fights for workers and their conditions, and highlighted the comments of Minister Holloway in 2007. Let me highlight a brief selection of other members’ comments in this chamber. The Hon. Mr Hunter talked about honesty in governments and about fighting for protection of basic conditions for workers back in 2007 and how Liberal governments could not be trusted in relation to those issues. In 2007, the Hon. Mr Finnigan said:
“The introduction of WorkChoices means that employees must rely more than ever before on their ability to negotiate with their employers in order to secure fair terms and conditions of employment. Of course , the fundamental weakness of WorkChoices is that it very much puts the bargaining power on an unequal level , so that the employee is at a disadvantage.”
The Hon. Mr Wortley spoke on a number of occasions in 2007 and 2009. In 2009, he said:
“The Rudd Labor Government was elected on the basis that WorkChoices should be dismantled. That government and its partner, the Rann Labor Government, are determined to fulfil their mandates and will not be distracted … We will together set in place an industrial relations system that i s based not on conflict and discord but on the facilitation of fair agreements that contribute to workplace productivity , and a system that will benefit us all.”
He went on in another contribution to say:
“It is absolutely vital that Labor wins the endorsement of the people at the next election so that we can stop the current Federal Coalition Government’s ideological war on the Australian people. The attack on working people is not about creating a fair and more equitable system and a flexible workplace; it is about creating fear in the workplace and is about taking away the legitimate conditions and wages which working people and their families rely upon for a decent life.”
Further on he states:
“Prior to being elected to Parliament last March (2006), I spent 22 years fighting for the rights of working people and their families. Over the years I negotiated with and on behalf of my members to improve their working conditions, along with representing members who suffered workplace injuries and who were unfairly dismissed.”
Then he went on:
“The believers and the founders of May Day died fighting for the rights of working people and their families—and for what? Today workers’ job security has been taken from them, as have their freedom to negotiate and their freedom to claim their legitimate entitlements. Without job security, how can ordinary Australians pay their mortgage and invest in their future?”
“If Labor is successful in the polls, the working people of this state and this nation will have their rights restored.”
There are many other examples, but my five minutes does not allow me to quote them. The absolute frauds on this Labor backbench and frontbench have for years in this chamber talked about how they fought for the working conditions of employees, how it was unfair that working people could have their entitlements, their conditions, taken away from them. Yet in the recent past in their Caucus, as I understand it, according to the media, they stood and applauded the Treasurer and Premier when they brought down the budget and ripped away the working conditions of employees, South Australian workers in the public sector of South Australia.
Apparently they stood and applauded, according to the “Spin Doctors” in the Rann office, when the Treasurer explained the budget to them. These are the frauds on the backbench and on the frontbench. A word of caution to the Hon. Mr Hood and others: never again trust the word of Premier Rann or any member of the Rann Labor Government when they indicate that they are there fighting for the conditions of ordinary workers in South Australia.