After a torrid time in Federal Parliament, Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has bitten back on penalty rates.
Mrs Sudmalis came under sustained pressure this week during Question Time after saying a reduction of Sunday penalty rates would be “a gift” to young job seekers and boost their employment chances.
On Wednesday, March 1, Ms Sudmalis sheeted responsibility for the Fair Work Commission review home to the ALP and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
She said review was “a result of the process established by the former Labor Government, which legislated the four yearly review of modern awards”.
“It is also the result of the actions of Bill Shorten, who when he was Workplace Relations Minister amended the Fair Work Act to specifically require the commission to review penalty rates as part of this review,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
She said three Gilmore businesses had made submissions, including the owner of the Steam Packet Hotel, at Nelligen, who sought lower penalty rates “to offer more work on Sundays and public holidays to my staff”.
Mrs Sudmalis said another hotelier with 28 staff said he wanted to allocate extra shifts, but could not afford to under existing rates.
She said a pharmacist made a submission that he would open “every day of the year except for Christmas Day” if rates were cut, and that would help the aged care sector.
“Mr Shorten established this commission and set up the process that led to this review of penalty rates,” she said.
“At the time, he highlighted the importance of independent decision making on penalty rates. It is now hypocritical for Labor to seek to exploit this independent process for political purposes.”
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