Bye Bye Crud

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First Grader
If only this happened prior to the state election.

As I predicted this is happening.

Howard bends on WorkChoicesBy Clinton Porteous
May 04, 2007 01:00am

'Fairness test' for workers earning up to $75k
Aims to ensure workers no worse off under contracts
Labor says backdown only about getting re-elected

THE industrial relations war will be taken to a new level today when John Howard announces changes to his policy aimed at middle- and low-income earners.

The Prime Minister will announce a new "fairness test" to apply to new work contracts for all people earning up to $75,000 a year.

The measure will come into force next Monday night and aims to ensure workers are no worse off when they trade away conditions such as penalty rates, overtime and leave loadings.

The new test will apply to all Australian Workplace Agreements and collective agreements submitted to the renamed Workplace Authority.

The shift by Mr Howard comes less than a week after Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd unveiled his IR policy, since condemned by business groups.

The move is likely to be interpreted as an attempt to outflank Labor.

Labor is calling the move a "desperate" backdown aimed only at getting re-elected, and that no one should believe the changes will stay past election day.

Mr Howard is expected to claim to have seized the middle group and to dismiss Labor's policy as extreme.

Today's announcement set up industrial relations as a key battle in the run-up to the election.

Labor has long argued that WorkChoices is designed to drive down wages and strip away conditions.

The test will determine, through a series of criteria that will be put in legislation, whether adequate compensation has been provided for the sacrificing of conditions.

The compensation does not necessarily have to be higher pay but could be greater flexibility, such as time off to pick-up children or even permanent use of parking space.

WorkChoices has five minimum conditions for all workers, while Labor in its policy, released at the weekend, has doubled this to 10 and promised to axe Australian Workplace Agreements.
Bye Bye Howard:

PM has minimal margin for error with Max

* Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter
* May 04, 2007

MAXINE McKew is sitting pretty in Bennelong.
The high-profile Labor recruit's campaign to unseat John Howard in the northwest Sydney electorate has received an unexpected boost from new internal party analysis of results from the March 24 state election.

In figures presented to Ms McKew yesterday and shown to The Australian, chief Labor number-cruncher Shane Easson has calculated Labor's two-party-preferred vote in Bennelong on March 24 was 52.4 per cent, compared with 47.6 per cent for the Liberals.

The research collates all the polling booths in the state electorates of Ryde, Parramatta, Lane Cove and Epping that fall within Bennelong and suggests the Prime Minister's notional 4 per cent margin - shaved by nearly half a percentage point by a redistribution last year - may be a "soft" number.

"Quite encouraging," was Ms McKew's response to Mr Easson's findings.

"It's do-able - Bennelong will be a Labor seat eventually - but whether the list of accumulating grievances against John Howard will get me across the line this time, I'm not sure about.

"People come up and introduce themselves and are thrilled the Labor Party is taking the seat seriously."

Mr Easson says that factor alone will boost Ms McKew's chances: with Labor making sure all electors receive absentee how-to-vote cards in the mail, Mr Howard will not repeat his effort of 2004, when he received 64.7per cent of postal votes.

Mr Easson also puts Labor's strong showing in the area down to the slow "catch-up" effect between increasing numbers of Chinese and Korean newcomers, and their appearance on the electoral roll.

His research compares this year's state election result with the 2004 federal poll and concludes that Labor is doing better than expected in most parts of the electorate, but especially in the blue-collar areas added in the redistribution.

In those booths, Labor's vote in 2004 was 52.2 per cent, compared with 66.1 per cent this year.

"Howard's going to struggle at that end of the seat," Mr Easson said.

Ms McKew has been working the electorate assiduously. This week she addressed a business lunch where, she says, she was surprised at the acceptance of Labor's position on workplace reform.

Robert Cameron, a local solicitor who organised the lunch for the Epping Chamber of Commerce, said Ms McKew "went over very well and seemed particularly popular with the women in the audience, who all wanted to speak to her afterwards".

Earlier this week, Ms McKew and Labor leader Kevin Rudd unveiled a giant billboard of her image in Epping.

In three weeks, Ms McKew and her partner, former Labor national secretary Bob Hogg, will move into Epping, after selling their home in harbourside Mosman on the lower north shore last month for $1.34 million.

And she is about to open an electorate office in Eastwood.

"My name is Maxine, I'm from Epping and I'm here to help," she quipped yesterday.
"In three weeks, Ms McKew and her partner, former Labor national secretary Bob Hogg, will move into Epping, after selling their home in harbourside Mosman on the lower north shore last month for $1.34 million."

Must be hard for the struggling working class to find the resources to represent the down trodden!
I must say that it is a prvilege and pleasure to have moved into Bennelong this year and to have the opportunity to vote for Miss McKew. :lol: :lol: :lol:
CW-I used to live in Bennelong myself and would love to see Howard lose his own seat, albeit for nothing more than some sort of immature revenge.

I always felt a special satisfaction of getting that ballot paper with Johnny's name on it and putting the highest number allowed next to it.

The best thing I ever saw was on election day from when Howard goes to all the polling booths. An old lady fell over (she would have been 100 in the shade) and he ran over to help her up. When she saw who it was she let fly with a barrage of expletives that would have made a sailor blush. Poor bloke didn't know whether he was Arthur or Martha.

I can't see Maxine winning but if she does I reckon I will go nucking futs. I'll be the one running around with a lampshade on my head.

I have the honour and privelige of voting for (or not) Mr Costello this time around.
I also lived in Bennelong and had a 2 hour meeting with John Howard a few years back. I was expecting a steel trap for a mind in that meeting, but I have to say, he disappointed greatly.

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