New IR Laws will hurt Country Queensland

  • Labor Bill will increase council rates and cost western jobs
  • Legislation strips away public accountability measures

New industrial relations legislation passed in the Queensland Parliament last night will lead to job losses in country Queensland, increase costs to small business and strip away public accountability according to the member for Gregory Lachlan Millar MP.

“At a time when there is white-hot anger about the cost of living and the cost of doing business in country Queensland, Labor has totally ignored warnings from the Local Government Association of Queensland that the laws will cost local government around $100 million,” said Mr Millar.

“This means increased rates. Country councils don’t have large ratepayer bases but how else are they going to fund this?

“In country Queensland, our councils are major employers and these laws will cost jobs. When local government tells you that proposed laws will not only dampen job creation but will create actual job losses, why would you push those laws through?”

Mr Millar said that especially applies when the latest job figures show that Outback Queensland has lost 1700 jobs, that job participation rates are in free-fall and youth unemployment is sitting at 33.1%.

“Many small businesses in western Queensland have only managed to survive the drought because of wages from council employees. Loss of council jobs will have ripple effects,” he said.

Mr Millar said the stripping away of public accountability may explain why these laws were pushed through.

“Labor has created a whole new industrial relations framework in this Bill and it is clearly intended to assist trade unions. It even undermines freedom of association to promote trade unions,” he said.

“It does away registers for political spending, credit cards, grants, donations and loans. There will no longer be any requirement to disclose the remuneration and benefits of highest paid officers. It could have been called the Merry Christmas Trade Unions Bill,” said Mr Millar.