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Senator Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Media Release

Coalition Calls Kernot's Bluff

24 June 1996

Senate Government Leader Robert Hill has called on the Democrats to show that they are serious about debating the Government's new unfair dismissals laws.

Senator Hill has dismissed Senator Kernot's call in Question Time today for a separate debate on the unfair dismissals law as just another meaningless Democrat stunt.

"The Government has put down a major legislative package to deliver long-overdue reform of industrial relations.

"It was Senator Kernot who deliberately blocked the Government from debating that package in this session.

"Senator Kernot helped send it off to a committee for three months despite saying that it would really take only 'a couple of Fridays' for it to be examined.

"Our industrial relations policy has been the subject of widespread public debate since January of last year.

"Now Senator Kernot wants to split off just one part of the package for debate this week.

"Senator Kernot may have been a part of the Government before March 2 but she isn't now.

'We will set the agenda based on the program and policies we took to the people at the March 2 election.

"Senator Kernot only seems interested in delaying or blocking our efforts to deliver on our promises.

"Well let's see how serious she is this time. If she is really serious we will debate the whole package this week.

"If this week is not sufficient time, we will help the Democrats by moving to allow the Senate to sit next week so the debate can be finalised.

"Is Senator Kernot really serious about letting us get on with job? Once again, we suspect not."

For further comment contact Matt Brown on 06 277 7640.

Commonwealth of Australia