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December 7, 2021

More than 13,000 Richmond residents set to lose penalty rates

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Federal Richmond MP, Labor's Justine Elliot, says 13,400 Richmond residents will be hurt by penalty rate cuts. File photo
Federal Richmond MP, Labor’s Justine Elliot, says 13,400 Richmond residents will be hurt by penalty rate cuts. File photo

Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot (Labor) said new figures show that the electorate of Richmond will be hard hit by the Fair Work Commission’s cut to penalty rates.

And she has put the blame squarely on the Turnbull federal government.

‘More than 13,000 people, or one in five workers, in Richmond work in the retail, food and accommodation industries affected by the cuts. These workers stand to lose up to $77 per week, Ms Elliot said.

‘Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal and National Party members campaigned for the Fair Work Commission to cut penalty rates,’ she added.

‘Under the Turnbull Government, wages in Australia are growing less than ever before. This latest pay cut is even more bad news for local workers and their families.

She said retail is the second biggest industry in Richmond, employing 7,274 workers, with food and hospitality the third, employing 6,166 workers.

She added that the cuts to penalty rates would worsen the economy, ‘as these workers will now have less money to spend in local shops, restaurants and other businesses.’

Ms Elliot said Labor was ‘determined to stop this damage being inflicted on our local workers and economy.’

‘On Monday Labor brought forward a Private Member’s Bill to prevent the wages of workers relying on the award from being cut. Labor’s bill would stop the penalty rates cut from taking effect and ensure penalty rates cannot be cut in future if it results in a reduction in workers’ take-home pay.’

Liberal and National Party MPs have voted to block the introduction of the laws to protect penalty rates.

But, Ms Elliot said, ‘With the government holding a one seat majority, a single Liberal or National Party MP crossing the floor to vote with Labor and the crossbenchers, means that we can stop penalty rates being cut.

‘Turnbull’s Liberal National government is seriously out of touch, voting against protecting workers from a $77 per week pay cut, but voting for a $50 billion corporate tax cut for big business,’ she said.


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  1. I seem to remember that at the last election the greens introduced a bill to enshrine penalty rates in law ! That’s right Justine ! Law ! Guess who refused to back the bill ! Labor ! Why ? Well you see penalty rates are a great tool every election time for the labor party the last thing they really want is people feeling safe about their wages and if they did why wouldn’t they support the greens bill ? Now that the battle is lost by I might add a fair work commission put in place by labor and bill shorten they’re crying crocodile tears and playing the role of workers defender ! A charade ! The unions and labor continue to sell out workers !


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