Massive cuts to public sector jobs and services by the Newman Government in Queensland are the latest wave in a disturbing trend that points to what the Coalition would do if it gained power federally.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the state government had slashed 14,000 Queensland jobs including nurses, doctors and other health services, and Premier Campbell Newman was now calling for Federal government to make changes to IR laws that would make all Australian jobs less secure.
Ms Kearney pledged the support of the Australian union movement to workers taking action in Queensland today following yesterday’s state Budget which confirmed the axing of 14,000 public sector jobs.
She said unions Australia-wide were concerned that the Newman Government was continuing a pattern of attacks on services, jobs and rights at work that had already been seen in New South Wales and Victoria. She said there were fears the new conservative government in the Northern Territory would adopt a similar strategy.
“The demolition of the Queensland public service is straight out of the Liberal Party’s copy book,” Ms Kearney said. “Tony Abbott must be licking his lips at the prospect of doing the same thing federally if he wins the next election.
“The Liberals have a terrible track record of slashing services, cutting jobs and handing out lucrative taxpayer funded contracts to the private sector. The 14,000 job cuts in Queensland must be seen as part of a broader agenda by the Liberal-National Coalition throughout Australia to again attack the rights of working people.
“On television last night, Campbell Newman revealed this was just the beginning and he thinks that wages are too high. He called for more ‘IR reforms’ like the ones introduced by his Government.
“Why is it that one of the first acts of every new Coalition Government is to attack the job security of the very people who are the bedrock of public services?
“We are talking about the services particularly in regional areas and health that will impact Queensland families. Some regional areas already have above average jobless rates.
“The LNP government plan to cut more jobs puts more pressure on these struggling communities. That means less money in these regional economies, less money for people to spend in local shops and businesses. These regional economies could slow further.”
Ms Kearney said the attacks on jobs in Queensland were the blueprint for what an Abbott Government would unleash Australia-wide.
“The unilateral removal of job security and contracting out clauses from public sector agreements will give the government free rein to sack workers and privatise services.
“We are concerned that Tony Abbott’s Liberals have already committed to slashing 12,000 Commonwealth public service positions, and seeking another $50-70 billion in cost cuts, should they win the next election.”