Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Beazley: No to AWAs

Kim Beazley has pledged to abolish AWAs should he win the next election, during his address to the NSW Labor State Conference today. Previously, Beazley has refused to commit to such a policy, but perhaps the address by Unions NSW boss John Robertson, reiterating that IR is the key issue that could win the next election for Labor, changed his mind. Given reports of the success of the ACTU and Unions NSW in targetting marginal Liberal seats, it's actually starting to sound like a real possibility. Beazley looked to be in real fighting spirit. Meanwhile, a motion has passed at the Conference committing NSW to an anti-AWA procurement policy.

To my very great delight, a motion calling for public consultation on a NSW Charter of Human Rights was also passed, despite some reservations on the Right (which, as such reservations have tended to, were largely based on misunderstandings of the Charter, such as the notion that it would place ultimate oversight in the hands of the judiciary). If - and I very much hope, when - NSW's Charter of Rights is implemented, there will be parliamentary oversight, just as there is in Victoria, where, as I've reported before, a similar Charter was accepted with overwhelming support.

Given that Australia is the only developed country without a human rights charter or bill to ensure people have basic protections, the Charter will be an extremely important step forward, especially in an age where our rights are under such attack from such things as WorkChoices and sedition laws. The consultation, when it begins, will look very much like this. Bring it on!