“Sour Grapes” was how Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth described the LGAQ’s reaction to the new Industrial Relations Reforms passed in parliament this week.
The reforms which reinstated the rights of many public sector workers was a major step forward according to Mr Knuth who had been opposed to previous government’s legislation since it had been passed.
“We’ve been doing what we have always done and that’s talking directly to the workers affected- we worked to bring back the right to a fair agreement,” Mr Knuth said.
Focused on the bigger picture Mr Knuth has made securing more funding for rural and regional councils a priority.
Mr Knuth said councils should join him in lobbying for more funding support and to stop the freeze on Funding Assistance Grants.
“We should be focusing our energy on extra TIDS funding for rural roads, renegotiating the Financial Assistance Grants and ensuring local councils and contractors are prioritised for government tenders, not cutting workers wages.”
Mr Knuth said the reaction to the changes is simply misleading.
“Many CEOs have said that the sky was going to fall in if this legislation passed,” he said.
“The great threat of financial impact is nothing but a threat, a majority of councils haven’t even been through the EBA under the Newman Government’s harmonisation.”
“They said it was going to cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, but any savings would have been at the expense of the worker and the local community.
Mr Knuth also disputed the statements made by LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam on ABC Friday Morning, linking the IR legislation to the proposed Ethanol Mandate.
“The reality is we have spoken to many workers that were effected by the Newman’s award modernisation and this is what gave us the incentive to back the legislation – No deals,” Mr Knuth said.
“As always we will continue to look at every bill and motion on its merit.”