WATCH: Landry says ALP lying, defends labour hire approach
A STEADY procession of political adversaries have visited Rockhampton to attack Capricornia MP Michelle Landry in the past week, with yesterday's visit challenging her on the issues of labour hire, insecure work and casualisation.
But Ms Landry is digging in and standing firm, accusing the Labor Party of running a fear campaign based on lies when in actuality, her government was taking the appropriate steps to address the problems.
"Once again they're trying to scare vulnerable people, telling lies about work choices, telling lies about casualisation," Ms Landry said.
"I've spoken to Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation Craig Laundy today and casualisation has not risen for over 20 years, it's been sitting at 20 per cent, so for them to say that this is on the rise is absolute garbage."
She believed that the Opposition would say whatever they could to stir up trouble.
"We see things like 'Mediscare' they come up with, they're out there telling lies, they've even telling people I don't support the coal sector, which is absolute garbage."
Ms Landry said her government was taking the necessary steps to help CQ's workers.
"The Federal Government has done a lot to improve conditions for workers, particularly people who are working in casual fields," she said.
"We've put $20 million into protecting vulnerable workers and this is going to give [the] Fair Work [Commission] more control and power to actually help these people.
"We're also looking into migrant workers, the conditions they've been facing, because there has been dodgy companies out there."
She acknowledged that there were questionable operators out there and said her government was working to get rid of them.
"I have spoken to a lot of people over the years who work in the coal sector and who have had some of these dodgy operators doing dodgy things," Ms Landry said.
"We have passed that information on and I believe that is starting to lessen more and more."
Due to the mining downturn over the past few years in CQ, Ms Landry said there has been a greater predominance of labour hire workers who were employed as required but that was turning around with major employers recruiting hundreds of new full-time workers.
"There is, in a lot of industries, a need for casual workers," she said.
"If you look at your Woolies, Coles, McDonalds, all of those places, they have put casual workers on but the Federal Government, I will assure you, is doing what we can to try and rectify this."
She agreed with the Mineral Council of Australia's criticism of Labor's "same work, same pay" labour hire plan which said "instead of tackling the rigidities in the workplace relations system which are prompting many businesses to use labour hire, it would only introduce new inflexibilities into working arrangements and cost jobs".
"I can't see how you could possibly say that if a casual worker is going from one different company that your rate changes all the time," she said.
"Business doesn't operate like that and the Labor Party just doesn't understand that. I think they need to come up with something else.
"You can't go around changing how employees work from month to month when they're on a different site, there's different rates paid in different places."
Ms Landry believed that what they were doing with the Coalition Government was working well and she looked forward to welcoming Minister Laundy to CQ in coming weeks to further detail the government's approach to the issues continually raised by Labor.