March 14, 2017

Today, Labor launches our Australian Jobs Taskforce to ensure decent, secure jobs remain top of the national agenda and to hear first-hand about the local impacts of cuts to penalty rates.
We have established the Australian Jobs Taskforce as there is no bigger issue for Labor than jobs.
Under Malcolm Turnbull, Australia has seen a rise in insecure work, record levels of underemployment, increasing casualisation and growing exploitation in our workplaces and visa system – it’s more important than ever for Labor to speak up for the rights of working and middle class Australians.
Worst of all we have seen the Prime Minister stand in Parliament and “support” the decision to cut penalty rates, ensuring nearly 700,000 workers will be up to $77 per week out of pocket. Under Malcolm Turnbull people will be working more hours for less money.  You do not cut wages to create jobs.
The Taskforce will travel around the country - particularly to outer-metropolitan, regional and rural areas - to hear from employees, employers, unions, academics and experts about the Turnbull Government’s threat to jobs and their assault on penalty rates.
It will also be briefed on local employment solutions that should be considered to address other significant employment issues such as youth unemployment that have been neglected by the Turnbull Government.
Labor believes in a workplace relations system that provides a strong safety net, drives productivity and delivers a strong economic future.
Our plan for jobs involves –
-Investing in skills and making TAFE the cornerstone of our vocational education system;
 -Making sure one in 10 workers on major Commonwealth-funded infrastructure projects are apprentices;
-Closing the 457 visa loopholes so Australian workers have the first shot at local jobs; and
 -Protecting penalty rates.
We want to build Australian, buy Australian, employ Australian.
The Taskforce - which is a Committee of the Labor Caucus - will be chaired by the Member of Longman Susan Lamb MP and Secretary will be Member for Braddon Justine Keay MP.