Private member's bill to overturn Fair Work Commission's penalty rate cuts wins support from Tasmanian MPs

A private member’s bill proposing to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rates ruling has garnered support from Tasmanian MHRs and Senators.

The bill was a response to the FWC’s ruling to cut Sunday penalty rates in the hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy sectors.

Tasmanian Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie cosigned the bill.

“My Labor colleagues and I are aware of the impact a cut to penalty rates [would have] on, not just the worker, but the whole community,” Senator Lambie said.

Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson voiced his support for the cross-party motion.

“The decision to cut … penalty rates will make wages lower for all those Tasmanians, young and old, who rely on work from [the state’s] burgeoning hospitality and tourism sector,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart said if his party’s bill was successful, it would make life for 40,000 Tasmanians much easier.

Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday said Labor, the Greens and Senator Lambie had listened to their constituents in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz said Labor’s bill denied the unemployed and underemployed the opportunity to gain employment.

“We have an independent tribunal to make decisions – sometimes you agree with their decisions, sometimes you don’t,” Senator Abetz said.

“Just as I’ve had to disagree but respect Fair Work decisions in the past, Labor, the Greens and Senator Lambie should do the same.”