Abetz aids APTIA event

Federal opposition industrial relations spokesman Eric Abetz will lead discussion at APTIA’s Moonee Valley seminar

Abetz aids APTIA event
Abetz aids APTIA event

By Ian Porter | May 3, 2013

Bus operators will get to hear first hand how the Liberal-National Coalition would change industrial relations regulation at July’s BusVic Maintenance Conference and Expo at Moonee Valley.

The Opposition’s spokesman on employment and workplace relations, Eric Abetz, will address the national seminar being presented by the Australian Public Transport Industrial Association.

Industrial relations has been a hot issue ever since the Howard government tried to strip away workers’ rights achieved by the labor movement over 100 years with the Work Choices legislation.

This year a fourth stream has been added to the BusVic Maintenance Conference, joining the established themes of management, technical and workshops.

With the election only three months after the Maintenance Expo, Abetz may be able to reveal the detail of the Coalition’s IR policy.

"IR is obviously an issue for the conference given the current federal Government is reviewing the modern award," says BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe.

The modern award project is an effort to standardize awards for certain industries or certain occupations so that there are no glaring differences between awards struck in the same industry but in different parts of the country.

"If there is a change in government in Canberra (in September), it is important that the operators know what the new Government might want to do when it comes to changing industrial laws and how that might affect their businesses," Lowe.

Lowe adds that, although the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has declined an invitation, BusVic was hoping to be able to introduce Anthony Albanese to the conference. Albanese is the federal minister for infrastructure and transport and should have something interesting to add in the run up to the election.

Lowe says BusVic was hoping that Opposition leader Tony Abbott would be able to attend or, failing that, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey or another member of the Coalition front bench.

"It’s going to be a big, relevant event," says Lowe.

State politicians will also be getting a run, with transport Minister Terry Mulder having an opportunity to outline his vision for the entire public transport system in Victoria.

Equal time will be given to the Labor Opposition’s shadow treasurer, Tim Pallas, who will have a chance to explain, if the Labor Party was to regain office in 18 months, what he would do for public transport.

The first topic in the conference’s management stream will examine the Napthine Government’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy and BusVic has gone right to the top to find the speakers for this seminar.

The session will led by Professor Roz Hanson, who is chair of the Napthine Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee, which developed the Metropolitan Planning Strategy.

"The committee was formed to advise the planning minister, Matthew Guy, about what should be in the plan and what should be out of it," Lowe says.

BusVic has also secured the services of Professor John Stanley, who is also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee.

The BusVic Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo will be held on July 1-2 at Moonee Valley racecourse. Registration is required to attend the APTIA seminar.

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