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News News Labor attacks fairness test 'shambles'

The Federal Opposition has slammed the Government's handling of its new industrial relations fairness test, after debate on the bill was gagged in Parliament this morning. The Government curtailed debate on the bill this morning after moving two amendments to the legislation late yesterday.

Labor's deputy leader and workplace relations spokeswoman Julia Gillard says the gag is a "shameless" attempt to cover up the fact that the Government has moved the amendments less than a week after the bill was introduced.

"It's a farce, it's a shambles, and it just reinforces what we have said about this bill all along - that the government was more interested in briefing its advertisers than it was in briefing parliamentary counsel," she said.

"When you pull a transparent political stunt it shows, and it's showing now with the shambles that has become this bill.

"The bill was introduced on Monday night into this Parliament [and] the Government gave notice late yesterday that it wants to add two amendments to it," she added.

"Mr Speaker, why is the Government incapable of writing a piece of legislation and getting it right?"

But Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews argued in favor of the gag, saying it is important that there is no delay in passing the bill.

"The only thing that's a shambles at the moment is the opposition's industrial relations policy," he said.

"The only thing that's become clear over the last week is what a complete shambles it is. The opposition can't work out where it stands ... until it gets its orders from Greg Combet and the unions as to what its policy on industrial relations is."

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