'Beyond a joke' Labor won't ensure PTSD protections: MP

Independent senators are trying a parliamentary tactic last successful 90 years ago to give first responders PTSD protections and end domestic violence discrimination in the workplace.

Senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock took four elements of Labor’s larger workplace law reform bill and it passed the Senate against the government’s wishes.

Labor has vehemently fought against bringing on only parts of the reforms, with the wider reforms also closing work hire loopholes and giving gig workers more protections.

An emotional Senator Lambie chastised Employment Minister Tony Burke for not passing the four pieces of the government’s legislation in the lower house.

'beyond a joke' labor won't ensure ptsd protections: mp

Tony Burke is pushing ahead with passing amendments to the wider workplace reform bill. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

One of the amendments means emergency workers can get easier access to compensation to address post-traumatic stress disorder and a second protects people facing domestic and family violence from discrimination at work.

“We want these protections in place by Christmas and there was not one damn reason why they shouldn’t be,” Senator Lambie told parliament on Tuesday.

The government was using the four non-contentious measures to hold the crossbench hostage to pass the rest of the legislation, which the opposition and business groups do not support, she said.

“We’re about to come into a fire season, we’re going to be heavily relying on first responders,” Senator Lambie said.

“You don’t want to give them some relief before Christmas time so they can stop fighting a bureaucratic system that … not only destroys you as a person, but destroy your family and those around you.

“This is beyond a joke and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

The two senators pushed for a “conference” between the two houses of parliament, which was last attempted in 1950 and hasn’t been successful since 1932.

A conference brings together delegates from the Senate and House of Representatives to help reach an agreement.

The motion passed the Senate 32 votes to 30, with the coalition and crossbench in support and government and Greens against.

Mr Burke is pushing ahead with passing amendments to the wider bill in the lower house, despite it not being able to pass the Senate until at least February because a committee is examining it.

The four independent amendments are able to pass the house and come into effect on January 1.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher called the move a stunt and chastised the opposition for supporting it after attacking their industrial relations policies while in government.

The Greens have secured amendments to three parts of the government’s broader workplace bill.

The changes will mean theft of superannuation is classified the same way as wage theft, along with closing loopholes to ensure teachers and lecturers can’t be considered as carrying out seasonal work.

Amendments will also close loopholes to make sure employers can’t delay negotiations for enterprise agreements in a bid to get to arbitration.

Greens employment spokeswoman Barbara Pocock said the changes would improve conditions for workers.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

News Related


The generation driving a ‘megatrend’ of poor mental health in Australia

As individuals, we have unique experiences that affect our mental health and wellbeing, but what about the collective experiences that influence each generation? The mental health of Australians has been ... Read more »

Geraldton meatworks set to reopen after five years in bid to meet chilled meat demand from Asia, Middle East

Syed Ghazaly wants to see the Geraldton abattoir reopen early next year to process 1,000 sheep a day. (ABC Mid West Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis) The new owners of a mothballed ... Read more »

Blues seek ‘growth’ as pre-season begins; new Hawk aims to be AFL’s serial pest

Carlton coach Michael Voss says he and his players understand there are heightened expectations on them, but insists the Blues are ready to develop individually and in their game plan. ... Read more »

Bulldogs continue signing frenzy with swap deal

The Bulldogs’ off-season signing frenzy is set to continue with the club reportedly set to land Cronnor Tracey in a swap deal. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Tracey is expected ... Read more »

Customers to weigh in as Optus disruption comes under microscope

Consumers and impacted businesses are being urged to have their say on the Optus outage, with the federal government laying out the terms of reference for its review into the ... Read more »

Released detainee unable to be contacted by authorities

It has been revealed a released immigration detainee is unable to be contacted by authorities. Border Force has referred the matter to the Federal Police as authorities are attempting to ... Read more »

Successive Australian generations suffering worse mental health than the one before, study shows

Photograph: SeventyFour/Getty Images Each successive generation of Australians since the 1950s is suffering worse mental health than the generation which came before them, new research has shown. A study led ... Read more »
Top List in the World