Doorstop Heidelberg Paid Parental Leave

November 21, 2016

SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull’s latest cuts to paid parental leave, 457 visas, possible resettlement deal with Malaysia.


JENNY MACKLIN: There are reports today of Malcolm Turnbull’s latest round of paid parental leave cuts - it will mean that more than 70,000 mothers will lose some or all of their paid parental leave. This is just the latest proposal to cut paid parental leave in Australia and will leave parents on median incomes of around $60,000 more than $5,000 worse off, because of these cuts to their paid parental leave.


JOURNALIST: Isn’t the 20 weeks that their proposing better than the 18 weeks proposal?


JENNY MACKLIN: Well, the real problem is that that’s only part of the story. The other part of the story that Malcolm Turnbull wants to say to mothers is that 70,000 of you will lose some or all of your paid parental leave. If you’re a retail worker, working for Coles or Woolworths or Bunnings – you’ve negotiated your paid parental leave with your employer - you’ll see a cut to your paid parental leave as a result of Malcolm Turnbull’s changes.


JOURNALIST: Do you think though that mums will be more open to 20 weeks as opposed to the 18 weeks?


JENNY MACKLIN: Of course, all mums and dads would like more time off – that’s why it’s so important that parents can combine their government funded paid parental leave with their employer provided paid parental leave and there are now hundreds of thousands of people that can benefit from agreements that they’ve made with their employers whether its retail workers, whether its Qantas workers, teachers, nurses all of these mothers and fathers now have access to employer supported paid parental leave and we don’t want that cut.


JOURNALIST: What do you see as the main problem with the new proposal of the 20 weeks?


JENNY MACKLIN: This will see 70,000 mothers lose some or all of their paid parental leave. It is a straight cut to paid parental leave for 70,000 mothers in Australia.


JOURNALIST: And just on 457 – the Government has indicated that they’re going to cut some of the occupation from the 457 visa list. How deeply do you think it should cut?


JENNY MACKLIN: The most important message that Labor has is that we want to see the jobs that are available in Australia going to Australians. We know that there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who are unemployed who are looking for work and more than a million underemployed – who want more work. We want those people to get the jobs that are available in Australia. 


JOURNALIST: So does Labor think that different labour markets in different parts of the country have to be accounted for under any changes to the 457s?


JENNY MACKLIN: Well of course, we need to look at unemployment in different parts of Australia. Some parts of Australia have very high levels of unemployment, particularly high levels of youth unemployment. We want those young Australians to get the chance to get the jobs that are available in those regional centres.


JOURNALIST: Is there a figure? How deeply do you think the 457 visa list should be cut?


JENNY MACKLIN: The objective has to be to make sure that Australians can get those jobs where they’re available.


JOURNALIST: The Government appears to be in talks with Malaysia about taking refugees from Nauru and Manus – Labor welcomes this?


JENNY MACKLIN: First and foremost the Prime Minister should tell us what agreement he has entered into with Malaysia or any other country. And I would say that if there is an agreement with Malaysia of course that would be welcomed, but Mr Turnbull is just showing his extraordinary hypocrisy given that he and Mr Dutton both voted against the agreement with Malaysia when Labor was in Government.


JOURNALIST: Hypocrisy or not – this is something that Labor has wanted in the past.


JENNY MACKLIN: Sure, we want to see resettlement arrangements entered into, we want to make sure that people are resettled as quickly as possible. But I think it does demonstrate that Mr Turnbull really cannot be believed, he says one thing when he’s in opposition and now he’s doing something completely different.