Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington. Photo: Liam Kidston
Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington. Photo: Liam Kidston

Nanango MP opposes State Government’s wage freeze

MEMBER for Nanango Deb Frecklington says she will be opposing the State Government’s wage freeze for frontline public servants in parliament this week.

Ms Frecklington said the government wasn’t delivering what it had originally promised Queenslanders.

“We believe a deal is a deal and it should be honoured,” the State Opposition Leader said.

“Labor’s changes tear up legally binding agreements and trash the principles of a good faith enterprise bargaining process.

“At a time when people need certainty, this has provided great uncertainty.

“Now is not the time to be ripping money out of the economy.

“Labor should not be using the wages of public servants, including police, nurses, teachers, paramedics and firefighters, to cashflow its budget.

“In the debate, the LNP will attempt to introduce legislation to freeze the salaries of members of parliament for 12 months and we call on Labor to support these amendments.”

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Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the State Government had continued to respond to the coronavirus health crisis.

“Now we are facing the economic challenges through this global recession, with hundreds of thousands of people across the country losing their jobs,” Ms Grace said.

“We have a proud history of providing secure employment for public sector workers and we greatly appreciate their hard work and dedication through this pandemic.

“We will deliver a wage freeze for the financial year starting July 1, 2020, but still honour all other aspects of current agreements and settle all outstanding agreements.

“This is about balancing job security for public sector workers with these unforeseen economic realities.

“It will save the government around half a billion dollars during the 2020-2021 financial year, money that will be spent on our plan to recover from this pandemic and get people back to work.

“This has been done in a fair and consistent manner.”

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace. Photo Steve Pohlner
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace. Photo Steve Pohlner

Deputy Leader for the LNP and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the State Government was “mean”.

“Labor’s wage freeze is a sleight of hand accounting trick, not real budget repair.

“It is just mean and tricky.

“This continues the Palaszczuk government’s economic mismanagement of raiding public servant superannuation, stopping payments to long service leave entitlements and stopping payments to the defined benefit fund.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is treating public servants with contempt.

“Labor’s decision to cancel the budget shows it has no plan.”

However, Ms Grace said the Premier wrote to the Remuneration Tribunal in April seeking a pay freeze for politicians.

“Time and time again, the LNP have shown they can’t be trusted when it comes to job security for Queenslanders,” Ms Grace said.

“They couldn’t be trusted when they said public servants have ‘nothing to fear’ from an incoming Newman government.

“They cut 14,000 jobs across Queensland.

“They couldn’t be trusted when they said they would support the wage freeze earlier this month.

“And they shouldn’t be trusted when it comes to protecting Queensland jobs in the future.

“Today’s backflip by the LNP shows how disingenuous and devoid of ideas they really are.

“They have no plan besides sacking public servants and cancelling their Christmas holidays.”

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