“Pink batts”: Tony Abbott bravely criticising ALP for not regulating small business enough

So the deaths of some young Australian workers as a result of poor training by the businesses that employed them have outraged Australians in general, and the Coalition and their supporters in the media in particular.

Sure, after the federal ALP Government got involved in the sector the rate of fires actually went down. But not to zero.

This is why “pink batts” is a byword for government incompetence. Because it represents government failure to properly regulate small business, and governments putting employers’ interests ahead of workers’.

What kind of government would allow the private sector to implement a government program without strong regulation and red tape? How could a government “put the economy ahead of human safety“?

You know those aren’t the kind of things we’ll see from Tony Abbott.

Let “Pink Batts” remind you that we in the Coalition will vigorously regulate small business where Labor does not.

This is why we can be confident that Tony Abbott will set out, very shortly, any day now, probably this week while people are interested in the “pink batts” deaths as an example of why these policies are needed, his plan to increase regulation of small businesses, particularly those in the insulation installation industry. And why he will push for an expanded role for WorkSafe and equivalent organisations and tougher penalties for employers who put workers’ lives at risk.

Because this isn’t a cheap smear by a leader whose party’s record on worker safety and adequate regulation of small business is far worse than Labor’s.

This is a matter of saving lives. And if the coroner says it will take regulation and sacrificing some economic growth to save lives, then Tony Abbott will put the interests of workers ahead of his party’s ideological obsessions and do just that.

Even hardline pro-economy and pro-business Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would find it difficult to disagree.

UPDATE: Informative chart of workplace deaths dramatically falling under the ALP:

Of course, I’m sure Tony Abbott and the Liberals supported all the steps Labor took to achieve that result.


7 responses to ““Pink batts”: Tony Abbott bravely criticising ALP for not regulating small business enough

  1. narcoticmusing

    Indeed, as a show of respect for the electorate, the two major parties would rather help each other than simply allow their preferences to flow to what the voters choose (say, whatever they put as no 2). How wonderfully democratic of them to undermine and disrespect the voters choice.


  2. Splatterbottom

    Rudd should show us the documents he is hiding. Then we can better gauge his culpability.

    Narcotic, the voters can preference who they like. Nothing wrong with the Libs saying they the think the Greens are worse than Labor.

  3. Let’s indeed turn this into a debate on workplace safety.

    Let’s have a look at which party has the better record on THAT.

  4. Lets remember that each and every State Government has OH&S legislation regarding workplace safety and training requirements. They also required works to be conducted by qualified tradesman. Lets also remember that each State has codes of practice relating to works in industry that stipulate the standards that this work must be completed too.
    Lets also remember that regardless of the perceived risks, and these exist in any programme run by any Government in any industry, the objective is to ensure the activity is conducted in a manner as safely as possible while acknowledging the inherent risks of industry.

    Sorry for the boys that died, but the Gov is no more to blame for this than the deaths in any other industry be it building, mining or aerospace. The laws and regulations designed to protect are in place, the contractors went around them, they didn’t train their guys, they used the wrong staples, they covered lighting thus generating heat, and fires and deaths were the result.

    If we are going down this road of blaming the Government when industry practices defying or ignoring legal requirements then thats the problem, misplaced blame for Political gain.
    I advise we should now expect a 500% increase in all services and works because it will happen when each job needs a Government inquiry prior to commencing. Liability falls on the negligent, yet we dont see the Government being blamed for people who have died since in non pink batt related roles do we.
    Why, because there currently no votes in dead carpenters falling off roofs or miners getting run over by dump trucks and so the list goes..

    LNP is running a scare campaign blaming the ALP for exactly the same things they have done themselves when in power.
    Dead dairy farmers via suicide under Howards deregulation for 1.
    Theres been plenty more over many many years and under both Parties going back decades, its why we have bloody OH&S laws..

    Wake up, smell the personal power grab & get some perspective.

  5. During the Workchoices period I was sacked for refusing to use dangerous electronic equipment ( it had bare wires ) that endangered myself my coworkers and customers.

    I contacted the then minister responsible Joe Hockey only to be told it was not unfair or illegal for my employer to dismiss me for this reason.

    It was however illegal for me to knowingly use the equipment ( a $250,000 fine or 18 months in prison )

    Abbott and Hockey were the architects of Workchoices, how can they now claim concern for the safety of working Australians if they had no concern for my safety just a few years ago ?

  6. It’s mystifying to me that Rudd hasn’t turned around and said – WHY YES, certainly, let’s make this election about worker safety. LET’S have a debate about that, Tony. Let’s.

  7. narcoticmusing

    But Jeremy, wouldn’t that require Abbott to have policies disclosed at all?

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