||Issue No. 284||07 October 2005|
Age of Consent
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
Make Ads Not Law
Nice One, Workers!
Dog Eat Dog
Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation
"The Federal Government's industrial relations reforms have fuelled a fear in the community that the civilised standards we have grown used to in our modern industrial democratic society will be further eroded". Watson told the Melbourne Synod, the Anglican church's governing body for the state.
Watson called for "civilised standards" including "a proper balance of work, rest and recreation" to be protected.
"The principle of eight hours work, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest is a treasured hallmark of western civilisation and Australian society, and is based on the biblical principle that human beings have not been made to be productive, dehumanised units in the great machine of ever-increasing productivity," said Watson.
"Civilised society is not an extension of the corporate world. The corporate world should exist to serve the interests and well being of a caring society.
"Weekends and leisure time are not optional extras - they must be preserved for the well-being of individuals, families and the whole community - and ultimately therefore for the health of the economy.
Watson went on to say that matters involving unfair dismissals and adequate rates of pay were "matters of justice and equity about which Christian leaders cannot remain silent and will not remain silent".
"I discard the occasional comments from politicians who oppose the right of church leaders to speak on public issues when they don't like what they hear. The same politicians want our support and ask us to support them when it suits them."
This issue also came to prominence this week when the Howard Government brushed the requests of Family First Senator Steve Fielding to establish a Senate inquiry into overtime and penalty rate issues.
Senior Howard government ministers had hailed Fielding as a "fellow traveller" upon his election, but the senator's opposition to the sale of Telstra and concerns over new IR laws has seen the relationship between the Victorian senator and the Federal Government cool in recent months.
Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, had originally committed to a Senate inquiry into his legislation, but later backtracked, saying it was a "matter for the Senate" after the Prime Minister, John Howard, and other Coalition members made it clear they did not support the idea.
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