Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 11:14 ): I rise to support the motion by the member for Schubert:
That this house—
(a) notes the extraordinary influences unions (and in particular the SDA) hav e over policy decisions of the state Labor government; and
(b) supports changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act to allow families in Marion, Noarlunga, Tea Tree Gull y, Port Adelaide and Munn o Para to have access to similar shopping hours as families in the Adelaide CBD and Glenelg.
What a rant we have just heard from the member for Kaurna. Anyone would think it was 1917 and not 2017. Labor live in a world of nine to five. They talk about our nurses—and I absolutely respect our nurses who are here today and the nurses who are carrying out their fine trade supporting our community—but next they will be suggesting that nurses only work nine to five. It is totally ridiculous, especially when I reflect on the fact that in country regions our shops have extended trading hours. In Murray Bridge, both Coles supermarkets are open from 6am to 10pm and both Woolworths supermarkets are open from 7am to 9pm, so why can we not do that in the city? It is just ridiculous.
We talked about the lobbyists, and Colin Shearing's name was mentioned. Recently, some regulations had to be ratified, and I take my hat off to the Attorney-General for his fairness because they had to be ratified across the state to make sure people were operating within the law to ratify those extended shop trading hours. There had been some oversight in regard to the regulation, but the Attorney-General gave us about six months to sort that out with our local communities, and it was worked out at a local level. What I cannot get over is that it is just ludicrous that you cannot get the same access in the city as we enjoy in the country.
We have become very much a 24-hour society. Long gone are the days of nine to five. It just does not work like that anymore. Why is it okay for people in the country to work those longer hours but not for people in the city? It is just absurd that these shop trading hours are butchered all about the state with different rules depending on where you live. As previously mentioned, Hungry Jack's, McDonald's, the Peregrine group and the Shahin family, who operate On The Run, are open 24 hours a day and employ 2,800 people in this state. It sounds as though the Labor Party are not very happy with the Peregrine group, but I think they are just happy with them when it suits them.
I want to acknowledge the work Sam Shahin and Peregrine are doing in my electorate at Tailem Bend, building a motorsport park and investing at least $100 million in support of motorsport in South Australia. It will be a huge boon for the area in my electorate around Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, Langhorne Creek and the rest of the Murraylands and Mallee, and the pit straight buildings are being built as I speak. It was good enough for the government to support them with a grant of about $7½ million to help establish that facility in my electorate, but here they are today slamming, indirectly, the very corporation that has their operations open 24 hours a day.
I want to reflect on what happens in these big Woolworths and Coles supermarkets and also in the Big Ws, which are obviously related to Woolworths, that the member for Kaurna hates. It is interesting to note that Bill Shorten himself, the federal Leader of the Opposition, was the one who negotiated the enterprise bargaining arrangements to rob those workers of millions and millions of dollars, and that is a simple fact. He was also the one who set up the Fair Work Commission. He also set up the review, and the terms of reference for the review of penalty rates under the Fair Work Commission, to take it away from politics, to take it outside political influence.
But when a decision comes back that does not suit Bill Shorten and the Labor Party they do not like it. They put ads in our local papers that are lies and absolutely false and talk complete untruths about Malcolm Turnbull and our federal Liberal colleagues and their influence over the Fair Work Commission. There is no influence by our federal Liberal colleagues. Labor speak with forked tongue and we will see plenty of it going into the next election. They say what they like, they say whatever comes to mind off the top of their heads and it does not matter whether or not it is true—do not let that get in the way of a good story. It is a simple fact that Bill Shorten and his crew set up the Fair Work Commission, but when it comes down with a finding they do not like they come out kicking and screaming.
You see how the shoppies (the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association) operate in these big shopping centres. They have obviously done dirty deals with these companies. The daughter of a friend of mine signed up to work at Big W and was told, 'You've got two weeks to tell the SDA that you don't want to be a member.' How outrageous! You have to be a member. You are automatically signed up when you start. To get out of being a union member, you have to let them know. It is not the other way round, where you have to nominate if you want to join a union. If people want to join a union, that is fine, but give them the choice. They should not have to opt out.
An honourable member interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: It is exactly what it is. People are locked straight in to become a union member. It reminds me of the blackest three months of my life in the mid-nineties. I did some work as a contractor on the Melbourne to Adelaide rail program that changed the alignment of rail from broad gauge to standard gauge, the Melbourne to Adelaide Rail Standardisation project (the MARS project). To get a job on that line, I had to join a union. As I said, it was the blackest three months of my life because I had to become a union member. I hated it, but I needed the money. I did the work and, thankfully, I only had to buy a short-term ticket, but I would never have done it if I had freedom of choice.
Mr PEDERICK: That's right—comrade. I had to become a comrade because that is how the comrades run it. That is the comrades: 'Run up the red flag. Let's all work together. Let's all goose step one by one and work together. Let's do that, all the comrades together.' That is exactly what it is and that is exactly what is going on when people work for Woolworths, Coles and Big W. They are automatically made a comrade. They do not have that freedom of choice and it is absolutely outrageous. People in this state should have the freedom to choose whether they want to join a union. If people want to join a union, that is great if that is what they want to do, but it takes away that whole freedom of choice.
Getting back to the motion, it is an absolute joke that we cannot have shop trading hours opened up here in the city. To talk about the independents not being able to operate is just ridiculous. Two IGAs operate in Murray Bridge, there is a Foodland in Tailem Bend and they all operate fine. There is an IGA in Mannum as well that operates fine with these four big supermarkets owned by Coles and Woolworths either in the same town or not far away. It is a complete farce that these smaller companies will be bulldozed out. They know how to operate in that environment, they have done so for years in the regions and they will continue to do so.