The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald, has declared his support for the Queensland Council of Unions' Charter for Working Queenslanders. He described the Charter as a comprehensive approach towards supporting the role of workers in the Queensland Economy.
The Charter covers skills and industry, workplace health & safety and workers’ compensation, quality infrastructure and services, and fairer workplaces
Dr McDonald said, “At a broad policy level, we need fewer motherhood statements on the importance of education, more forward planning, and better funding of TAFE institutions for skills training in all industries and sectors. This applies equally to university places for professionals and para-professionals in health, engineering and social services.
“Government infrastructure projects can provide apprenticeship opportunities, but they aren't happening on the Sunshine Coast. Incentives also need to be explored for industry to participate in integrated apprenticeship training.”
Dr McDonald said that Queensland needs to adopt a twenty-first century approach to apprenticeship training that addresses changing attitudes of Gen X and Gen Y towards work and both encourages commitment to completion of training and a return on training investment for private companies.
“Both paying an adult wage and investment in building the social status of skilled work could play a part. Wages by themselves are only part of the incentive for young workers to take on skills training.
“Government procurement and infrastructure ought to support Queensland and Sunshine Coast businesses that are leading edge in their field, reliable suppliers of goods and services, and their commitment to contributing to high quality outputs in public works. Unfortunately Coast infrastructure planning appears to have been overlooked.
“Other aspects of the working charter address affordable public housing. Significant population growth on the Sunshine Coast requires a balance of public and private housing. I will push for public housing in all our communities, which is accessible to reliable public transport, provided with accessible retail services, and close to employment sources such as business or industry precincts.”
“In growing communities we need more frequent population studies to forward plan for anticipated needs for additional schools, additional facilities, health services, and providing special needs in disadvantaged communities.”
On fairness at work, Dr McDonald said that The Greens have a comprehensive industrial relations policy. “I specially support legislation facilitating equal pay for work of equal value.
“This is an important issue that goes not only to wages but to the question of structural discrimination against women in so-called feminised occupations.”