From Part-Time to No Time

In every piece of ideological government legislation there are usually consequences for people that least expect them. I use the term ideological to describe the legislation that is introduced by governments to appease the Party ‘manifesto’; irrespective of whether its basic reasoning is beneficial or not.

Among the few pre-election promises actually implemented by the Rudd Government, the ideological legislation with unintended consequences features prominently. One notable example is the new industrial relations (IR) laws introduced.

In this instance Labor rolled back the IR clock nearly 40 years trying to appease the union puppet masters who spent millions helping Kevin Rudd into government.

Just one of the details in Labor’s new laws means that a time-honoured right of passage into adulthood looks like disappearing from the lives of Australian teenagers. I am referring of course to the part-time or after school job.

Such jobs usually entail a couple of hours helping out in a local business. For me it was stacking shelves and selling newspapers twice a week for the princely sum of $15. It doesn’t sound like much now but at the time it made me feel like a king. I was working and saving and learning some practical life lessons to boot. The beauty was that such jobs usually entailed a couple of hours after school and always got you home in time for dinner.

Now, thanks to Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party, all that has changed. Aussie kids can no longer work for less than three hours each shift. That means many small businesses have had to stop employing them.

Disappearing with the after school job is the transition to financial responsibility, development of the valuable work ethic and saving for that first car. Surely this should be of concern to those charged with governing the nation?

Unfortunately not. According to the minister responsible, Julia Gillard, it is more important for workers to have ‘rights’ than actual jobs. In her defence of the indefensible, Gillard ignores the hopes and aspirations of the young and optimistic in pursuit of Labor’s anachronistic IR agenda.

Perhaps Labor doesn’t care about the right of passage for our next generation of entrepreneurs and employees. It certainly appears that they are more concerned with appeasing the faceless bag men that promoted their virtues in opposition through a dishonest advertising campaign.

However, in doing so, they are disadvantaging the next generation of voters and damaging one of the greatest learning environments available to them.

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