Over two hundred and fifty union and community members gathered on Parliament Lawns today for the People’s COAG, an event organised by Unions Tasmania to coincide with Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Tasmania for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
The People’s COAG called on Government to work for all, not just a privileged few, and urged strong action to tackle rising inequality in Australia.
“You only need to look over events of the past week for evidence of inequality,” said Jessica Munday, Secretary of Unions Tasmania.
“When it comes to income inequality, the gap just keeps growing and growing. This week the Fair Work Commission announced penalty rate cuts would start on 1 July. Company profits were reported as up by nearly 40% despite wage growth being at record lows. And then the minimum wage rise of $22.20 per week – equating to 59 cents a hour – was panned by the business lobby as being too high”.
“However, when working people ask for a pay rise or try to exercise their rights at work, they are told they are the greedy ones. Workers are not the greedy ones, it’s corporate greed that’s out of control”.
The People’s COAG also addressed issues of fair taxation, the challenges faced by our young people and students and the need for compassionate social welfare policy in the face of failed Government programs such as the Centrelink robo-debt debacle.
“There is clearly a feeling amongst the community that we need to be doing more to ensure a fairer distribution of the spoils of living in a wealthy place like Australia. Inequality is not inevitable and we call on our political leaders to show leadership and put tackling inequality at the heart of their decision making,” said Ms Munday.
For further information: Jessica Munday, Secretary, 0417 454 809