Maybe we’ve got Brad Hazzard wrong …

Here was the bloke we accused of being a hypocrite in depanews in June because we had some fabulous comments he made in Parliament on 17 October 1997 when the concept of exempt and complying development was created and yet, 16 years later in moving from Opposition to Government, he was intent on introducing a new planning regime about which all of his comments made in 1997 would equally apply.

We even gave him the opportunity to respond to try and explain to us what had prompted his about-face.

But now, maybe we have got him wrong. Leaving aside the planning stuff, with its commitment to sideline environmental and heritage concerns and the interests of the community and their right to have some say about development around them, the government of which he is a member has a pretty poor history of putting the boot into workers’ rights.

Slashing into workers’ compensation and removing journey claims, imposing restrictions on the role of the Industrial Relations Commission to participate in managing government wages policy for the public sector and now the virtual decimation of the IRC with the early retirement of some great judges.

Clearly, if there is a weak spot in this list of unpleasantness, it must be that Brad thinks workers taking leave is important. Being on leave mightn’t have helped Chris Pearce but only one day after depaNews announces that I’m going on leave for three weeks, and I hope everything is okay in my absence, Brad Hazzard decides that he won’t introduce the White Paper until I come back!

The three-week delay will allow continued brawling with LG New South Wales and the Better Planning Network and its 400 plus affiliated community groups and all those other NGOs interested in the protection of the environment and our heritage. He might even think it makes sense to scrap this hopelessly flawed legislation.

I would have taken holidays earlier if I thought I could rely on the NSW Government being so accommodating.

We should never forget that we have annual leave and long service leave as conditions of our employment because unions fought hard, over a long period of time, to improve the rights of workers.

Taking that leave is important. Not just because it’s good for our well-being and that of our families, but because if people don’t take the leave for the purposes for which it was originally provided, some nasty employer group will come along and claim that the reasons for its original establishment no longer exist, and it should be wound back.

And we know that the Federal Government would do little to get in the way.

Take some leave now and come back feeling relaxed and recharged.

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