Barnett in workchoices row

After a rally by union protesters outside his Perth office, the premier says he has no hidden agenda and the government will release the report in due course.

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The ACTU says the government is sitting on the report with 198 recommendations to introduce Work Choices-style changes which would threaten employment conditions.

But Mr Barnett says the government is still considering the report and no decision’s been made.

Yesterday, union protesters have rallied in Perth alleging West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is sitting on a secret report that recommends a form of Work Choices be revived.

But the premier says he has no hidden agenda and the government will release the report in due course.

At the rally outside the premier’s office on Monday, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) president Ged Kearney demanded the state government release a 2009 report into industrial relations in WA.

“The Liberals cannot be let off the hook from explaining what they really have in store for West Australian workers,” Ms Kearney said.

She said it was “an appalling abuse of the Australian public’s right to know who and what they are voting for” that the Liberals hadn’t released a detailed industrial relations policy.

Ms Kearney said Mr Barnett was hiding the report of the WA Work Choices Review.

The ACTU claims the report will put the award safety net for more than 300,000 WA workers under threat.

But Mr Barnett told reporters on Monday the government was still considering the report and no decision had been made.

WA was the only state to have retained a role in industrial relations, he said.

For that reason, it was “appropriate” to have the review but it was not necessary to seek public comment on the matter, Mr Barnett said.

“We’re not running a consultation on industrial relations … there is no agenda here,” he said.

Former coalition government industrial relations advocate Steven Amendola led the review in December 2009.

Commerce Minister Bill Marmion has said previously he would release the report by the end of the year.

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