Business

Australian work habits pose a problem: Joe Hockey

SHADOW Treasurer Joe Hockey has used a speech in Brisbane to call for Australian workers to toil harder, longer and better.

He also referred to an earlier announcement to re-introduce the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a group he likened to a "vigilant cop on the beat to crack down on industrial thuggery" on building sites.

In his lecture to the prestigious Committee for Economic Development of Australia - or CEDA - Mr Hockey said, compared to the US, electricity was twice as expensive in Australia, gas was 80% more pricey and US businesses did not have to pay a carbon price.

Mr Hockey said Australian work habits also posed a problem, as they - by his reckoning - worked fewer hours per week, fewer overtime hours, while US workers earned less because there were fewer penalty payments.

But he did not call for Australians to cop a pay cut.

"We can compete with higher wages provided our output per worker is globally competitive.

"Education, training and re-training is a key step to unlocking labour productivity gains."

The ABCC was disbanded in mid-2011 by the Gillard Government, replaced by the Fair Work Building and Construction regulator.

The former regulator fell into hot water in 2011 after it took two union organisers to court for swearing at a manager, a case the Federal Magistrate in the case described as "a waste of public funds".

Mr Hockey's speech also covered the familiar ground of rallying against the Mining Resources Rent Tax, carbon price and the Federal Government's credibility with the business community.

Topics:  joe hockey, overtime, working




Ballina cop 'disciplined' for laughing at porn ring victim

A Ballina police officer has been disciplined for how he handled a complaint from a young woman who reported being a victim of an online porn website.

"It was clearly not appropriate treatment the officer gave her”

CCTV footage opens new leads in Sabrina Bremer murder case

Leaked CCTV footage shows a man getting out of the car Logan woman Sabrina Bremer was last seen alive in.

Leaked footage shows a man abandoning a white sedan

Youth arrested moments after being released on bail

A man and woman were arrested following a police chase last night at Blacksoil.

Youth arrested again moments after being released on bail

Latest deals and offers

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

Sir Cliff Richard feels 'best' after sex abuse allegations

Sir Cliff Richard is 'back' to his best after sex abuse claims

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep