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Industrial Relations Continues to Dominate Australian Campaign
Source: abc.net.au
Source Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 25, 2010

The Australian Government says the Coalition will have to break a promise not to change the Fairwork laws if it's to honour an election pledge.

The Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, says he would make $AU46 billion of cuts to rein in Government spending and help fund his election promises.

Those cuts include $25 million so the electoral commission can recover the cost of running union ballots.

Labor frontbencher, Craig Emerson, says that means Mr Abbott will have to change section 464 of the Fairwork act and break his promise to leave it untouched.

"He gives his word one day breaks his word the next day," he said.

But Mr Abbott disputes that.

"The story is wrong, simply wrong," he said. "This is a savings measure and it will be achieved by amending the electoral act. It does not require any change to the Fairwork act."

Industrial relations has dominated the election campaign so far.

Participation urged

Meanwhile, Australia's newly-arrived Muslim communities are being urged to fully participate in next month's federal elections.

The call comes from Islamic scholar Doctor Herse Hilole, who is a leader in the Somali community.

Dr Hilole says while the majority of muslims in Australia are moderate, some extremists such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir have recently encouraged Muslim Australians not to take part in mainstream politics.

"I would like to encourage them not to listen to the extremists who say democracy is not an Islamic system," he said.

Dr Hilole says many of the newly-arrived African communities don't understand Australia's political system and will need help in the run-up to the federal election.
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