Fighting for Dave McLachlan in Parliament

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:47): This evening there is going to be a lot of talk about creating jobs, but today I am asking for the support of this parliament to save a bloke's job. The guy's name is Dave McLachlan. He is a coal miner, 48 years of age, who supports his family and who has worked for 32 years in the industry. By my calculation, that means he went down the pit at the age of 16. He has an unblemished record on the job. He is the sort of bloke that politicians love to get their photo taken alongside during an election campaign in their safety kit and their hard hats. Well, now Dave needs your support.

A few weeks ago, Dave's workplace organised a protest because their employer, South32, had been very, very tardy in providing protective equipment and the correct laundry facilities as provided for in their enterprise agreement. They organised a humorous protest. They got together with their mates in their underwear to prove the fact that the employer was not meeting its obligations. Well, he got sacked from the job. He got sacked for organising that protest.

I have asked the company to give the guy his job back, and I want all members of this parliament to join with me in that call to give the guy's job back. It was a humorous protest, the sort of thing that Aussies love. We laugh about a bloke who is taking the micky out of a serious issue. We say that South32 is out of step with community attitudes, and I want the support of every member of parliament to drive this message home.