Raising the BARR – Week ending 08/12/2023

Raising the Barr


There is no real mystery why the powerful would want to stop protests – its because the powerful became powerful under the current rules and they don’t want anything to unsettle that.

Similarly, those with power want to make sure that those without power have limits on their free speech, access to justice, the right to strike and access to money and property.

The wonderful and progressive nature of Australia has always been based on some people feeling uncomfortable with what others are demanding. Goodness knows that as a Labor Member of Parliament, representing a Party that was founded on the collective action of workers and working class communities, including strikes and protests, I continue to value the right of people to disrupt the day to make their point.

Silencing the voices that make the powerful uncomfortable is the first step toward an authoritarian regime; where democracy dies. That’s not the Australia that I know, or want to know.


A most incredible and important piece of Legislation will be enacted in NSW, following final considerations in the last week of NSW Parliament for the 2023 year. It is the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 2023.

Importantly, the Bill does 2 key things; (1) It removes the 2.5% wages cap on Public Servants of the State; a condition that was enacted by the previous NSW Government; and (2) It puts back into place the Industrial Relations Commission so that an employee, or an employee group, can take their employer to Court to settle disputes on wages and workplace conditions, if they are unable to agree to terms prior to using the Court.

One of the really important things that can now happen is that if NSW Public servants are unhappy with their employer (the NSW Government) then they can get a fair hearing by an independent body – the IRC. This is NSW Law that genuinely helps to give more power to the less powerful. Bravo!