Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile says unions have trumped the business campaign on WorkChoices during the election campaign.
Although a business coalition lead by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has conducted a multimillion dollar advertising campaign supporting WorkChoices, Vaile says the union movement has outspent them.
“We would have liked to have seen them match the union movement,” Vaile told the ABC. “But I don’t think they were ever going to spend the amount of money that the union movement was prepared to put into this. But I still think their advertising campaign as an independent third party has been very, very welcome, and it has brought some balance.”
With Labor and the Coalition likely to have made all of their major election announcements, politicians on both sides are now engaged in desperate last minute local campaigning.
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Labor industry spokesman Kim Carr is in Geelong today to launch a $20 million Innovative Regions Centre as part of Labor’s already announced Enterprise Connect policy. Labor has also announced that it will devote $10 million under the policy for a “Researchers in Business” program to build better links between the higher education and business sectors.
On the Coalition side, Prime Minister John Howard yesterday promised $85 million in grants for two clean energy businesses in South Australia and Western Australia. Geothermal energy company Petrotherm would get $50 million for a power station it is developing in the Flinders Ranges in SA, while Perth-based carbon capture technology company Cool Energy was promised $20 million.