There has not been a prouder moment in my time in Parliament than to contribute to debate on the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 2023. The reason I came to Parliament was that the former O'Farrell Liberal Government dismantled and destroyed industrial relations legislation for workers in this State for a very long time. In fact, for 12 years workers in New South Wales had to live under a regime of oppression from the former Liberal‑Nationals Government. Their wages were sent backwards, their working conditions were disregarded and they were treated like second-class citizens. I have never been prouder than to contribute to debate on this bill. There has not been a more poignant moment in my time in this place than right now.
It is only because of workers and working people I represent that I am in this place. I made a decision, just like my colleagues, to stand up against the former Liberal Government, particularly those of us who came into Parliament in 2015. We decided to stand up against the four years of what we saw as the destruction of workers' rights, which happened so abruptly. Opposition members cannot tell me that the Government has moved this legislation into the House quickly, because the reverse of this legislation was put through at midnight by the former Government. The members of the Labor Party who sat on the Opposition benches during that time fought desperately to ensure that that legislation was not passed because they understood the import of the industrial relations changes that were being made by the awful Liberal‑Nationals Government of the time, led by Barry O'Farrell, which were detrimental to the workers we represent.
I unashamedly support this legislation. I foreshadow that the Minister for Industrial Relations will move amendments in relation to commissioning the court, but I thank and applaud her. No member has stood up for working people more than the Minister. She has spent her working life, not just her 12 years in Parliament, standing up for working people, as have many Government members. When this legislation is passed, Government members will stand proud because we have been true to our word. We are in government because we said that we would stand up for working people. We said that we would make sure that workers' pay and conditions are adequate and what they deserve. A hard day's work is worth a fair day's pay. Government members will never walk away from that. I am so proud to say that I commend the bill to the House.