Hospitality workers are among the hardest hit with lower penlaty rates.
Hospitality workers are among the hardest hit with lower penlaty rates. Mike Knott BUN230816CHEF10

Pay cuts will hurt some

NEWS of cuts to penalty rates for Sunday work will be met with mixed feelings on the Sunshine Coast.

Anything that helps reduce overheads is a benefit to small-business operators, of which this region has among the highest proportion of anywhere in Australia.

Equally, in an area with a highly-casualised workforce already earning below state- average incomes, any pay packet loss will hurt.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on the Prime Minister to intervene but that is more about the politics than any real expectation the Fair Work Commission decision will be overturned.

The most heavily hit will be full-time and permanent part-time workers who will lose between 25-50% of Sunday penalty rates. Casual employees will be left largely untouched, except those in retail and pharmacy occupations whose Sunday rates fall from double time to time-and-three-quarters in line with casuals in the hospitality sector.

Rather than squabbling at the edges, attention could instead be shifted to ways regional and national economies can be diversified to deliver higher-paying, permanent employment.

Westpac economist Justin Smirk told business operators in Mooloolaba yesterday Australia was likely to lose its Triple A credit rating.

He argued the future for the economy lay in pursuing high-value niche markets globally for manufacturing and food sectors and attracting high-yield tourists to Australia rather than just volume.

The issue is in finding the leadership to light the path.