Australian Workplace Awards have been in use for at least a decade, and even when not specifically in use, much the same ends were and can be achieved with a common law contract. Just ask any executive or high income earner or anyone not covered by an industry award.
Howard's bastard-child WorkChoices did not usher in AWAs, nor are AWAs and WorkChoices interchangeable concepts.
Last week, in parliament, Julia Gillard lied to the whole country when she treated the two concepts as being one and the same. Her simplification was deceitful, and founded in a deep and abiding belief that the Australian public are utterly stupid.
She also lied and manipulated like a dank fungus when she stated that the Libs had shown their true colors, that is, their intention to reintroduced WorkChoices if they even happened to win government.
Worse, the aspiring fascist managed to achieve these disgusting manoeuvres by proposing a motion that statutory employment contracts should never be reintroduced in
"The Coalition fought bitterly against this for hours, filibustering, accusing Labor of running a "jackboot government" by gagging their retaliation, and walking out of the House before finally returning to vote against the motion.
Ms Gillard seized on this opposition, saying that the Coalition had revealed its hand on reintroducing WorkChoices if it were re-elected.
"We flushed them out," she said. "Today the Liberal Party had the opportunity to put their signature on the death certificate of WorkChoices and, instead of doing that, they sought to revive it."
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop accused Labor of foul play and wasting precious sitting time with an arrogant and ideological stunt.
But when Ms Gillard's motion was introduced after the bill had passed, the chamber erupted. The manager of Opposition business, Joe Hockey, accused Labor of wasting time only a day after asking him to curtail the speaking list to ensure more Government bills could be passed.
Liberal MP Christopher Pyne branded the Labor motion ridiculous and foolish, and implied, with his cry "bring out the guillotine", that Ms Gillard was like the vengeful Charles Dickens' character Madame Defarge.
Fellow Liberal Tony Abbott accused Ms Gillard of shrieking and Labor of "jackboot government".
Oh, did I mention that one of the 37 amendments passed by the government- of which Julia Gillard is the Deputy Prime Minister - is that it will let companies re-hire former workers on statutory contracts.