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Save our weekend

SYDNEY (SE): As Hong Kong quibbles over what is a standard legislation in most civilised societies, maximum working hours, Australian society is locked in a debate over whether penalty rates for weekend work should be scrapped or not.

As what threatens to be a painfully long campaign running up to the July 2 election gets underway, it is one of the few issues that seems capable of sustaining attention for more than one day and a gathering hosted by the Kincumber parish in Sydney’s north on May 17 linked the issue with the dignity of the person and the rights of marriage and families.

Broken Bay Diocesan News reported that the evening was about building strength in a diverse community and looking at a public issue that puts pressure on families and marriages.

It described the evening function as “an important opportunity to hear the voices of those often marginalised by economic forces.”

Father Jim McKeon said, “Tonight we have spoken; we have listened; we have seen our leaders take action; we have joined together and built a network to speak out for justice.”

He added, “We believe Sunday is sacred—a time for family, friends, celebration, worship, rest and recreation. We unequivocally support fair compensation for those workers who give up their time for their families.”

This community conversation was a first in what is hoped to be a regular opportunity for diverse groups to gather in a welcoming forum to discuss issues that deeply affect all members of society.

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