back to top

An MP's Note Is Going Viral After He Made The Argument For Keeping Weekend Penalty Rates

Perhaps there is still some magic left in politics after all.

Posted on

This veteran Labor MP's response to a letter from the CEO of a hospitality industry lobby group is going viral, after he explained exactly why weekends are still important to many Australians at risk of losing Sunday penalty rates.

The federal government is considering reducing weekend penalty rates, because businesses say the cost of paying workers extra money on Sundays is too high.

Labor opposes cutting penalty rates, but it looks like the lobby groups have been trying to change their minds.

The CEO of the Restaurant and Industry Association, John Hart wrote to Kelvin Thomson arguing for Labor to vote to reduce penalty rates on Sundays, because of changing community expectations around working on weekends.

Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / Getty Images

In his letter, he asked Kelvin Thomson to give him a call.

So Kelvin Thomson called his bluff and rang his office on a weekend. No-one picked up.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

Then he told him all about it in his letter back:

"The letter gave me the phone number of your Public Affairs Manager and invited me to contact him to discuss these issues and your Association's campaign. So I did. I rang last Saturday, and again on Sunday, but there was no answer.

"Perhaps there is still some magic left in Saturdays and Sundays after all."

Follow BuzzFeed Oz Politics on Facebook!

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.