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Bill Shorten Pledges Reversal Of Penalty Rate Cuts

The Opposition leader says a Labor government would give back higher rates of pay to Sunday and public holiday workers.

Bill Shorten has promised to reverse controversial penalty rate cuts within the first 100 days of a Labor government.

Speaking at the NSW Labor Party conference in Sydney on Sunday, the Opposition leader also told the Party faithful if Labor won, it would invest $6 billion into western Sydney rail projects, invest in education and health, improve the NBN and NDIS, ensure equal pay for women and protect the ABC.

Shorten's speech comes on the same day of the second round of penalty rate cuts, with Sunday and public holiday rates dropping between 10 and 15 percent for workers in the fast-food, retail, hospitality and pharmacy sectors.

"I am proud to pledge that in the first 100 days of a Labor government, we will reverse these cuts to penalty rates and protect take-home pay into the future," he said.

"This very day, July 1, because of the Liberals, Australian families will be worse off than as recently as yesterday.

"From today, shop assistants and cooks, and receptionists, and cleaners will have their rates cut again."

About 700,000 workers in those sectors will receive cuts to their pay, making them $3,200 worse off, he said.

But Workplace Minister Craig Laundy has warned Mr Shorten against reversing the cuts, arguing it was the Labor Party that set up the body which decided on penalty rates.

"The one guiding light is the independence of the Fair Work Commission and that's what we are standing up for," Laundy told Sky News on Sunday.

He said any moves to stop penalty wage cuts would go against more than 100 years of independently set wages in Australia.

"We should never introduce legislation to determine pay rates. Once you do that you open Pandora's box," Laundy said.