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Thursday, 2 December 2004
Page: 63


Senator SHERRY (1:40 PM) —by leave—I move opposition amendments (1) to (4) on sheet 4427:

(1) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (lines 24 and 25), omit “, to the extent only that the agreement deals with permitted matters,”.

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 4 (lines 9 and 10), omit “, to the extent only that the variation deals with permitted matters.”.

(3) Schedule 1, item 2, page 6 (lines 1 and 2), omit “, to the extent only that the AWA deals with matters pertaining to that relationship,”.

(4) Schedule 1, item 2, page 6 (lines 22 and 23), omit “, to the extent only that the variation agreement deals with matters pertaining to that relationship,”.

The amendments on sheet 4427 have the effect of validating the whole of the existing certified agreements and AWAs, allowing each provision to continue to have effect until the expiry date of the agreement. Labor believes that the amendments will provide greater certainty for employers and employees by giving effect to the whole of the agreement previously reached between them. If Labor's amendments are accepted the validity of agreements will not depend on the outcome of further legal consideration by the commission, the Federal Court or the High Court in relation to whether particular clauses pertain to the employment relationship. As I said in my contribution to the second reading debate, the Labor Party is about certainty—but certainty in all its aspects. I commend the amendments to the chamber.