Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Industrial Relations Bill a setback to micro-economic reform

Download PDFDownload PDF

John Howard

NEWS RELEASE Member for BennelongShadow Minister for Industrial Relations & Manager of Opposition Business in the House 011/94


Tomorrow Laurie Brereton's falsely-styled Industrial Relations Act comes into force.

It is a backward-looking measure which will add to unemployment, fly against the need for further micro-economic reform and, once again, place sections of the trade union movement above laws which apply to the rest of the Australian community.

The Act completely dishonours the promise made by the Prime Minister immediately after the 1993 election that there would be a genuine extension of workplace bargaining into the non-union sector.

The hurdles to conclude so high and effort.

to be cleared by employers and employees seeking workplace agreements in the non-union sector are so numerous that few will think it worth the

Weakening the secondary boycott laws is an indefensible surrender to trade union power.

The unfair dismissal provisions which reverse the traditional onus of proof will discourage firms, particularly small ones, from taking on new staff.

Apparently the Minister for Industrial Relations and his advisers are blithely unaware of the fact that if the recruitment of staff is made more complicated and expensive then employers will invest in technology and not people.

This legislation is the worst possible example of the "paying off the mates" approach of the Keating Government to important issues.

It reflects the infamous response of Jenni George, the Vice-President of the ACM, when told of employer complaints about the Bill that employers "had to understand that they lost the election and we won it".

The task of genuine industrial relations reform belongs to the next Coalition Government.




29 March 1994