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Australia's IR record damned by faint praise - OECD points to the need for genuine reform



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Jo

hn Howard NEWsRELEASE Member for BennelongShadow Minister for Industrial Relations & Manager of Opposition Business in the House IR 013/94

AUSTRALIA'S IR RECORD DAMNED BY FAINT PRAISE OECD POINTS TO THE NEED FOR GENUINE REFORM .

The latest OECD survey of the Australian economy confirms what the Opposition has been saying all along - the benefits the

Government is claiming for its so-called industrial relations reforms are grossly exaggerated.

The authors of the survey are not impressed by the Government's record. After 10 years, it is at best mediocre.

Instead, the survey notes constraints unions are likely to continue to impose on decentralised wage-fixation and enterprise bargaining, and points with approval to the reforms that have been achieved by New Zealand.

After more a decade in office, Australia still needs to fundamentally change its industrial relations institutions and practices if it is to achieve sustainable rates of high growth and solve its unemployment problem.

The Industrial Relations Reform Act is not reform at all. It reinforces the worst features of the system and makes the task of genuine change that much more difficult.

The Act makes employing people more complex, difficult and costly.

Instead of simplifying and facilitating the workplace agreement process, it has turned it into a steeplechase complete with hurdles and obstacles.

Instead of protecting employers from roguish behaviour by irresponsible unions, it significantly weakens the anti-boycott provisions that were previously available through Sections 45D and E of the Trade Practices Act.

SYDNEY • 7 April 1994

• COMMONWEALTH PA RLIAMENTARY LIBRARYMICAH•