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Howard's IR complexity: industry concern and delay.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

10/06 7 March 2006

HOWARD’S IR COMPLEXITY: INDUSTRY CONCERN AND DELAY

Today’s comments by Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Chief Executive Peter Hendy that the Government’s delay in implementing its extreme industrial relations changes is the result of complexity underlines just what a dog’s breakfast the Government’s legislation really is.

Peter Hendy today told journalists that:

The hold up is that regulations need to be produced…That has some degree of complexity to it, and that's what the hold up is…

On this point, Peter Hendy is absolutely right. The Government said that the Act would be proclaimed and regulations in place by 1 March. Now, it looks like the end of this month at the earliest.

There’s a simple reason for this. In its rush to get its extreme and unfair legislation through the Parliament last year, the Government created an industrial relations dog’s breakfast.

That’s a dog’s breakfast that will be challenged by the States in the High Court, and irrespective of that outcome we’ll see gaps in jurisdiction and incomplete coverage for Australia’s 10 million employees.

It will also lead to greater complexity and more confusion for business, particularly for small business.

It’s also cost more than $750,000 of taxpayer money, mostly spent on private legal practitioners, for the sake of putting the legislation together in a rush, with a legal mess the only result.

Little wonder the latest Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations reports that 85% of Australian companies consider that the Howard Government’s industrial relations changes will not assist business growth over the next twelve months.

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651