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Wednesday, 11 May 1994
Page: 637

Senator GARETH EVANS —In question time on 5 May, Senator Crane asked me, as Leader of the Government in the Senate, a question without notice about, firstly, the negotiations on the training wage with the ACTU and employer groups, and secondly as to whether the government will be amending the IR Act to introduce the training wage. I seek leave to have the reply incorporated in Hansard.

  Leave granted.

  The answer read as follows

The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to Senator Crane's question:

Negotiations with the ACTU on the training wage have been concluded and the ACTU Executive endorsed the Government's proposal on 9 May. With regard to employers, consultations have been held with a number of employer organisations and individual companies. In fact a meeting was held earlier today in Parliament House with representatives from major employer organisations, including the BCA, the ACCI and the MTIA.

Employer support is obviously very important, and NETTFORCE, announced last week by the Minister for Employment, Education and Training to promote and assist in the implementation of the training wage, is intended to be industry driven. Its membership, including Lindsay Fox, Ted Wright, Bill Kelty and Bert Evans, clearly reflects our recognition of the need for strong industry input.

With regard to the introduction of the training wage, it is intended to be implemented through the award system rather than through an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act.