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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 8901

Fair Work Act

(Question No. 1990)


Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, upon notice, on 6 August 2012 :

With reference to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill 2012:

(1) Was the General Manager of Fair Work Australia consulted at any time during the development of the legislation; if so: can details be provided, including dates, times and who consulted with the General Manager, i.e. the department, the Minister and/or the Minister's office.

(2) Was the General Manager of Fair Work Australia aware of the Government's intention to amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 prior to the Minister's announcement; if so, can details be provided.

(3) Has the bill address the concerns that the General Manager of Fair Work Australia expressed in a press release dated 7 May 2012; if so, how have these concerns been abated; if not, why not.


Senator Wong: The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

1&2. The General Manager was consulted by the Department on or about 19 April 2012 in relation to the development of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill 2012.

3. The amendments to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act) addressed the concerns of the General Manager that were expressed in her press release of 7 May 2012 by providing a broad power to refer matters to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or relevant state and territory police forces for action in relation to a criminal offence.

The amendments also enable the General Manager to disclose information acquired in the course of an investigation conducted under the RO Act if such disclosure is likely to assist in the enforcement or administration of a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.