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Wednesday, 24 November 1993
Page: 3504


Senator ZAKHAROV —On behalf of the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, I present the report on its inquiry into the Industrial Relations Reform Bill 1993, together with the transcript of evidence and submissions received by the committee.

  Ordered that the report be printed.


Senator ZAKHAROV —I seek leave to move a motion in relation to the report and to incorporate a brief tabling statement in Hansard.

  Leave granted.


Senator ZAKHAROV —I move:

  That the Senate take note of the report.

  The statement read as follows

I have pleasure in presenting the report of the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training on aspects of the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 1993.

This report addresses some key themes of the Government's proposed reforms as provided for in that Bill.

In the short time available for its inquiry into aspects of the Bill, the Committee has considered a substantial volume of both written and oral evidence from a representative range of interested parties. The report is not a close analysis of the technical detail of the Bill, but rather an assessment of the main features of the proposed reforms.

It is clear to the Committee that the need for industrial relations reform is a pressing one. It is equally clear that the system of enterprise bargaining which the Government wishes to encourage with this Bill is one which provides both optimal flexibility and adequate protection.

I am confident that the reforms proposed in this Bill will serve Australia well as the basis for an industrial relations system that is open to all. The legislation also serves to ensure that the standards operating in Australian workplaces are commensurate with those required of Australia by international treaty.

Time did not permit us to make a comprehensive response to the Bill, but the report indicates the Committee's support for the broad thrust of the legislative reforms. There are some particular aspects of the Bill which the Committee has chosen to draw to the attention of the Government. These are matters which emerged during the course of the inquiry, and the Committee hopes that they will prove a useful contribution to the general debate. The report contains a dissent from Senators Crane and Chapman.

The Committee wishes to thank all those who gave evidence to the Committee, and in particular, the Department of Industrial Relations whose cooperation and frequent appearances at public hearings were of substantial assistance to the Committee. We also thank the Secretariat for their magnificent efforts which enabled this report to be tabled today, before the introduction of the Bill.

Senator A. Olive Zakharov

Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training.