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Thursday, 1 December 2022
Page: 2760

Senator BARBARA POCOCK (South Australia) (16:49): The Greens will be supporting this amendment because it will make it less likely that arbitration could be misused by employers who want to remove hard-won conditions and wages. If employers disagree with the term of an expired enterprise agreement, the Greens are worried they could act in bad faith by simply refusing to negotiate and then roll the dice and hope the commission arbitrates in their favour. The government has gone a long way to removing employers' terminating agreements as a bargaining tactic to undermine existing conditions, something we fully support.

While the Greens have been able to secure some changes to help prevent employers undermining existing conditions, we flag this concern and we will be paying close attention to ensure the arbitration provisions do not get abused by employers. This is something the statutory review, which we also support, needs to pay close attention to.

The CHAIR: The question before the committee of the whole is that the amendments on sheet 1780 and 1781 as moved by Senator D Pocock be agreed to.