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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 7362


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (18:25): Greenfields agreements made after what will be the six-month negotiation period—we are only talking about those agreements which have not been able to be negotiated, and one would anticipate based on past practice that the majority of agreements are going to be negotiated and you will not need to go down the path of the release valve—will be subject to the existing greenfields agreement approval requirements, including the better-off-overall test, that the union or unions to be covered by the agreement are entitled to represent the majority of employees to be covered by the agreement and that it is in the public interest to approve the agreement. Additionally, the Fair Work Commission must also be satisfied of the new criterion, which I have now alluded to on a number of occasions. This is the additional layer that this government is adding that the former government did not, and that is that they must also be satisfied of the new criterion that the agreement on an overall basis provides pay and conditions that are consistent with the prevailing pay and conditions within the relevant industry for equivalent work.