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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 7376

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (20:28): Senator Cameron, I think you and I are just going to have to agree to disagree on this. This is a very simple amendment. It adopts the recommendation of your own Fair Work review panel, appointed by the current Leader of the Opposition himself, when it reviewed the Fair Work laws. I can read you what the 2002 Fair Work Act review recommended:

The Panel recommends that Division 8 of Part 3-3 be amended to provide that an application for a protected action ballot order may only be made when bargaining for a proposed agreement has commenced, either voluntarily or because a majority support determination has been obtained.

Then it states that the Fair Work review panel considers it is 'incongruous for industrial action to be available to bring pressure to bear on an employer to bargain outside of those circumstances'.

Again, this is a loophole that is being closed. Industrial action absolutely can still occur, but all that this is saying is that it can only occur after bargaining has commenced. It is a simple amendment recommended by your own review panel, which we are happy to adopt.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Edwards ): The question is that part 7 of schedule 1 and clause 11 in item 1 of schedule 2 stand as printed.