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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 7382

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (21:01): I do not know how you negotiate, but certainly 'reasonable opportunity' depends on the particular facts and circumstances of the bargaining itself. In terms of the concept, it already exists in the agreement making framework of the Fair Work Act. If I could refer you to 220(2)(b), in relation to giving employees a reasonable opportunity to decide whether to approve a proposed termination of an agreement, the intention clearly is that the union would have sufficient time to consider the agreement before it is submitted to the Fair Work Commission for approval—bearing in mind that the good faith bargaining provisions, which currently do not apply under your legislation, are being brought into the greenfields process under this legislation. If you are saying that an employer is not negotiating in good faith, then you would be aware that the union could go to the commission for an order that they do negotiate in good faith.