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Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Page: 7416

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (13:15): That reflects the current situation, whereby an employer or a union can continue to negotiate. That is why we are putting in the relief valve. It is so that there is an opportunity at the end of that period of time to go to the Fair Work Commission and have them as the independent umpire—as I described them last night and I think is agreed in the chamber—have a look at the agreement within the approval criteria.

But I also said last night that you do not have to go to the commission. If you wanted to, you could continue negotiations. Again, from an employer's perspective, you have a major project. You have all sorts of things that are hinging off this major project, let alone the fact that you have a body of people who you want to become employees who are working and accruing entitlements. The system currently enables people to negotiate 'ad infinitum', to quote that phrase, and that is why we are putting in the relief valve.