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Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Page: 7419


Senator LAZARUS (Queensland) (13:25): I move:

(1) Page 3 (after line 11), after clause 3, insert:

4 Review of the operation of amendments

(1) The Minister must cause an independent review of the operation of the amendments made by Part 5 of Schedule 1 to be undertaken and completed within 2 years after the commencement of that Part.

(2) The review must consider:

   (a) the effect of the amendments made by Part 5 of Schedule 1; and

   (b) any other related matter that the Minister specifies.

(3) The person who undertakes the review must give the Minister a written report of the review.

(4) The Minister must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sittings days of receiving it.

My amendment puts in place an important safeguard which will require the minister, regardless of who is in power, to undertake an independent review of the workability of the six-month period installed to negotiate greenfield agreements. The review must be undertaken and completed within two years of the legislation taking effect. The person who undertakes the review must give the minister a written report, which must be tabled in each house of parliament within 15 days of the minister receiving it. My amendment puts in place an obligation on the government of the day to work with all stakeholders involved in the negotiation of greenfield agreements to review the success of the six-month time frame.

While I appreciate the opposition has put forward very late in the day a proposal for arbitration in relation to greenfield agreements, my consultations with unions and businesses indicate that my amendment will work and, importantly, will provide the safeguard to ensure that the system is reviewed within a relatively short time to enable adjustments to be made to the legislation in future if required. My amendment ensures there is a balanced approach to greenfield negotiations and that the process of enterprise bargaining is appropriately respected and supported.