Title

NSW pushes for IR Changes

Database

Electronic Media Monitoring Service 

Date

14-10-2010 08:14 AM

Source

ABC Canberra 666

Parl No.

 

Channel Name

ABC Canberra 666

Start

14-10-2010 08:14 AM

Abstract

 
End

14-10-2010 08:49 AM

Cover date

2010-10-14 08:14:24

Citation Id

329321

Enrichment

 
Reporter

CAVE, Peter

Speaker

KENEALLY, Kristina

SANTOW, Simon

URL

Open Item 

Parent Program URL
Text online

No

Media Deleted

False

System Id

emms/emms/329321

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NSW pushes for IR Changes -

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For Julia Gillard, water is not the only tough issue set to test her minority government. The Prime
Minister is now facing pressure from NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to make changes to the workplace
laws Ms Gillard carefully negotiated as a Minister under the Rudd government.

PETER CAVE: For Julia Gillard, water isn't the only tough issue set to test her minority
government.

The Prime Minister is now facing pressure from NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to make changes to the
workplace laws Ms Gillard carefully negotiated as a minister under the Rudd government.

The Premier wants to give unions in her state powers denied to them under the uniform federal laws.

Kristina Keneally is also proposing to make Easter Sunday a public holiday.

She spoke to Simon Santow.

KRISTINA KENEALLY: In NSW we have two features of our industrial relations system that have been in
place for some time that are well understood and provide important avenues to workers in NSW, they
are the union's right to prosecute and the so-called reverse onus of proof.

And the NSW cabinet has taken a principled stand that we want to see those retained in our
industrial relations system.

SIMON SANTOW: So if they aren't acceptable to the Federal Government and to the other states and
territories, will you go it alone?

KRISTINA KENEALLY: Well that's what we're prepared to do.

What I've done is written to the Prime Minister, highlighted to her how important we consider these
aspects of our system in NSW and said that we want to work with the Commonwealth, so that we work
towards harmonisation but so that NSW is able to retain these features of its industrial relations
system.

SIMON SANTOW: If Julia Gillard and the Federal Government reject that, will you continue to press
it?

KRISTINA KENEALLY: Well I would be hopeful that a Federal Labor Government could work with a State
Labor Government on ensuring that important aspects of worker safety could be retained in our
state's occupation health and safety and industrial relations system.

SIMON SANTOW: In Sydney there is a major construction project about to begin in the form of
Barangaroo.

It's a prime Sydney CBD waterfront land, how much of what you're changing is about giving the
unions a sweeter deal on that?

KRISTINA KENEALLY: At Barangaroo we have the difficult situation of we cannot put in place a
project agreement because of the Fair Work Act. I think this is an unintended consequence of the
Act and we're seeking an exemption from the Prime Minister.

SIMON SANTOW: Obviously that is not going to play well with Julia Gillard because she's very much
keen to have those uniform rules and they haven't been a part of that, it puts you on a collision
course doesn't it?

KRISTINA KENEALLY: Barangaroo is a ten year project, an urban renewal project that will transform
22 hectares in the centre of our CBD.

Discussions have been going well towards a project agreement between the Government, the proponents
and the unions, but they have stalled, as legal advice has indicated it would be in contradiction
with the Fair Work Act.

I don't believe that the Commonwealth would intend to see a project like Barangaroo stalled simply
because of an unintended consequence of their Act.

PETER CAVE: The NSW Premier Kristina Keneally speaking there to Simon Santow.