Della Bosca demands: Where are the WorkChoices regulations?

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Della Bosca demands: Where are the WorkChoices regulations?

The NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca has accused the Federal Government of hiding its WorkChoices regulations from the High Court.

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The NSW Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca has accused the Federal Government of hiding its WorkChoices regulations from the High Court.

Della Bosca told State Parliament yesterday that the State Government was concerned about the Commonwealth’s failure to ‘introduce or even to publicise the regulations needed to support the new law’.

‘It appears the Howard Government does not want the High Court to examine the regulations, which is possibly a motive for the Government’s lack of transparency,’ he said.

A High Court challenge to the WorkChoices legislation is due to be heard in the High Court in May, and the content of the regulations will form part of the challenge by the ACTU and the State Governments.

Regulations overdue

The regulations were due to be released in February, but so far have not been sighted and the Federal Government has not announced when they will be available.

The WorkChoices legislation, which at last report was due to come into operation in ‘late March’, cannot function without the regulations.

‘The Howard Government’s continued reluctance to disclose the content of these regulations speaks volumes about how dangerously rash and ill-conceived this whole package is,’ Della Bosca said.

‘It seems certain that these regulations will be as complex and unbalanced as the legislation itself, and that the Howard Government is struggling to paper over the worst of the shortcomings of this legislative package.’

Basis of High Court action

Della Bosca said the High Court challenge would be on the basis that the Federal Government has misused its authority in conducting ‘a hostile takeover of powers that are constitutionally vested in the States’.

‘The New South Wales Government’s challenge to the Work Choices legislation turns largely on the interpretation of the Corporations power,’ he said.

‘The Government is mounting this challenge to protect workers and their families, small-business owners and farmers, who will all suffer if this unconstitutional law is allowed to stand.’

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