FWA review will bring ‘fresh pair of eyes’, says Evans

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FWA review will bring ‘fresh pair of eyes’, says Evans

IR Minister Chris Evans has promised that the forthcoming review of the Fair Work Act will be done by someone independent of government, unions and employers.

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IR Minister Chris Evans has promised that the forthcoming review of the Fair Work Act 2009 will be done by someone independent of government, unions and employers.

Evans said the person in charge of the review would be ‘independent of government, independent of the department, and independent of trade unions and employers’.

‘So someone who can bring a fresh pair of eyes to the issues, and someone who will look at the evidence of what’s been working and what’s not working, and provide a report to government.’
 
Evans also said the recent policy platform decisions taken at the ALP national conference would not pre-empt the review.

Quicker arbitration sought
 
Conference decided that the enterprise bargaining system needed to be improved so parties had quicker access to arbitration.

Evans said the review would consider evidence from employers, unions and any of the other parties, ahead of making recommendations to government.

‘So, we’re not pre-empting that review in any way, and that review will provide evidence-based advice about whether any changes are needed in the Fair Work Act,’ he said.

Evans said the changes to the party platform adopted at the conference reflected some concerns related to the Qantas dispute and the delay in getting the issues to arbitration.

Compulsory arbitration?
 
Media reports today noted that Senator Evans will not be drawn on whether a review of labour laws could lead to the return of compulsory arbitration.

Employers have expressed concern that compulsory arbitration will wind back the clock.

However, Senator Evans would not speculate on the review’s findings: ‘There’s a lot of rhetoric in this field, a lot of ideology, a lot of false claims,’ he told ABC Radio.

The minister declined to predict how much change might come from the review but said Labor was committed to the principles of the Fair Work laws.

Productivity commission
 
Opposition IR spokesman Eric Abetz today repeated his proposal that the review be done by the Productivity Commission.

‘Senator Evans told us in Senate Estimates that the details would be announced by the end of November, we’re now a week into December and there’s still nothing,’ Abetz said.

‘The Productivity Commission is the best body to conduct the review.’
 
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