Govt hints at AIRC changes

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Govt hints at AIRC changes

The Federal Government has given its clearest indication yet that it intends to change the powers and functions of the AIRC.

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The Federal Government has given its clearest indication yet that it intends to change the powers and functions of the AIRC.

 

In a press conference given after he introduced changes to the Workplace Relations Act to validate certified agreements that contain non employment related clauses, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Kevin Andrews said the AIRC would have to ‘adapt over time’.

 

‘If you look back over the last 100 years then the AIRC and its predecessor bodies have changed to adapt to changing times.

 

‘And as the economy changes in Australia, as the nature of work changes, then any institution such as the AIRC has adapted over time to that.

 

‘The IRC is the only element of the so-called Australian settlement that has survived in this century and the only one which is likely to continue to survive.

 

‘We are not planning, can I make this absolutely clear, we are not planning to abolish the AIRC or any such thing.

 

‘The IRC will, I believe, remain a relevant institution in this country. But it will, and I think history shows this, adapt over time.’

 

Asked if he would look to the H R Nicholls Society’s recent suggestions regarding further restricting union power as a guide, Andrews said:

 

‘Well, I am not looking to anybody’s program in particular for guidance. If anybody, whether it is that organisation, one of the major employee organisations or the ACTU, wants to put ideas before me, I’ve said all along that my door is open and I will look at ideas and assess them.’

 

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