Govt sets up business groups to advise on IR

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Govt sets up business groups to advise on IR

The Federal Government has announced the setting up of a Business Advisory Group and a Small Business Working Group to assist in shaping the new Fair Work Australia IR legislation.

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The Federal Government has announced the setting up of a Business Advisory Group and a Small Business Working Group to assist in shaping the new Fair Work Australia IR legislation.

The Business Advisory Group will be chaired by John Denton, the CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a major law firm with expertise in industrial relations. Denton has a strong personal involvement with the Business Council of Australia.

Heather Ridout of the Australian Industry Group will be a key member and will link the Business Advisory Group to the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council.

Immense opportunities

Ridout said the economic issues facing Australia are challenging but the opportunities are immense and ‘it’s important that we have a workplace relations framework that is consistent with this’.

‘We need a system that will work for Australia in the long term and that gives certainty to business planning and investment,’ she said. ‘And hopefully the Advisory Group will be able to contribute to this.’

The Business Advisory Group will include representatives of the construction, mining, transport, hospitality, retail, banking, labour hire and the media industry.

Unfair dismissals

A Small Business Working Group will also be created to advise specifically on Labor’s new unfair dismissal system, Fair Dismissal Code and other matters of particular concern to small business.

The Small Business Working Group will be chaired by the Minister for Small Business, Craig Emerson, and will include peak small business organisations.

Low wage earners

In addition, as part of its formal consultations, Labor will consult the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Labor will also consult the Australian Council of Social Services, particularly on the question of the circumstances of low wage workers.

The Rudd Labor Government will continue to have the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council (NWRCC) meet. This is a statutory body comprising representatives of ACCI, the AI Group, the ACTU, AMMA, the BCA, the MBA and NFF.

The subset group the Committee on Industrial Legislation (COIL) will also continue to meet and provide technical advice.

Business Advisory Group

John Denton (Chair), Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Heather Ridout, Australian Industry Group
Ron Silberberg, Housing Industry Association
Bill Healey, Australian Hotels Association
Margy Osmond, Australian National Retailers Association
Julie Mills, Recruitment and Consulting Services Association
(To be determined), Rio Tinto Australia
Ron Finemore, Ron Finemore Transport
Paul Fegan, St George Bank
John Hartigan, News Limited
Greg Paramour, Mirvac


Small Business Working Group

Gary Black National Retailers’ Association
John Hart Restaurant and Catering Australia
Simon Ramsay, Victorian Farmers Federation
Greg Holmes, Hotel, Motel and Accommodation Association
Bryan Stevens, Real Estate Institute of Australia
Pearce Makin, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce
Kieran Schneemann, Pharmacy Guild
Peter Bush, McDonalds
Andrew Arkell, Institute of Chartered Accountants
Tony Steven, Council of Small Business of Australia


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