Just five days of public hearings for Senate IR inquiry

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Just five days of public hearings for Senate IR inquiry

Up to five days of public hearings will be held into the Federal Government’s new IR legislation, which is expected to be tabled in Federal Parliament in the week beginning 31October.

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Up to five days of public hearings will be held into the Federal Government’s new IR legislation, which is expected to be tabled in Federal Parliament in the week beginning 31 October. Prime Minister John Howard said on radio yesterday that the legislation will be ready for introduction when the Parliament resumes on 1 November – which is Melbourne Cup Day.


Matters excluded

The Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Legislation Committee is not expected to have specific terms of reference for the inquiry, but the motion referring the legislation to the Committee specifically forbids it from looking at:

  • secret ballots;

  • suspension/termination of a bargaining period;

  • pattern bargaining;

  • cooling off periods;

  • remedies for unprotected industrial action;

  • removal of section 166A of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (the WR Act);

  • strike pay;

  • reform of unfair dismissal arrangements;

  • right of entry; award simplification;

  • freedom of association;

  • amendments to section 299 of the WR Act;

  • and civil penalties for officers of organisations regarding breaches.

The Committee will report to the Senate on 22 November. The closing date for submissions to the inquiry will be 9 November 2005. 

ACTU reaction

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the inquiry would be one of the shortest Senate inquiries on record ‘considering these are the biggest changes to Australia's workplace laws in 100 years’.   

‘It is an insult to those people and the millions of Australian workers and families whose basic rights will be affected by the laws that the best the Government can do is a slap-dash inquiry,’ she said.  

‘This is a clear sign that the Government is simply not listening to the Australian community.’ 

The ACTU has extended its email campaign against the legislation, and is inviting concerned workers and citizens to email a Coalition Senator and request they support a broader inquiry into the proposed new laws.

See: ACTU website

Further information

For further information on the inquiry, contact:

Secretary
Senate Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Committee
Department of the Senate
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Phone:

61 2 6277 3521

Fax:

61 2 6277 5706

Email:

eet.sen@aph.gov.au

Related 

Federal IR changes 2005 

 

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