Labor plans own national IR system if High Court gives OK

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Labor plans own national IR system if High Court gives OK

The ALP seems to be half-hoping - at least - that the High Court rules in favour of the Commonwealth's corporations powers in tomorrow's High Court WorkChoices decision so it can set up its own national IR system in government.

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The ALP seems to be half-hoping - at least - that the High Court rules in favour of the Commonwealth's corporations powers in tomorrow's High Court WorkChoices decision so it can set up its own national IR system in government.

However, unlike the Coalition, it will work in cooperation with the States.

Opposition IR spokesman, Stephen Smith, said at the weekend that the general consensus is that at least a majority of the High Court will rule substantially the Commonwealth does have power to make laws in respect of corporations and industrial relations matters.

The decision will be handed down at 10.15am in Canberra.

Smith said that in government, Labor will look to utilise the full extent of the Commonwealth's power, but would only do so 'in cooperation with the States, in consultation with the States'.

Work cooperatively

'We'll look to possibilities like uniform, joint Commonwealth-State laws or harmonisation,' Smith said. 'But the key thing will be Kim Beazley and the Labor Premiers working cooperatively, making sure their aren't gaps in jurisdiction.

'It won't be John Howard, as he did, announcing an attack upon the States on a Sunday morning TV show. He simply rode roughshod over them.'

Smith said he was 'absolutely confident' that Labor would come to a sensible understanding with the States.

However he reverted to politics by saying: 'Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see the High Court chuck-out [WorkChoices] massive attack upon living standards, on the Australian way of life, the notion of a fair go and minimum standards and safety nets.'

Lawful, but not fair

'Even if the High Court says the Howard industrial relations changes are lawful, it doesn't make them fair, it doesn't make them right, it doesn't make them good for the economy or good for our society,' he said.

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