ACCI urges States to hand over IR powers

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ACCI urges States to hand over IR powers

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the States to hand over their IR powers to the Commonwealth Government by the end of this year so that a national workplace relations system can be completed.

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The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the States to hand over their IR powers to the Commonwealth Government by the end of this year so that a national workplace relations system can be completed.

ACCI wants a full national IR system to be part of the debate on Labor’s new Fair Work Australia legislation, which will be introduced into Parliament later this year.

Peter Anderson, ACCI chief executive, said neither industry nor the wider community should accept the position adopted by the State Governments at a ministerial meeting last month to simply instruct officials to keep talking about this vital issue.

Run out of excuses

‘As has been made clear in national media commentary, the States have run out of excuses,’ Anderson said.

‘A national IR system is lawful. It has proven to be effective in Victoria for more than 10 years under both Labor and Coalition governments.'

‘It has widespread national industrial and political support. The Rudd Government was also elected with a commitment to a national system.'

‘Retaining State IR systems means retaining $150 million each year of duplication in regulation and duplication in courts, judges and bureaucracies. This is wasteful, and inconsistent with widely accepted calls after the 2020 Summit for a seamless approach to national economic and regulatory markets.’

Incomplete

Anderson said that unless the States refer their remaining IR powers, the new industrial relations system that the Rudd Government intends to legislate over coming months will be incomplete and less effective.

‘A failure of our governments to reach agreement on the completion of a national industrial relations system also raises a fundamental question: How can Australia urge other governments to take international action on climate change and trade reform when we cannot agree amongst our own governments on completing a national industrial relations system?’


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